Valentine's Day is coming, and your child has about a thousand people on her card list. Teachers, coaches, family members, friends, friends of friends, frienemies, neighbors and pets all deserve a shout out. It's tradition. Not only that, some of those cards should be super special. Dad needs a card with ribbons all around. He works hard, and this is payback time. When you're 6, Valentine's Day is a perfect opportunity to exercise your creative muscle while you're developing your networking skills. There's also candy involved.
We have a pile of fun, fast and kid-friendly Valentine's Day card ideas that will delight your child and speak to the child in you. If it's been a while since you went a little crazy with a glue stick and glitter, this is your moment to shine.
10: Send Free E-cards
OK, this may not be the traditional way to send a Valentine's Card, but don't dismiss it -- at least for some of the people on your child's list. If you have lots of friends and family in another state or country, hopping on the computer to personalize a few low cost or free Valentine's Day cards is a quick way for your child to pay his respects.
E-card sites like 123 Greetings are easy to navigate, and the cards are often multimedia and interactive. You can also send a single card design and message to multiple recipients. If there are seniors in your life who limit their computer activities to sending and receiving e-mails, an e-card may encourage them to explore a few creative electronic options for their own card giving in the future.
Some sites require that you become a free member before you start using their services. Others, like American Greetings, charge a monthly fee but offer a free trial. Sending e-cards can become addictive, so spend a few hours creating virtual memories with your child. It's so simple a kid can do it.
9: Print up Your Own Card Creations
Many graphics handling software programs on the market have a card creation function that will allow you to print your own Valentine's Day cards. A few, like PrintMaster Platinum and Hallmark Card Studio, are dedicated to card making, which makes them pretty intuitive. Both also include instructional tutorials. If you don't have access to one of these options, sites like Xerox Valentine's Cards and Nick Jr. Valentine's Cards let you complete the card design steps online and print the results to your inkjet or color laser printer. Both are free to use.
8: Make Photo Cards
If you want something a little more sophisticated than a simple card, you can also add photos to your Valentine's Day greetings. Most dedicated card creation programs offer the option to import photos into their preprogrammed card designs. If you'd like a simple, free alternative, the HP Creative Studio Valentine's Card page has free photo cards available. The photo upload process is easy, but it can be slow, so prepare to wait a few minutes to process each card.
7: Make Treat Cups
Message hearts or wrapped chocolates nestled inside a decorative cup make pretty delicious greetings with that little something extra. Mom, you may need to help a little with this. It takes some patience.
To make candy cup holders:
What you'll need:
- an 8-ounce Styrofoam cup
- tissue paper or crepe paper
- 2 lengths of ribbon
- Valentine's themed stickers
- wrapped candy hearts or chocolates
- craft glue
- blunt tipped scissors
- measuring tape
- Decorate a small Styrofoam cup with your child's name, hearts, stickers and glitter.
- Cut a piece of tissue paper 9 inches long and wide enough to go around the cup rim with a 1 to 1-1/2 inch overlap.
- Draw a small bead of glue 1/2-inch from the rim of the cup and affix the paper to it.
- Overlap the edges on the long side of the paper and glue (or tape) them in place.
- Glue decorative ribbon around the cup rim to cover the edge of the paper.
- Let the glue dry thoroughly for a few hours or overnight.
- Fill the cup with candy and tie the paper closed with a length of decorative ribbon.
6: Get Graphic with Construction Paper and Glue
There's nothing like spending the afternoon crafting cards kid-style. This is how it works: Grab some construction paper, glue, a few heart templates, embellishments and some kid-friendly blunt-tipped scissors. Cover your kitchen table with plastic and let your child indulge his inner artiste.
These home crafted cards are made the old fashioned way, with sticky fingers and plenty of giggles. The results are often off center and glue intensive, but they're bold and a blast to make. Yes, the time spent crafting homemade Valentine's cards this way is less productive in terms of card output than it is in entertainment value, so have some mass market cards on hand as backup. To make the most of the afternoon, download some templates that will make cutting shapes like different sized hearts easier.
