Every year when Valentine’s Day rolls around, I initially think of the commercialism and that it is just another excuse for stores to make money off of me. While this is usually my first thought, I remind myself of what a fun time this is for my children. I enjoy waking up in the morning and making heart-shaped pancakes, sometimes more like “blob-shape,” since cooking isn’t my strong point. I try to get creative by including red and pink foods, such as cranberry juice, watermelon, strawberries, bagels and strawberry cream cheese.
Sometimes it is these holidays that appear commercial, but if we as parents look deeper, it truly is an occassion to spend time with our children and share the love we have for them.
One of my favorite Valentine’s activities to do with my children is to make homemade cards with them. Making homemade cards can be simple and you don’t have to break your budget to make them come out nice. I recommend preparing all of your materials before getting started on the actual crafting.
1.) Scavenger Hunt
Search around your house for ordinary things that could be used to embellish the cards. Raid your gift wrap stash and gather ribbon, tissue paper and wrapping paper. Feel free to use anything that can be considered Valentine’s colors; hues of red, pink, purple, white or cream. Gather yarn, tulle, construction paper, doilies party napkins, felt, fabric--basically anything you can find around the house can be fair game. You can also buy extra embellishments if you like, but it isn’t necessary. I went to the craft store last week and found some felt butterflies and pre-cut hearts.
Set aside your supplies and organize them ahead of time. I like to cut up materials before we get started and separate them in a plastic plate with divisions. You will need scissors and glue, but feel free to use a whole punch, shape punches, glitter glues or paints.
2.) Get Crafting
Now it’s time to get started. Figure out what will be the primary area of the card. Get creative; there aren’t any rules that say a card has to be made out of paper. You can cut construction paper into a heart shape, or use a doilie or a felt/foam shape. From here, feel free to help your children embellish. Glue bows, stick stickers, cut shapes from wrapping paper, glue tissue paper balls or paint. This is the part where you just watch them get creative, but make yourself available in case they need your help. You may need to plug in your glue gun and help with materials that may be difficult to glue with regular school glue. When the kids are done, set them aside and let them dry for at least an hour, possibly longer if the kids get a bit “glue crazy.”
3.) Final Touches
Once the cards are completely dry, add some final touches to complete them. If your children are old enough to write, have them include a personalized message or just their name on the back side. If they are too young to write, you can print out small cards on the computer with a heartfelt message. If your child will be giving the cards to classmates, have him/her add a ribbon and tie a sucker or candy to the cards. If you are mailing the cards to family, why not include a recent picture of the kids with the card. You can add confetti inside the envelope or decorate the outside with stamps and stickers.
Of course Valentine’s make us all think about Cupid, hearts and mushy greeting cards, but don’t forget to show love to your tiniest Valentines, your children. Spend some quality time together and make your cards this year. Your kids will enjoy spending time with you and you will create unique and memorable cards.