This morning, I was on set with Dina Bair on WGN, talking about fun ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day with kids. Here are some of the easy activities and goodies we discussed for a love‐ly, fun Valentine’s Day party full of heart for family and friends.
Start with a festive table…
A big piece of red felt can be dolled up with colorful duct tape & stickers (kids can help with this!) and made into a great tablecloth. I grabbed this big piece of red felt from Joann Fabrics and my kids went to town.
Candy is a great way to decorate the table on a budget! Gather simple, inexpensive clear vessels and vases and fill them with your favorite Valentine candy and red treats. You can also fill them with strawberries and watermelon if you want to add some healthy treats.
A little guessing game of how many candies are in each jar…turn your centerpieces into a fun activity. The closest guess wins. Award little prizes. You can divide up the remaining candy in little bags and give them out as party favors at the end.
Remind kids what the holiday is all about. Create your own heart-felt tree ‐ spray paint simple white branches and pop them in a vase filled with candy conversation hearts. Adorn the tree with die‐cut hearts with personalized, handwritten love notes with what each of you love about all the members of your family. I loved reading what my kids wrote (scuba diving with mom & dad, morning snuggles and making s’mores with mom were among my faves).
Of course, every party needs a little food + drink. This sweet and salty Valentine’s popcorn is the best sweet & savory snack you’ll ever come across. And serve up a festive cupid’s punch in a mason jar with a red and white striped straw. (Recipes at the bottom of the post).
And, keep the kids busy with these fun activities.
Stack the hearts – a simple game of stacking conversation hearts is interactive and fun. See who can build the tallest tower. If you’re going out for a Valentine’s meal or brunch, put some of these conversation hearts in a Ziploc and you’ll have a great activity to keep them occupied at the table.
DIY heart‐shaped crayons. Talk about up cycling! Take all those bits and pieces of broken crayons and make some beautiful heart shaped crayons that the kids will love.
- Unwrap all of your broken and used crayons
- Preheat the oven to 250 degrees
- Filled a muffin cup or silicone baking cups with crayon pieces in similar color hues (ie all in the orange/red family etc..), breaking up the larger pieces as needed, until about 2/3 full.
- Put your muffin tin in the middle rack
- Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the crayons are just melted being careful not to burn them
- Remove them carefully from the oven and let cool 30-40 minutes
- Pop them out. These would make super cute Valentine’s gifts for class parties as well.
Keep the ‘conversation’ going long after Valentine’s day with handcrafted picture frames created with conversation hearts. Take an old picture frame or buy a cheap wooden craft one at a craft supply store. (mine was $1.99). Decorate with conversation heart candies using a glue gun. As Little really wanted to help, I put the glue on each candy and then she put it on the frame. Makes a great gift!
Sweet and Salty Valentine’s popcorn:
- Melt 4 squares of Vanilla Almond Bark on the stove over low heat (or melt in the microwave in 30 second increments so you don’t scorch it)
- Pour in about 1/3 of a bag of puffed corn (can be found in the snack/chip aisle of most grocery stores
- Gently stir to coat the puffed corn. If it looks like there is still more melted white chocolate in the pot, add in more puffed corn.
- Lay it on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and add pink and red sprinkles if so desired
- Let cool completely 5-10 minutes
- 3 Cups of lemonade (store ought or homemade)
- 4 -5 Tablespoons of frozen strawberries
- Put it all in a blender and mix well
- Serve in Mason Jars or festive cups