Saturday, January 25, 2014

10 Valentine's Ideas

I was looking for some creative Valentine's Day ideas for the girls, and thought it would be a good idea to share what I found with others who may be in the same circumstances. Valentine's Day falls on a Friday this year, and it's also a half day of school for us. Little Miss M has 22 children in her class (as well as a heaping handful of teachers, aides and therapists) and K-Bear has 14 children in her class. There will definitely be a celebration, but the school has banned food, which isn't a bad thing -- just makes it slightly more difficult.  I'm forever on a budget, but I like to find cute and easy things for the kids to hand out that won't be immediately thrown in the trash by parents.

As a note, I really don't like the little paper cards you can buy at the store - but have used them many times! Here's what I've done and what I've found.

1. The Photo Card



I found this on Pinterest and recreated it last year with Little Miss M. You take a photo of your child holding their hand out, get them printed (I used Shutterfly.com and was able to add a border) and then punch a hole where their hand is. I fed a lollipop through the hole, but you can use a pencil or any other item. The photo card makes it look like your child is holding the item.

2. A Bookmark Valentine



Using cardstock of any color, cut strips of paper. Have your child decorate the cardstock as they like and sign their name on the back. You can then punch a hole at the top and thread some ribbon through. If you want to get super creative, I also found these cute directions for a heart-shaped thumbprint bookmark.

3. Play-Doh


How cute are these? Make flowers from mini Play-Doh containers. I've linked the directions here.

4. Pencils


All school kids need pencils, but why not make it fun? This was a cute idea.

5. Mini Bubbles



Bubbles provide a fantastic oral therapy item for kids with low muscle tone, and they are a lot of fun for those who may not need as much work. Purchase a party pack of mini bubbles and attach a tag that could say just about anything. I might write: "I love bubbles and I love you!".

6. Mini Notebooks



Decorate the covers to these notebooks with stickers, permanent markers or paints. You can add a tag: "I'm taking note" or "You're noteworthy" or "Writing it down - you're special." I found some reasonable notebooks on Amazon.


7. Wild Animals


Oriental Trading has so many cute wild animal items. Pick something you can get in bulk and add a tag that says "I'm wild about you".

8. Chalkboards


Messages can be written on the chalkboards, or the outsides can be decorated. I like chalkboards because they are inexpensive and useful, and you can be as creative as you want.

9.Valentine's Craft kits


There are a ton of Valentine's Craft kits on the market. See Oriental Trading for some affordable ideas. You can either assemble the crafts as your valentines, or for something different, put all the pieces in baggies for the recipient to assemble.

10. Store bought Valentines


Honestly, when it comes down to it. You do what works for  your family and your kids. If they like the store bought Valentines, then get them! This mom has done both because in the priorities pyramid, crafty valentine's day cards don't always take precedence.

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 Amanda likes to think about being crafty, but with three young kids, sometimes crafty time gets messy!

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