Winter in Kansas can be long and gray, but February 14 is set aside to brighten spirits by remembering all the people who make life special, like family and friends. If you are looking for fun and simple things to do with your whole family, here are some tips to make this year’s holiday a special one.
Decorate card boxes
Sometimes your students will decorate Valentine mail boxes during class time, but more and more often, they are expected to come to school with them already made. Few of us have time for a large craft project on a school night (or more than one), so here are some cute and quick ideas for accomplishing that little task.
Serendipityandspice.com has amazing and artistic ideas from really simple to major wow-factor in Valentine boxes. Check out the Darth Vader and unicorn ones! A fun bumblebee makes an ultra-simple Valentine box and it starts with an oatmeal container. Last year, I received a mini lavender mailbox with candy in it for Valentine’s Day. After a trip to the craft store, I made a cool custom letter carrier for this year’s celebration.
Have you tried using an empty cereal box? Shoe boxes may be harder to come by in your house, but cereal boxes are always there. You can even use the cereal to make sweet valentine cards. If your child wants to share unique valentines with their friends, buy the single cereal variety packs and add a plastic spoon with a rubber band or invisible tape.
Strawberry Valentine Chex Mix is a sweet, crunchy treat to make with your kiddos. Start with four basic ingredients (Chex cereal, baking chips, pudding mix and M&Ms) and then let their creativity take over. Try adding sprinkles, nuts, marshmallows or pretzels. Portion into cellophane treat bags or plastic baggies and share with friends and neighbors.
For a healthy holiday, put strawberries and bananas on skewers and dip into yogurt. Hummus and veggies or cheese quesadilla hearts make tasty gluten-free snacks. Switch out conversation hearts for cuties with hand-written custom messages.
I adore making Love Bug Oreo Cookies for Valentine’s Day. They always bring smiles to my friends’ faces. Try using the vanilla, thins or mini cookies, too. Vary the candy melt colors of white, red or pink and play with different types, colors and shapes of sprinkles
If enjoying a video on the couch sounds like the perfect Valentine’s entertainment, head to the produce section of your local grocery store first. Buy fruits and veggies that can be cut into heart shapes with a knife or cookie cutter. Add assorted cheeses, luncheon meats and crackers or a sourdough loaf. Place it all on an over-sized platter or cutting board. Flavored olive oil or a sour cream herb dip will complement all those fresh flavors. Don’t forget a sparkling beverage and chocolate truffles. You won’t have to leave the sofa for hours!
Happy Valentine’s Day, Mouse! By Laura Numeroff is a perfect read-aloud board book for preschoolers. From the If You Give a Mouse a Cookie series, Mouse makes valentines for each of his friends in this volume.
Caldecott Medal winner Eve Bunting wrote The Valentine Bears in 1983 and it is beloved by millions of early readers all these years later. Classic artwork by Jan Brett highlights the sweet story of Mr. and Mrs. Bear waking up early from hibernation to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
Mr. Brown’s bookstore is so busy; he has to hire an assistant. Miss Button is the perfect fit and may be the perfect Valentine match, too. The Bookstore Valentine by Barbara Maitland will be your young reader’s favorite book of the year.
10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston may be set during the Christmas season, but it’s all about love. Sophie’s family sets her up on blind dates after she is dumped during the holidays. This book would be a good fit for young adult readers.
Whatever way your family chooses to celebrate Valentine’s Day, make it memorable by snapping a few selfies to put up on the fridge and enjoy your time together!