What will you be doing this weekend? If you have kids between the ages of 3 and 10, the answer probably at least partly revolves around making or purchasing Valentine’s cards for your kids’ classes.
Whether you see Valentine’s Day cards as a charming tradition or a tiresome chore, your kids probably see them as a necessity. And if you’re like most of the busy parents I know, now is when you’re starting to think about putting those cards together. I don’t know about you, but class Valentine cards live at the bottom of my holiday to-do list.
Here are 10 fun ways to shake up your Valentine card routine with your kids this weekend:
- String them along: instead of cards, make little beaded bracelets with your kids. Even small kids love to bead, and older kids can get really into making intricate patterns. My kids love to make jewlery for their friends, and they were the trinkets other kids give them all the time.
- Say it with flowers: adding some tiny pressed flowers (available from any craft store) to your cards can be a fun way to learn about the flowers with your kids, and give your cards a special, spring-is-almost-here look.
- Get poetic: For young kids, even a simple line of verse will do. Pick a favorite snippet from a nursery rhyme, or take a trip to the library to find that just-right phrase. It’s OK to repeat it on several cards.
- Be Sweet: Instead of commercial candy, consider giving homemade heart-shaped cookies, or homemade sweets like fudge. Just be sparing with portions; the kids will be getting a lot of candy from school, grandparents and other friends.
- Give A Little Glow: Disney’s Family Fun site has some awesome suggestions for creative cards, including a glow-stick Valentine.
- Use Photos: Martha Stewart’s Valentine’s Crafts for Kids include adorable treat packages with a picture of your kid on them. You could attach these to bags of candy, trinkets, small toys or sheets of stickers. Have fun with it!
- Stick To It: Stocking up on Valentine’s stickers is great, especially for young kids who might not be up to reading and writing on their own yet. They can choose their own sticker messages, and have the pride of doing it all themselves. Stickers also make a great V-Day gift.
- Take Flight: Give your valentines a lift by folding them into paper airplanes. Even if you’re not an origami expert, it’s easy to learn a few simple folded planes.
- Keep It Simple: Traditions develop for a reason. There’s nothing wrong with pulling out gluesticks, lace doilies and markers to make V-day cards. Your kids’ personal touches will mean a lot to the adults who get them, and the kids are just going to pillage the cards for candy anyway.
- Make It A Family Affair: If you’re the last-minute type on Valentine’s cards, odds are decent you dawdled on sending family holiday cards, too. Maybe you haven’t even done it yet. If so, there’s no time like the present. You can print up photo cards of the family while your kids are decorating valentines for class.
What’s your secret to Valentine’s Day cards? Do you do them, or do you skip this one?
Photo: Nils Geylen