One of my favorite holidays is right around the corner–Valentine’s Day!
I’m totally not into it for the lovey-dovey stuff; that should happen every day if you ask me, and the drugstore boxes of candy, cards, and roses I can do without.
I love Valentine’s Day because the big, nerdy teacher in me knows that it’s a great excuse to get little hands moving, names writing, and creative minds going.
Really–if there are 17 kids and 2 teachers in my kiddo’s preschool class, that means that he’s writing his name (or letter–if he’s little) an extra 19 times!! Woo-hoo! And he’s doing it without complaint because he wants to make a nice card for his buddies. I love it.
This year because we had so many temporary tattoos left over from our Relay For Life, I came up with a pretty cool way of using a tattoo in a card. They ended up being easy, super-cute, and totally awesome homemade Valentines.
Easy, Super-Cute Homemade Valentines:
I asked around. I scoured the internet. But I found nothing. So I created a really simple template that involved a spot for the tattoo and two folded sides, and we were golden.
valentines cards | teachmama.com
The Easy, Super-Cute Homemade Valentines are here to download if you’d like. If you have temporary tattoos or fun kid stickers to put inside, great; if not, a note or a smiley face would do the trick, too.
Download them here: valentines cards 2011 | teachmama.com
(If you do choose to share these cards, which we’d be thrilled about, please share this post rather than the attachment page! Thank you!)
Cora practices her name! Woo-hoo!
Before we got started, I explained what we were doing: Because we have sooo many tattoos left over from our Relay for Life, we’re going to stick a tattoo in each of your buddies’ Valentines this year. How cool is that? These will be so awesome!
These are the cards we have, and you can pick which messages you want to use. (I pointed as I read.) They say,
- Say you’ll be mine!
- You’re my #1 Valentine
- I’m stuck on you!
- Let’s stick together, Valentine !
- I’ll stick with you, Valentine!
- Hugs and kisses, Valentine!
- You’re one cool Valentine!
- Stick with me, Valentine!
Maddy, Owen, and Cora each chose which messages they wanted and counted out the number they needed for their classmates and teachers. And then they signed their names under ‘Love’. I emphasized how important it was to take their times with their names because their names are so important–no stress, but I didn’t want them to rush, as Valentines are little gifts they give to their friends and teachers.
Owen tapes his tattoo onto his Valentine.
Cora wanted to have her name in front of her, which I wrote and which she traced several times as practice. She tried her best on a few cards, and then lost steam.
I wrote her name in pencil so she could trace it, which–in my opinion–is no big deal! In fact, tracing a name is great practice for doing the ‘real deal’ on her own down the road. She was excited to try her best, but she’s young and is just learning. I’d have been ecstatic with her just writing a ‘C’–which I think Maddy and Owen did when they were 3 years old, but she insisted on writing her whole name.
Maddy’s working hard on her Valentines, taping tattoos and sealing them with a heart!
Next, I showed everyone how to add the tattoo to the card. We taped the open side of the tattoo packet to the top of the card (so the tattoo wouldn’t fall out), folded each side of the card in, and sealed the card with a heart foam sticker, some glittery, sparkly hearts, and some jewels. Owen’s cards were understandably a tad less sparkly than the girls’.
The kids completed about half of their cards–which was my goal on Day #1 of Valentines making. But they really came out adorable–and Maddy, Owen, and Cora were really proud of their work. Most days after school this week, while Maddy finished up her homework, Owen and Cora signed names, added tattoos, and sealed cards; it was a great way to use homework time for the week.
We talked about what to say if their classmates got a tattoo that they weren’t happy with, because Maddy and Owen were concerned with that. It’s easier for delivery if the cards aren’t addressed to students, and I totally understand why teachers suggest this method.
Our solution was to say, I’m sorry you don’t like your tattoo, but you can find someone to trade with if you want. Hopefully they’ll remember what to say and won’t feel stress on Valentine’s party day. . .
I know it’s hard; I know for some families, it’s almost impossible to create homemade Valentines, and I know that the day will come when my kids have no interest in doing so. But as long as my kids are game, as long as we can make Valentines simple enough, and as long as I can find time for them to do it, we will. It’s sneaky fine-motor work and name-writing practice at its finest!
It’s been an incredibly busy week for us, between preparations for a 60th birthday party (at our house–woo-hoo!!) this weekend, rehearsals for Maddy’s very first Variety Show, soccer, homework, evening meetings, and my work, it’s been crazy to say the least. But the few minutes of quiet creative time spent with Maddy, Owen, and Cora, making Valentines and watching them work their little hands and try so hard to write their names was a sweet highlight of the week. They are such a blessing, and I am grateful for them every single day.
We’ve got a ton of fun in store for Maddy’s Valentine’s Day class party, which I cannot wait to share!
Happy Valentine’s Day and happier Valentine’s Card Making with your kiddos!