The Not So Sweet Side of Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day cards: curse or charming tradition?

If you are the parent of an elementary school-age child, then you probably chose the former.

I just oversaw the construction of 22 semi-homemade Valentine’s Day cards. My 6-year-old daughter painstakingly wrote out each and every one of her classmates’ names on the cards while I went through my entire stockpile of scotch tape trying to get a bag of heart-shaped Sweet Tarts and a Dum Dum to adhere to a strip of flimsy construction paper.

Whether or not you find the time-honored Valentine’s Day tradition to be a tiresome chore or a chance to exercise your inner Martha Stewart, the fact is it must be done if you don’t want your kid to spend his early adult years in therapy due to the ridicule he suffered because you were too busy to help put those Love Day cards together.

If you are digging deep to come up with a way to add spice to your kids’ Valentine’s Day cards, then consider the following ideas:

Flowers: Strip your houseplants of their tiny blossoms and press them overnight. In the morning glue the small blossoms on to the cards to give them a fresh, spring-is-almost here look.

Beads: Round up all the leftover beads from old craft projects and add them to the cards as 3D embellishments. If you have enough, you can string the beads and give out little bracelets to all of your child’s classmates. Otherwise, consider drawing intricate patterns on the cards and gluing some of the beads on to the designs.

Poems: For the six and under set, consider choosing a favorite nursery rhyme and adding a personal touch to it. A simple line or verse will do. Place the phrase on the inside of the card, and then have your kid decorate the outside of the card with his own design.

Paper Airplanes: Who says all Valentine’s Day cards need to be heart-shaped? Give your kid’s cards a lift by folding them into paper airplanes. You can use the wings to write out the “to” and “from,” and then have your child color the rest of the plane.

Related Articles:

Like vs. Love

Valentine’s Day School Treats: Make or Buy?

Pre-Tween Crushes

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About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.