Store-bought valentines may give your children the chance to show off their favorite cartoon princesses or superheroes, but homemade crafts, cards, and treats are an even more personal way for your little ones to spread the love this Valentine’s Day. Whether you want to make an edible bouquet, limit the sugar intake for your child’s friends, or send a sentimental craft to far-away grandparents, these simple, kid-friendly ideas will help you get right to the heart of the holiday.
A Cookie Bouquet
Let your kids show off their cookie-cutting and decorating skills while making sweets for their friends, family, or classmates. Start with a simple sugar cookie dough and a set of heart-shaped cutters in different sizes – then let your mini-chefs go wild with sprinkles, icing, and other decorations (in pink and red, of course!). Add a lollipop stick to the cookies when they are just out of the oven (see how at The Shine Project via our friends at Parentables) and tie several together for a tasty bouquet that stays fresher than flowers (but may not last as long after hungry recipients catch a glimpse of your gift!).
With a little creativity and a few craft supplies you can come up with endless Valentine ideas that don’t include candy – or you can turn to the internet, where crafty moms have already thought of them for you. One of our favorites is this Valentine’s Day bookmark project from Cohen Lane, where paperclips and simple round, printed images make kid-sized bookmarks that your little one’s classmates will love. For a more personal touch, print blank toppers and let your kids come up with custom designs for each one of their friends.
Hug and Handholding
Sending Valentines to grandparents who live far away, friends who’ve moved, or aunts and uncles in another town? Start with these hand-shaped valentines suggested by Martha Stewart – just trace your child’s hand and cut it out, and then decorate with candy, cute sayings, or your child’s artwork. Then enclose a squeeze from your child: Get a large roll of brown paper and have your child lay on it with his arms spread. Trace around his arms, head, and torso, and roll it up to “send a hug” (as Paging Supermom puts it).
- “Valentine Lollipop Cookies.” The Shine Project. (Jan. 27, 2013) http://www.myshineproject.com/2012/01/valentine-lollipop-cookies.html
- “10 Homemade Gifts for Your Valentine.” Parentables. (Jan. 28, 2013)
- "10 Simple Valentine Cards." Parentables. (Jan. 27, 2013) https://parentables.howstuffworks.com/take-charge/how-simplify-valentines-day.html
- “Valentine Bookmarks.” Cohen Lane. (Jan. 28, 2013) http://www.cohenlane.com/2013/01/valentien-bookmarks.html
- “Valentine’s Day Crafts for Kids.” Martha Stewart (Jan. 28, 2013) http://www.marthastewart.com/274841/valentines-day-crafts-for-kids/@center/276967/valentines-day#269573
- “Send a Hug.” Paging Supermom. (Jan. 28, 2013) http://www.supermommoments.com/2012/08/send-hug/