Things have changed since I grew up, but at least one thing is still the same — kids passing out Valentines to their classmates. When I was a kid, we went to the drugstore or card store, bought a box of paper Valentines with our favorite cartoon character, addressed and signed them and we were good to go.
Of course, that’s still possible and very common. But considering that Valentine’s Day is my second-favorite holiday (after Christmas) and the fact that I love to make sweet treats, my kids and I usually go a bit more DIY for the holiday of love (or like). And thanks to Pinterest and the internet in general, there’s no shortage of ideas for what you can create. Some of them are pretty time-consuming, some can be costly and some just don’t turn out like they look on the computer screen. So, here are several simple and affordable valentines you and your kiddos can make that their classmates will love.
Some can be given just as is. But others, like the foods, will need packaging. I find a simple fold-over type baggie works great. To seal, I simply take a wide rectangle of construction paper, fold it in half the long way, place the baggie top between the two halves and staple. Then my kids can address, sign, and sticker-up the paper.
If your kids are into Frozen, here are a few of my favorite Olaf-themed ideas: Wanna Build a Snowman and Melted Olaf treats. But a baggie full of Warm Hugs is adorable too as is You Melt My Frozen Heart.
A cute fruit-based idea uses the squeeze applesauce pouches.
“You’re a Star Valentine”: Get some card stock, a bag of Starbursts, craft paint in different colors (I bought some this week at AC Moore for 33 cents a bottle), and a potato — yes a potato. Carve a star shape on the cut edge of the potato, dip in paint, and stamp away. Touch glue or tape a Starburst candy in the middle of the heart.
Valentine’s Marshmallow Pops: You can find lollipop sticks at any craft store and some grocery stores. Plain marshmallows would work just fine with these super easy and yummy treats.
Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookies: This is in the running for what my daughter will pass out this year. I think the puddle of white frosting in the middle would be the perfect place for her to personalize and sign a cookie for each of her classmates.
Grilled Cheese Hearts: Make a classic grilled cheese sandwich and then cut it into a valentine using a cookie cutter or stencil you created.
Valentines Pretzel M&M’s:
These can be made with kisses or hugs and are so easy, my kids can make them (with a little parental guidance.) I use pretzel snaps (the ones that look like little checkerboards because I think they work better. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Line rimmed cookie sheet with a single layer of pretzels. Place a chocolate kiss in the center of each pretzel. Bake for two to three minutes or until chocolate is softened, and remove from the oven. Immediately put an M&M on each. You will want to press down slightly so the chocolate forms a circle with the M&M in the center. Set on counter or refrigerate for 5-10 minutes or until chocolate is firm. Four or five in a little cellophane bag with a cute label is all you need.
Rice Krispie Hearts: Simple and yummy. You can choose to dip them in milk or white chocolate or leave them plain. You may decide on pops with sticks or just as is. Any way you choose, sure to be a hit.
Shoebox Candy & Card Holder: Take an ordinary shoebox and cover it with red, white or pink paper. Label your child’s name and use it to collect cards and candy received from classmates, family and friends.
You Rule: These adorable valentines are super easy to make for a whole class. All you need are some rulers and colored paper.
Kids just LOVE pens and pencils, so these cute hearts are sure to be a favorite. Keep it simple like the picture or go a little fancier.
You could also give a cute pencil along with a FREE printable Valentines Maze.
Valentines-themed fortune teller: I remember making these as a kid and its fun now that my kids enjoy them.
Felt Valentine Hair Clips: Take a sheet of felt and cut out a small heart. Sew it to the back of a metal hair clip using embroidery floss and a needle. Decorate it by gluing on buttons, sequins and other embellishments. You can also sew on these items.
Rainbow Loomer: If you’ve got one of these in your house, here are lots of cute phrases and cards you can use to attach bracelets too, along with some charms and loom heart lollipops that could be a fun extra. I even found a loom valentine necklace.
Paint Chip Bookmark: Die-cut red paint chips with heart shapes. Tie a coordinating ribbon at the top to create simple but fun bookmarks.
Valentine’s Day Wreath: Start with a disposable paper or plastic plate. Cut out the middle part, leaving only the outer ring. Decorate this outer ring with cut out hearts, buttons and other embellishments. Attach a small hook to the back, and you have a Valentine’s Day wreath!
Thumb Print Hearts: This craft involves dipping your child’s thumb in ink and having him or her make a thumbprint on paper that’s slanted toward the left. Then, have them make another thumbprint over the first one that’s slanted toward the right, so the image forms the shape of a heart. These Thumb Print Hearts can be used to add a personal, decorative touch to their artwork.
Star Wars Valentine: We’re big into Star Wars — who isn’t lately — and have not shortage of light sabers in the house. This May the Force Be With You valentine using glow sticks was perfect for my son. For ones without a picture of your child, check out these and these. You can usually find five and 10-pack glow sticks pretty inexpensively at craft supply stores like Michaels and AC Moore, or the Target $1 bins.
I also love these FREE Star Wars printables you can simply stick to a Tic Tac box.
FREE printable coloring valentine: You’ll just need some card stock, a couple boxes of crayons, and snack bags. Print them out and attach a bag with three or four new crayons.
3-D Valentine’s Day Card: Take a photo of your child with their hand outstretched. Print the photo, and attach a Valentine’s Day lollipop to the outstretched hand. You’ve just created a 3-D card! Alternatively, you can have your child draw a self-portrait and attach the candy to the drawing.
Heart Shaped Picture Frame: Just get a heart shaped box (a good way to find one is to use a heart-shaped box of chocolates). Create a stencil by tracing the heart over a spare piece of paper. Then, using the stencil, trace a heart over an existing photo and cut it in the shape of the Valentine. Carefully place the picture inside the heart shaped box. You now have a picture frame along with the photo.
Heart Shaped Paper Clips: Find the open-ended half of a paperclip. Fold it outward at the half-way point. Notice that the shape looks similar to a heart. The paper clip still works, but when you slip it over a sheet of paper, it becomes a great heart for Valentine’s Day
Valentine Placemats: Start with a poster size piece of paper, and decorate it with crayons, markers and colored pencils. Laminate the poster, or take it to a nearby office supply store to have it laminated instantly. These creations make great placemats for the entire family to have at dinner time.
If none of these tickle your fancy, here’s a substantial list of
cheesy cute sayings along with a coordinating food to go with it. Simply pick a fun font, type up your saying multiple times, print on cardstock, cut out, and attach the food. You know things like “I chews you as my Valentine” on a package of gum, “You rock Valentine” on a package of pop rocks, or “You blow me away Valentine” on bubbles.
If you’re lucky (and crafty) you might just have all, or at least most, of the materials you’ll need to make any of these. If not, its all fairly inexpensive, so you won’t be spending a fortune.
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