If your children are older, these Valentine's Day craft projects will work as cards, gifts and decorations:
5: Grab your Scrapbooking Supplies
You knew it was coming. Your stash of incredibly lovely scrapbooking supplies, like those decorative edged scissors and your super-duper cutting machine, are perfect for Valentine's Day card creation. Admit it: You've got some nifty tools and extras the kids can use in their card crafting projects. Anything you donate to this very worthy cause you can replace later -- and use as an excuse to buy more stuff.
Yes, some of your supplies are way too expensive to waste on simple kids' cards, but what about those darling leftovers from other projects you have stashed away? Come on, share the wealth. You can supervise the proceedings and make this the best Valentine's card decorating bash ever.
4: Embellish Artistic Cards with Decorative Stamps
If you like the idea of having the kids design and make their own cards but want to ensure that the finished product is worth the mess, time and expense, consider investing in a set of decorative Valentine's Day stamps and punches. Stamping is an easy process most school age kids can master, and the results are more presentation worthy and predictable than a bucket of glue and a pile of decorative dots. Artistically, colored stamps can look pretty nice, and they strike a practical balance between complete creative chaos and designing everything on the computer.
3: Create Secret Message Cards
This quick and easy idea looks unique but is really simple to do. Instead of stamping images on a card, write greetings in white crayon on white, heavy stock paper and color the space around and over the crayon with colored pencil. The print will appear in white surrounded by the pencil markings because the wax in the crayon won't hold the colored pigment. If you're a little kid, it looks pretty magical. Tape a lollipop to the front of the card, and you're good to go. Better yet. Don't color in the card at all. Tape a colored pencil to it instead. Invite the lucky recipient to color the card and discover the secret message.
2: Make a Heart Bouquet or Wreath
We like dimensional Valentine's cards, gifts and decorations. Two of our absolute favorites are heart wreaths and paper flower bouquets. They're graphic and fun to make, too. They show a little extra effort, so they're a good choice for a parent, grandparent or teacher. The links below will take you to instruction pages for both projects:
1: Make Cookie Cards
Valentine's Day is about sweets to the sweet, and there isn't a better way to express your feelings than with food. Our Valentine's Day Cookie Cards are challenging, but older kids can tackle them with adult supervision. For the smaller kids, use Valentine's Day specific cookie cutters to craft special edible cards for friends and family, add sweetheart candies as decorative messages. Even better, invest in a few small tubes of cake decorating gel and let your child print his name or draw hearts on a batch of cookies. The results will be heartwarming and delicious.
Lots More Information
- Valentine's Day Crafts for Kids
- 5 Valentine's Day Decorations You Can Make
- 5 Valentine's Day Table Settings
- Make a Valentine's Day Dinner for Your Sweetheart
- 123 Greetings. "Frequently Asked Questions." (1/31/12). http://help.123greetings.com/1/
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- Better Homes and Gardens. "Sweet Valentine's Day Crafts for Kids." (1/31/12). http://www.bhg.com/holidays/valentines-day/crafts/valentines-day-crafts-for-kids/?sssdmh=dm17.578907&esrc=nwcu013112&email=4002915549
- Family Fun. "Valentine's Day Card Ideas." (1/31/12). http://familyfun.go.com/valentines-day/valentines-day-cards/
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- Howcast. "How To Make Valentine's Day Cards With Kids." (1/31/12). http://www.howcast.com/videos/127504-How-To-Make-Valentines-Day-Cards-With-Kids
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- Michael's. "Valentine's 2012." (1/31/12). http://www.michaels.com/Cards/projects-seasonsandcelebrations-valentinesday-cards,default,sc.html?utm_source=g&utm_medium=paid&utm_term=valentine%27s_day_cards_for_kids&utm_content=Valentine_Cards_&utm_campaign=Valentines-US-Feb-2012
- She Knows. "The Edible Valentine's Card." (1/31/12). http://www.sheknows.com/food-and-recipes/articles/4972/the-edible-valentine-card
- Top 10 Reviews. "2012 Greeting Card Software Review Product Comparisons." (1/31/12). http://greeting-card-software-review.toptenreviews.com/
- XEROX. "Valentine's Day Cards." (1/31/12). http://www.office.xerox.com/small-business-templates/greeting-cards/valentines/enus.html