Tuesday, February 4, 2014

20 Valentine's Ideas Perfect for Parents & Teachers

For Home: 

#1.  This year we are going to start a new Valentine’s tradition.  The idea came from Pinterest and Better Homes and Gardens.  I am going to modify it slightly. Every day from February 1st until Valentine's Day the boys will have a mystery love message to uncover.  I programmed 14 hearts for each of them with messages from people they love (aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, and teachers). 

I then wrote the name of the person that said the message on the front with white crayon. The boys will paint each heart with watercolor to solve the mystery of who gave them the message.  


Mommy Tip:  To save on mess, simply spray the watercolor paints with a spray bottle rather than using the traditional cup of water.  Prang glitter paints are our favorite right now. They dry so pretty!

#2.  Along the same idea as #1, this year we have added mailbags to the back of our dinner table chairs.  The mystery heart messages can go inside as well as other messages the boys, Daddy and I write to one another along the way.  

They were originally clinch bags I found in the craft section at Walmart for a dollar.  The boys loved coloring them with fabric markers.  

They are definitely not as cute as some of the chair mailbags you find on Pinterest but they serve the same purpose and will save both time & money.
#3.  Now an idea for the big day (or maybe a few days before I have not decided), this year I plan to do functional Valentine's gifts for the boys.  They get a lot of candy and toys so instead, I got them all sorts of things they use with their favorite characters on them and then added special notes.  I have not decided whether I will spread the gifts out over Valentine's week or just put together one huge Valentine's basket.  

Regardless of their delivery, here are the contents I've come up with:

Underwear:  "Our love for you will never 'wear'!"
Toothbrushes:  "We have a sweet tooth for you!"
You can see another version of this at LOVE TWO TEACH.  Super cute idea! 

Socks:  "You knock our socks off!"
Valentines T-Shirt: "You are 'Tee' rific!"
Character Band-Aids:  "Our Love Sticks Together!"
Bubble Bath:  "Don't burst our bubble! Be our Valentine."

Stationary Set:  "You are the 'write' one for us!"
Leap Frog Flash Cards (that I got for $1 at Target--Love those $ Bins!!):
  "We love how smart you are!"
And lastly, not a gift my boys will be receiving, but rather one they will be giving to their baby cousin for Valentine's ... new jammies!

"Happy Valentine's Day, Sleeping Beauty!"
If you would like the Valentine's tags that have been shared above, just send me an email.  Please specify if you would like them as a Boardmaker file or in pdf format.

#4.  Each year we make a Valentine's card or gift for Daddy.  In order not to spoil the surprise of this year’s gift, I thought I would share EJ’s very first card to daddy.  It was based off an idea I got from Family Fun magazine.

Mommy Tip:  I often take pictures of the boys’ special projects, certificates, worksheets and crafts, and then put the photo of them in their yearly scrapbooks.  (To learn more about our yearly scrapbooks click here!)  This helps with storage because I don’t have to keep every little project...just the really special ones!  p.s - The special card above reads "To the King of my world!  Happy Valentines Day!  Love, Emmitt James" and has a picture of EJ glued over the Kings' images. More daddy gift ideas are available on my previous post, 5 Fun Father’s Day Gifts.
#5.  I stole the last Valentine's home idea from Miss Penny’s family tradition.  It's a heart-shaped breakfast on Valentine's morning. :) Thanks, Miss Penny!  So Cute!  You could also do Valentine's lunch or supper complete with heart-shaped sandwiches, apples, and strawberries. 

For Students:

First, here are five fun student valentines.

#6. Watercolors - "You paint my world with happiness."  (You can get cheap paint sets during Back-to-School sales or from Oriental Trading.)

#7. Socks - (This year’s valentine!)  “I hope you have a Valentine's Day that knocks your socks off!”. I found the socks 3 for a dollar at our local dollar store. Then, I picked up the cute little boxes at Dollar General 5 for a dollar. 

Mommy Tip: Payton is giving socks to his daycare friends, too. His sock gifts have this little picture message. 

