But this is 2014, where Leprechauns need traps, Easter involves presents and Santa needs the help of a misogynistic elf. Pinterest exists to promote the idea that every holiday can be a beautiful, color coordinated spectacle, if only you take the time to warm up your glue gun. I am not going to lie; there are days I want that for myself and my kids. I want to wake up in a world where I have the time to decorate my house inside and out in delightfully chic hearts and that manage to be both tacky and beautiful. However, that is not the world in which I live. My world mainly consists of waiting for cards to go on deep discount at Rite Aid before we go and buy a few boxes to split in a mad grab between my kids. Chances are I am not going all out for V-Day 2014. I can, however, step it up to “moderate effort level ” and you can too. Join me for “At Least I Tried- Valentine’s Day 2014.”
Do You Want to Build A Snowman?
This card involves a simple printable, paired with a snack bag filled with the makings of a “snowman”- including a piece of candy corn from the back of your cabinet that has been camped there since Halloween. Kids get a snack, I look semi-creative, and I get a chance to belt out a Disney song in its appropriate context. Win.
You Are A Beary Good Friend
This is a similar idea and execution, but with gummy bears. If you go this route, you should be aware that the sugar free gummy bears can be problematic. So unless you are using these Valentine’s as part of a passive-aggressive campaign against grade-schoolers, stick with the real stuff.
One in a Minion Valentine
I would label this project as “proceed with caution”. It’s easy in execution- a printable, some minor cutting on construction paper, etc. The only problem would be whether food sensitivities and/or parental issues would make Twinkies problematic. Know your audience. If your audience was me, I would be all for it because Twinkies are delicious.
You Make My Heart Pop
Teachers may ask you to avoid candy for any number of reasons. This card is a cute alternative, allowing kids to still have something fun to take home. My only suggestion is to make sure they are closed securely, or you are going to end up being “that mom” who gave two dozen first graders jars of soap to pour on the floor. The teacher will not be pleased, and you are going to be volunteered for the dunk booth come spring carnival.
I Like How You Roll
Do you have an enormous amount of toilet paper rolls waiting to be recycled? Well then, have I got the project for you! To be fair this is listed as a preschool project meaning classes are probably not 28 kids deep. I like the car idea too, because as far as things that are going to end up in my toddler’s mouth goes, cars are fairly safe.
Stuck On You
My kids love Band-Aids. There’s no way a Band-Aid from this card would last until an actual injury, but that’s ok. Stuffed animals need ways to up their street cred in imaginary play. A bear is just a bear until it has a Band-Aid. Now it has a backstory.
A Sweet Frame
(Image: simply crafty.com)
Moving on from cards, here is a way to utilize any candy hearts that come home with your child. I have never seen anyone actually eat multiple candy hearts without making a face like they are picturing the dentist chair in their future. This craft takes those cavity makers and turns them into something cute.
Valentine’s Day Mini-Cakes
(IMage: sweet and crunchy)
My kids go nuts for gingerbread houses, cupcakes or any other food I let them decorate themselves. They take this task very seriously, and I can make the bigger one vacuum afterwards, so it doesn’t end up a complete disaster area. These mini-cakes would be perfect for after school on Friday, during the dreaded few hours between school and dinner.
Kid-Friendly French Toast
Do your kids let their foods touch? Well then your kids aren’t my kids, so you can explore these adorable recipes for Valentine’s Day that would make my kids shudder. You mean the strawberries overlap the French toast? Are you some kind of monster?
Heart Toss Game
(Image: little family fun)
At the end of the day, you may just want a game that is going to help them blow off some energy (that may or may not have been caused by Minion Twinkies and Mini-Cakes.) This game could not be simpler- cut out a heart, hang it up, throw crumpled paper through the hole. That is the amount of effort I can get behind.
(Image: getty images)