Valentine’s Day has never made my list of favorite holidays, but since having kids it feels like an excellent excuse for thematic crafting. For the past couple of years I’ve picked up some pre-cut hearts and loads of stickers and sequins and markers and let the kids go to town and drop whatever chaos they ended up creating into their classmates’ paper-bag mailboxes. This year the holiday coincided with an irrepressible urge to take on a creative project, so I decided to co-opt their valentines entirely.
Let me be totally clear here: by no means do I think that you need to make valentines or Halloween costumes or anything at all in order to be a good parent. I do this stuff because it feeds my soul to do so. The kids may very well have preferred a box of store-bought Paw Patrol valentine cards (in fact I would bet money on that), but I was itching to do this.
I’d seen these years ago and they popped back into my head this year just in time. I hit up the dollar store for a few fun props and held a photo shoot with the kids in our mudroom on a Saturday afternoon. Fortunately it didn’t take much convincing because props.
I took pictures of the kids holding the chalkboard with each word, letting them choose their accessories for each one, and then took a final photo while Mama K tossed fake rose petals onto them from above. I then dropped the pictures into a 4×3 grid using a free app (I used Collage Factory, but I could have used Pic Stitch or any number of other apps that do the same thing). Collage Factory (the free version) didn’t export with quite as high of a resolution as I would have liked, but these are for three to six year-olds so I wasn’t about to stress it.
I uploaded the finished .jpeg to a local photo store’s website and ordered enough 4×6 prints that I could cut them into three strips and each kid would have enough to hand out in class. If you’re working with dramatically different numbers of kids in each class you could always create a unique .jpeg for each kid with three identical columns and order accordingly.
Because I waited till this past weekend to do it I ended up paying .34 cents per print, but if you planned ahead and ordered online you could probably get them for a whole lot less. I ended up paying around $10 for the prints, plus another $5 or so for heart shaped glasses, a heart shaped chalkboard, deelie bopper headbands, beads, and fake rose petals. Not an entirely bad deal for valentines for three classes full of kids, and personally I think they’re way more fun than the store bought ones. It fed my urge to create and have some fun, so hopefully the kids will enjoy handing them out.
Happy Valentine’s Day!