Valentines Day is a great way to introduce the kids to the harsh reality of spending a lot of money on cards, flowers and chocolates, especially the boys. It was always a tense time for myself because I was never sure if I was going to get any Valentines since I didn’t like any of the girls in my class. Some kids are even terrified of giving another kid the slightest hint that they like them. (Just wait until they start to price what a dozen roses go for!)
Heart shaped invitations are easily made by the kids for the smaller parties while homemade flyers and posters are ideal for attracting a larger group. Many desktop drawing programs have clip art or even ready-to-print invitations already made.
Valentines parties for younger kids should take place during the day on the Saturday or Sunday closest to February 14. Older kids may prefer the Friday evening of the week of February 14 or, to give everyone more time to prepare, have the party on the evening of the closest Saturday.
A Valentine’s party should not emphasize the “I love you” or boyfriend/girlfriend aspect. Many kids would not feel comfortable and may not want to attend because of that. The party should focus on fun, using the Valentine theme as an excuse to have a party. This also means that some of the traditional kissing and spin the bottle type games should be discouraged.
Activities, Games and Crafts
When the kids arrive invite them to make a valentine for their parents, brother, sister or anyone else while they wait for the other guests to arrive. Provide an area with colored paper (lots of red), crayons, markers, scissors, glue and any other miscellaneous items that can be used for a Valentine (ribbon, lace, stickers, etc.)
Look over the Games section and add a Valentine theme to it. Building A Story can start off with “Once upon a time on Valentine’s Day…”. A Scavenger Hunt can have the kids looking for specially made hearts of different sizes. The larger hearts are valued at two points while much smaller ones are worth 20 points. Use your imagination and the kids will take care of the rest.
Try the Valentine Pocket, Paper Bag Basket and the Valentine Wreath in the Crafts section.
Music is popular at many parties for older kids but please note that you have an obligation to observe and if necessary, interfere with anything that may look suspicious during the slow dances. This form of “adult supervision” has been passed down from generation to generation. Using a ruler to indicate the amount of space between kids when they dance is always a nice touch!
Food and Drink
Sandwiches can be cut into the shape of hearts with a sharp knife and a steady hand. Heart shaped cookie cutters can also make quick work of the sandwiches as well. Many bakeries can offer bread that is colored red. If you prefer to make your own, try adding a little food coloring to your batter before baking.
Cookies and cup cakes are always special when they are decorated with white and red frosting. The more advanced bakers may want to draw a heart shape on each with red frosting.
Adding dry ice to a red punch can turn any drink into a “love potion.”
What is Valentines without chocolate? Start looking for deals immediately after Christmas. Stickers, pencils, erasers and small note pads are also available with a Valentine theme.
Have the kids cut-out large red hearts and decorate with lace and place around the house. Red and white balloons are also available in heart shapes. Fill them with air and tape to walls and doors or have them filled with helium at your local party supply store.