Valentine's Day is on the horizon, but when it comes to your kids, it doesn't have to break the piggy bank. Here are five fun ways to show kids some freebie love on Valentine's Day.
* Free games. PBS Kids has already started its Valentine's celebration with holiday-themed programming, but the network's website is also chock full of Valentine's Day games and activities for kids. Included are "Sesame Street" and "Clifford" e-cards, a "Curious George" game called I Love Shapes, and directions to make a cootie catcher, courtesy of "Arthur" character Prunella. Check out all of the heart-filled action here.
* Free activity pack. Toys 'R Us has put together a free printable activity pack that includes Valentine-themed coloring pages, a heart maze, and a word search. And for more kid-friendly printables, check out DisneyFamily.com for free craft ideas and printable activities that feature all of your family's favorite Disney characters.
* Free sweet treats. Kripsy Kreme is offering an exceptionally sweet freebie treat, although there is an upfront out of pocket requirement. But if you purchase a dozen doughnuts from the bakery chain (maybe for the gang at the office?), you'll get 12 free Valentine cards -- each redeemable for another free doughnut. Kids will especially love the chain's limited-time heart-shaped treats, the Sprinkled Heart, Valentine Sprinkles and the Chocolate Iced Heart. Kids can also make free customizable Valentine's Day e-cards at www.krispykreme.com/card.
* Free Valentine workshop. Pottery Barn Kids stores are hosting free Valentine's Day letter-writing workshops from daily through Thursday. Letter-writing stations will be set up in PBK stores nationwide, and the store will even mail the letter for anyone who brings the recipient's address. For locations and details click here.
* Free apps. Paper Valentines are fun, but today's kids might find apps more appetizing. There are several free Valentine's Day apps up for grabs for iPad and iPhone users, including the book app The Kissing Hand, which features word highlighting for early readers of the Audrey Penn bestseller. There's also Draw With Hearts, which is a creative app in which kids can embellish photos with multicolored sparkling hearts that actually beat. With the Elfishki Valentine app, kids can create and send an e-card, while First Words Valentine is an educational tool that features Valentine-themed words for toddlers and preschoolers to master. Finally, there's Disney's Here's My Valentine, which features a love-themed game starring "Phineas and Ferb" characters Swampy and Perry.
Victoria Leigh Miller is a freelance writer. She has been writing about parenting topics since 2001.
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