I love how they turned out so I definitely wanted to share them with all of you! 

#8. Crazy Straws & Kool-Aid packets - “Slurp into a Super Valentine's Day!”

#9. Rainbow Loom Bracelets - “A friendship bracelet just for you!”  These are actually EJ’s valentines to his class this year.  Click here to see my inspiration over at Plumberry Pie.   EJ got a Rainbow Loom for Christmas and has been making bracelets like they are going out of style so I figured why not put them to good use. I just taped the rest of the bracelet to the back with white Duct tape.

p.s. Bracelet making is a great fine motor practice and could be used for student motivation.  You could have students earn the colored bands for good behavior and good work and then work toward making themselves a bracelet.  You don’t have to have the loom...it only takes two pencils to start!  Search for a how to video on youtube for more details. 

#10. And finally, EJ and Payton’s valentine from last year .  It is so cute that I couldn’t resist sharing!

EJ gave it to his class with a little sticky moustache attached inside.  

I got the moustaches from Oriental Trading.  

Mommy & Time Saving Tip: If you open your paint program on the computer, you can have your kids write their signature. Then, copy & paste it into a word document on your card.  For me, it saves the headache of forcing my boys to sign every card! :)

For Staff Members:

#11. A Lottery Ticket: “We won the lottery when we hired you!”

#12. Hand Lotion: “I would like to give you a hand for all your hard work.”

#13. A DIY Notebook with a little inspiration from HelloCuteness – “You are the ‘write’ one for us!” 

Notice I made my own scrapbook paper by copying and pasting the para's name and messages over and over again in different fonts and colors.  To get you started, here is the word document I work from. 

#14. The motto of our classroom. . . Everything's better with chocolate!! :)  

I found these cute tins in the dollar bins at Target and immediately thought of my wonderful team. I filled them with chocolate and was all set!

#15. A personalized mug inspired by A Beautiful Mess - I simply took a quote from one of our students whom said “Girls are Excellent Doers” and made it into a mug.  I had one student draw Miss Molly, one draw Miss Penny, and one draw myself. Then, the student who I quoted wrote it on top with a sharpie marker.  Finally, I baked the mug in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. 

Fun School Party Ideas:

#16. Beaded Friendship Necklaces - An oldie but a goody!  Here's the previous post that details this party idea.

#17.  Valentine's delivery with a mail carrier twist- Another previous post but worth sharing!  The kids love it!
#18.  Friendship T-shirts! - I love this idea.  We are doing it with EJ’s kindergarten class this year.  I simply purchased white t-shirts at Hobby Lobby (for 33% off!).  I then ironed on this quote with t-shirt transfer paper from Wal-Mart.   

If you would like a copy of the poem document, just send me an email.  Remember for the print setup, be sure to go into print properties and change them to t-shirt transfer so it prints as a mirrored image for ironing on. 

Then on the day of the party, we will set one shirt with a cardboard insert on each students’ desk.  The students will draw themselves with fabric markers inside the heart and walk around to their friends' shirts to draw his/her face on each classmate's shirt.  Hopefully, their shirts will turn out something like this. . .

#19. Following the t-shirt making, each student will check the color of heart located on the tag of his/her shirt.  Based on that color (red or purple), they will divide up in two groups.  One group will play Valentine's bowling and the other will play a beanbag toss game that my mom purchased from Current several years back. 

Each student will have a party favor bag to match their group color. 

I picked these up at Dollar Tree.  This will help the students stay with their group and serve as a place for the kids to put their candy and treats as they earn candy or treats for the number of beanbags they knock down. 

#20.  Valentine's party snack ideas -  As you may remember, I am not a cook or baker so my ideas are super simple. 
  • A popcorn and conversation heart snack mix

  • And a valentines milkshake or float complete with either red soda or milk and strawberry syrup. 

The best part is that the bowl, cup, and silly straw serve as a party favors also! 

And there you have it...20 fun Valentine's ideas perfect for the home or classroom!! 

Happy Valentine's Day!!