by Makayla Dilliner
The Hawaiian word for love is translated as aloha, and Valentine’s day is a day for spreading love and aloha to those around you. And while it only comes once a year, most would want to show that they love those around them, especially their kids, each and every day. A simple, “I love you”, can be a very powerful phrase to tell your children. And for young keiki there are so many different creative ways to show your love for them. Here are three different ways you can do just that this Valentine’s Day.
They say that a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. But the same can be true for your children! Shave ice is not only a staple to the island of Hawaii, but also a cold sweet treat that children cannot resist. Some of the best places to buy shave ice for your child are Matsumoto Shave Ice, Kona Ice, and Island Snow. Located in the beautiful North Shore, Matsumoto Shave Ice has been open for people to enjoy since 1951. What started as a grocery store eventually developed into a historic part of the island of Oahu. From flavors like strawberry to sugar free vanilla, Matsumoto’s shave ice is made from their homemade syrup making it a sweet gift for your children.
Best known in Kailua and right next to the beach, Island Snow is especially fun after a long hot day. Featuring a clothing brand geared towards both kids and adults, there are many parts of the brand for kids to enjoy. As a kid, it was fun for my mom to take me to get shave ice. But what made it even more enjoyable was being able to order it myself! Having the feeling of independence is a small part of an even bigger gift to give your child!
Kona Ice, despite the company being available for events only, is specifically catered to the keiki of Hawaii. Driving around the islands, you have probably seen their colorful truck with “Kona”, the friendly penguin mascot, on the roads. Growing up on Oahu meant Kona Ice’s delicious shave ice was a big part of my childhood. From parties to school fundraisers, as a kid, it was always fun to share moments with friends eating Kona Ice. Still, it is even more special to be able to share those integral moments with the ohana. Find an event near you on the Kona Ice website!
Gift of lei
While memories last forever, a small Valentines craft can be a great thing for your child to hold onto! When I was younger, I remember creating small gifts with my mother for Valentine’s Day, which I still hold onto. A common way to express love and aloha in Hawaii is through the art of lei making and lei giving.
Do you have a plumeria or puakenikeni tree near you? How about a pikake tree? Or even a crown flower tree! This small gesture can turn into an entire day with your keiki. Together both you and your child can pick the flowers then create a lei or many leis. Or even buy one for them instead! It is the perfect sweet gift to be worn at school or anywhere else your child will be. Due to the sweet aroma, it is a gift that is not only experienced through you or your child, but anyone else who smells and sees the sweet flowers!
Being on a Wednesday this year, it may be difficult for many parents to spend the entire day with their keiki. For some it may be easier to spend time than spend a dime on a Valentine’s Day gift for your child. When spent right, time truly is a priceless gift to give your keiki any time of the year. Living in Hawaii comes no short of amazing ways to spend this precious time!
Luckily, there is Oahu Kids Guide, a one-stop website full of endless family-friendly adventures for you and your keiki. From beach trips to hiking and water activities, you will be sure to find an adventure that if fun for the entire family. Without a doubt, the most popular destination is a trip to the beach. But while fun for kids, a trip to the beach may prove to be a difficult task for parents. Among other spots, Kailua Beach and Ko Olina Beach Park are probably the best options for a family-friendly beach day.
Kailua Beach offers soft white sand, lots of shade, and a boatload of activities (no pun intended). Best known for its kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding rental shops, there are plenty of options other than just swimming or making sand castles on the beach. Located near the rental shops are food destinations, such as Island Snow and Bob’s Pizza, and even a marketplace for other snacks (Kalapawai Marketplace).
On the west side of Oahu is Ko Olina Beach park -a stunning spot for snorkeling! Ko Olina features bright fish and other sea life, making it perfect for exploring the underground world together as a family. This unique idea for a Valentine’s Day outing or surprise can bring about not only fun, but a hands-on learning experience and new discoveries for your child in ocean life. What better way to expose your child to the ocean world of the islands than to have an inside look right in front of them?
Remember, it’s the small gestures that count and can make a big impact on your child’s life. In 20 years, they won’t remember how much money you spent – only their treasured experiences. So, take the time to show your love and appreciation for your children, not just on Valentine’s Day, but every day.