29 January 2008

Hack request: Send us your Valentine's ideas!

Color 'n Kids ValentinesI usually start thinking about Valentine's Day on about February 10...too late to have a relaxed class valentine-making session with my kids. But this year is different! We've got our red construction paper and fancy scissors all ready to go. Nothing too involved -- just paper hearts and a few M&Ms for each classmate and family member -- it feels good to make something ourselves.

What are your quick-and-easy Valentine's ideas? For kids? For your partner? For schoolmates? For teachers? For yourself? Email your hacks by February 3 and I'll be sure to post them in time for a little heart-shaped inspiration.

Just for fun, I'll send three randomly-chosen Valentine's hack authors a Stubby Pencil Studios care package of a set of Color 'n Kids Valentines and a box of soy crayons! These cards are Portland mama-made, printed on 100% recycled paper, and are fun for kids to color themselves (in case the handmade thing isn't, uh, in the cards this year).

I can't wait to hear your ideas!

A little grist for the mill from the archives:

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This was a real hit last year for us. We broke up crayons (old broken ones) and melted them in a heart shaped muffin pan. Ours is silicone so they popped out easily. Then we put them each in a small cellophane bag with a note that said, "Valentine, you color my world!" The full details are on the Family Fun website. It's a great way to use those bits and pieces in the bottom of the craft bucket!

Around here we tend to bake cookies. They are scrumptious and so much fun to decorate.

Outside of that we also like to grab tissue paper and food coloring. Then we wet the tissue paper down and drip the food coloring on. We cut the sheets into squares which then become hearts.

I attach the instructions on how to make a paper airplane or a flower to each set of paper sheet hearts depending on how many girls or boys are in the class. The kids enjoy making the craft, and my kids love giving them out!

those coloring valentines are way cute!

i like to have my kids make their own. this year i'm thinking of cardstock with holes punched in them so my son can 'sew' his own. and probably we'll print wallet-sized photos of him to put on them.

last year my daughter made some super-cute ones with 4 or 5 hearts hole-punched so that they slid on a lollipop stick - a lollipop flower! and since i'm not describing that too well, here's a photo:

Last year my daughter was too small to do anything artsy-craftsy besides scribbing on paper. But she scribbled with lots of color and lots of coverage, so I took her best scribbled papers, cut hearts out of those, and glued those on plain white greeting cards. They looked great and people loved them.

All great ideas, thank you! If anyone else has a Valentine hack (craft, activity, midset, whatever), please email it to me [hacks@parenthacks.com] so I can feature it on the site.

I do a "heart attack" in my daughter's room every Valentine's Day. I cut out hearts from construction paper, write a message on each one like "You're a great big sister," "You're a good reader," or "I love you," and tape them all over her walls when she goes to sleep. She loves it!

My students do a fundraiser every year for Valentine's Day by making candy roses and selling them. It's actually a pretty easy project: you buy candy-making chocolate (we've had it in milk, dark and white), sticks, and the molds. (As I said, we do roses, but I bet craft stores sell molds in other shapes, like hearts.)

You melt the chocolate in a double boiler (or we actually just use a Pyrex in a pot of water on a hot plate). Pour in mold, insert stick. Put in mold in freezer for a few minutes to set.

Because our kids sell them, we buy packets of "wrapping". But depending on the distribution, you could leave them as is, or you could just use a sandwich bag, colored cellophane, or something else easy to cover the top.

Cut up old wrapping paper and glue that on cardstock. Kids LOVE to glue!

my daughter, on her own got into my lipstick, kissed some white paper. She cut of a heart shape around the kisses and gave them to her Daddy.

My best hack is a bit involved, but we use smarties rolls, and turn them into dragonflies with pipe cleaners, and a couple of foam hearts and google eyes..the pipecleaners form the legs, and the hearts wings. They're always a huge hit, and we got the idea and instructions from Family Fun Magazine.

The candy card for your significant other. Just put a candy bar in the place of the words For example- IF your last name starts with m like our does- you can start with the true love story of the "m&ms" and go on from there. Like no "snicker"s from the "three muskeeters" about it- you are a "symphony"

For any other time-constrained parents with some extra cash who don't want an art project but do want a personal touch - we're doing a photo card from Shutterfly ( www.shutterfly.com ) this year, with a photo-shopped to grey-scale-and-pink picture of our girls in the middle of a heart.

Maybe this will help family forgive us for missing "Thank You" cards this year.

It is my daughter's first Valentine's Day (that she is old enough to participate). We've already started a contstruction paper meets glue, glitter, sticker spectacular...the glue stick has been quite the hit haha.

I sent mine via email, but I'll post it here too.

Lowe's has a children's workshop on Saturday's every two-weeks.

This coming Sunday, the children will be building wooden mailboxes for valentine's.

The classes cost nothing for the children to take them. They get to use the tools, build whatever project it is for that weekend's class, and best of all... get to keep what they build.

blogged ya:

homemade cake, balloons, peom, card, dinner, flowers, drawing, date, romatic.

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