Are You In Charge of Your Kid’s Valentine’s Day Party? You’re in Luck!

Fresh on the heels of Christmas, New Year’s, and January (the longest month in existence) comes Valentine’s Day. Who knew that having children meant wildly celebrating every single holiday?

If you have the distinct pleasure to host a classroom Valentine’s Day party, you know that you could walk into any store right now and be completely bombarded by red and pink. You could also spend a small fortune on a party that – let’s face it – will be mostly remembered for the heart-shaped cookies covered in red sprinkles.

Are you interested in throwing a fantastic Valentine’s Day party without taking out a second mortgage or becoming the Martha Stewart of crafting? Of course you are. I know I am. Check out the hacks below to simplify your party-throwing life!

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10 Hacks for Throwing the Best Classroom Valentine’s Day Party EVER!

1 – Use a Heart-Shaped Cookie Cutter on Everything

If you have a cheap heart-shaped cookie cutter, you’ve got this one handled. You’d be surprised how many foods can easily be turned into hearts. (Of course, I’m talking classic cupid hearts here, not anatomically correct ones.) If you’re looking for food ideas, use your cookie cutter to “heartify” sandwiches, watermelon, pancakes, and – of course – cookies.

2 – Make Valentine Mailboxes

Yes, it was a classic early 90s Valentine’s Day party craft, but if chokers and scrunchies can make a comeback, so can Valentine Mailboxes. Decorate a shoebox with stickers, construction paper, glitter (if you’re very, very brave) and whatever other craft supplies you have on hand. Cut an opening on the top and voila! Now there’s a better place for cards than the bottom of a backpack.

3 – Have Kids Write Encouraging Notes to Classmates

A big part of the V-Day party is valentines – but they don’t say much beyond “to,” “from” and something like “I choo-choo-choose you” over a picture of a train. Type up – or write out by hand – “I like you because…” sheets. Students can go around the classroom telling their friends exactly why they like them. It’s important to have ALL of the students write on ALL of the papers – we’re all about inclusion here!

4 – Go on a Heart-Shaped Nature Walk

I know, I know – it’s Michigan. In February. But kids are already playing outside for recess, so as long as the weather isn’t too icy or below zero, get outside! Our school is fortunate enough to have a small wooded area that has a wealth of leaves, rocks, and plants that have the potential to look vaguely heart-like. And if you can’t find any – make some hearts out of rocks and sticks and leave a little love for the next hikers.

5 – Try Your Hand at DIY Valentine’s T-Shirts

This is a slightly ambitious craft, depending on the age of your classroom. You may want to enlist the help of some extra parents – or save this one for home. Buy a plain t-shirt from a craft store, tape some cardboard hearts to the front, and spray bleach all around the shirt. Remove the cardboard and see a beautiful heart in the negative space!

6 – Put Online Printables to Work

The internet is a treasure trove of people far more creative than I. And why re-invent the wheel if you simply don’t have to? Search for BINGO sheets, Valentine’s cards, word searches, puzzles, and even simple crafts. Make sure what you’re printing is labeled a “free printable” to avoid any copyright issues.

7 – Set up an (Easy) Photo Shoot

I love this one. Pick up a cheap pink or red table cloth and use it as a backdrop. Add in any props you can find (ask the teachers – some have dress up bins to choose from!) and snap some pics. If you have access to an instant print camera,  you can send the pictures home that day. Otherwise, the teacher could possibly email the photos home. Making photo memories that don’t involve wrangling children in coordinating clothes showing a photographer just how loud they can scream? Count. Me. In.

8 – Look for Super Duper Easy Art Projects (for those of us not artistically inclined)

Again – the internet is your friend. I love the idea of making “mosaics:” rip up some construction paper and glue them in whatever pattern (or lack thereof) you’d like on – you guessed it – a heart-shaped paper. It’s an art class in a party. Multitasking!

9 – Make Your Own Heart-Shaped Bath Bombs

This is – again – somewhat ambitious. But some of you are ambitious! And most of the bath bomb ingredients can be found in your home already. You’ll need baking soda, citric acid, Epsom salt, corn starch, water, essential oils (for scent), olive or coconut oil, and food coloring. Exact ratios can be found with a quick google search. My kids LOVE bath bombs, but those suckers are expensive! These can be as low as 25 cents a “bomb” – I like that. A lot.

10 – Remember the Classic Box Classroom Set of Valentine’s Cards

Listen, y’all. You can do every single hack listed above if you are 1) very brave and 2) have about two weeks and an unlimited budget for your allotted party time. But don’t take on more than you can handle.

If your party revolves around store-bought BINGOs and an “I choo-choo-choose you” cards? To quote Dwight Schrute: “Keep it simple, stupid. Great advice. Hurts my feelings every time.” But you – you’re not stupid. Simplicity is the key to intelligence. Don’t overdo it. Just have fun! And don’t forget the red sprinkled heart cookies.

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