Valentine’s Day Exchanges

It might surprise to know that I’m not big on Valentine’s Day.  Especially those damn card exchanges.  Who are these brilliant moms who have it all together to do homemade, themed valentines for a class of 22?  (or 25? or 35?)  You know the kind.  Their valentines always have candy, some cute, slightly funny saying, and perhaps a toy and sticker.  And it all goes together!  It’s all ridiculously cute.  While I know where they get there ideas, I don’t have the bloody time.

This is a huge problem for the rest of us.  And by the rest of us, I mean me.  I buy my cards.  I let the boys pick out what they want.  And we just do cards.  I’m not cool with plopping down 10 bucks a class just so my kid has “The Coolest Card Ever.”  Besides I know it’s going to be topped by one of those moms any ways.  Besides I’m a mean old mom who is going to make my kids sit down and do every valentine.  I can’t imagine the chaos that would ensue if I made them do a craft for each kid.

Then on top of all this crafty loveliness, these moms are setting their daughters (because nine times out of ten it’s the girls) for Valentine Day disappointment in the future ahead.  Valentine’s Day already appeals to girls.  It’s pink with hearts and the only weapon is being held by a little baby that reminds boys eerily of their own baby brother who wouldn’t let them have the weapon either.  The Valentine’s cards they pick out have Sith Lords or weapons or cars or superheroes.  There is a darkness that appeals to them.  Apparently the word “love” makes boys break out into gagging.  Valentine girl cards aren’t dark.  (Except the Twilight ones; those kids look depressed, not in love, just horribly, terribly depressed.)  Valentine’s Day is not on the boy radar.  It takes years of coaching for that, and why would you set a girl up for that chore?

I think we need to cool it with the Valentine cards.  Save the cute, craftiness for the girl friends.  They’ll love it and appreciate it.  It’s time we taught our daughters it’s a girl holiday to celebrate friendships.  Channel their energy into giving fun, cute elaborate gifts to their girl friends who will love and appreciate it.  Unlike . . the . . . boys.

I have boys!  I have three boys!  And I have to turn them into the Good Guys.  Which means, they have to understand that even if their girlfriends say it’s not a big deal, it is.  Because girls are all spoon-fed this romantic stuff since the cradle.  Deep down, all girls are romantic.  (I swear I will deny it if you ask me.)  Ok, new plan for my house.  Valentine’s Day will become a big deal with cute, thoughtful homemade cards.  Starting next year.

Damnit.

I wish I had girls.

Valentine Crafts for Kids, Preschoolers and Toddlers, Part 2

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and my blog is being slammed by people looking for Valentine crafts.  (And some of them started right after Christmas!  Who are you highly organized, far-seeing people?!  I’m not worthy of you!)  I just couldn’t do the same old crafts, so I scoured the internet, racked my brain for some interesting crafts.  Zeemaid actually sent me this cool link about making a clay pendant, but I never went to get the clay.  Mommy fail.  But I hope you enjoy the other crafts.  Keep in mind that the younger the child, the more work you need to do to help the child; while older children will be able to do more of the craft than I plan for.  My sons are two and four when they did these crafts.

If you’re looking for more Valentine’s Day Crafts, check out my other post.

Heart Lawn

(Nothing says love like grass, right?  Ok, you figure out how to grow roses from a sponge.  The boys LOVED dumping the grass seed on the sponges.  They are waiting anxiously for the grass to grow.  You can change the shape of the sponge to use any time.)

Things you need:

  • Sponge
  • Marker
  • Heart-shaped cookie cutter
  • Scissors
  • Water
  • Plate
  • Grass seed
  • Plastic wrap

Use the heart-shape cookie cutter to trace a heart on the sponge.  Cut out the heart.  Wet the sponge to make it damp.  Have the child pour grass seed onto the sponge.  You can use a bowl and spoon to make it less messy.  Cover the sponge with plastic wrap.  Check every few days to make sure the sponge is wet.  As soon as you see grass poking out, remove the plastic wrap.  In about two weeks, you should have a little grass lawn.

Sewing Heart Magnets

( I modified a craft I did in Girl Scouts all those years ago to make it easier on the boys.  And a tad less feminine.  That’s really the problem with a lot of Valentine crafts.  The boys enjoyed “sewing,” and Tornado E creatively made more of a net instead of going around the heart.  It turned out great, so let your child experiment.  I used a four inch cookie cutter.)

Things you need:

  • Red craft foam
  • Heart-shaped cookie cutter
  • Pen
  • Scissors
  • Hole punch
  • Ribbon ( we used white)
  • Tape
  • Magnet
  • Glue

You can buy pre-cut foam craft hearts, or you can make your own.  Trace a heart-shaped cookie cutter on the read foam.  Cut out the heart.  Hole punch around the heart.  For younger kids, make fewer holes.  Cut the piece of ribbon to two to three feet.  Tape the end to make it a needle, making it easier for younger children to sew with it.  Tape the other end on the back of the heart.  Have the child sew in and out of the holes.  (My son is two, and I held the heart so he could put it in the hole; then I turned it over, and he pulled the ribbon tight.)  After the child is done sewing, tape the end to the back.  For older children you can have the ends meet in the front in a bow.  Glue a magnet on the back.

3-D Heart Flowers

(I modified a Martha Stewart craft for this one.  I hope she doesn’t mind.  The boys thought it was really fun.  If you would like, have the child decorate the hearts before making the flower.)

Things you need:

  • Red, pink or white construction paper
  • Heart-shaped cookie cutter
  • Pen
  • Scissors
  • Hole punch
  • Pony bead
  • Pipe cleaner

Trace the heart-shaped cookie cutter on the construction paper, making four to six hearts.  Cut out the hearts.  Hole punch the hearts at the tip of the heart.  Have the child thread the pony bead onto the pipe cleaner, leaving about an inch of pipe cleaner above the bead.  Bend the pipe cleaner down and twist, securing the bead at the top of the pipe cleaner.  Have the child thread the hearts (how many the child wants) onto the pipe cleaner to the top under the pony bead.  Knot the pipe cleaner underneath the hearts.  Have the child spread the hearts to form a flower.

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