5 Ideas for Hosting a Simple, Low-Cost Valentine’s Day-Themed Play Date

Who doesn’t love a holiday-themed play date? I love the idea of making holidays a BIG DEAL for my kids, and I love any excuse to get together with other moms. With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I thought I would share a few, simple ideas from a Valentine’s Day-Themed play date that I hosted in our home last year.

I often forget how easily kids are entertained. Any break from normal routine is exciting to them. A couple of low cost (or free) activities and/or crafts, play time with friends, an engaging book, and (of course!) a snack are the perfect ingredients for a fun-filled morning with friends. Here are a few highlights from our Valentine’s Day play date:

1. Love Monster:Love Monster by Rachel Bright: This cute little story is PERFECT for Valentine’s Day. It tells the story of a not-so-cute monster who searches for love and finds it when he least expects it. The illustrations are adorable, and the kids were engaged through the entire story.

 photo IMG_5653_zpsfuuzncgz.jpg2. Photo Prop: I found this adorable idea on Pinterest and recreated it on a white wall in our living room using construction paper I had on hand. Mel brought her camera and snapped pictures of all of the kids. I then had these pictures printed and sent them to grandparents in lieu of a Valentine’s Day card.

 photo IMG_5629_zpsyrwk63gz.png3. Love Bugs (or, in some cases, love monsters)and “I love you to pieces” crafts: Again, thank you Pinterest. I chose these crafts because I already had most of the materials on hand. For the love bugs, start saving toilet paper rolls now, and you will be all set for your Valentine’s Day play date. I happened to have wiggly craft eyes on hand, but you can also find them here. You can also make your own with white and black construction paper. I also almost always have pipe cleaners on hand from various projects (and I did for this play date), but you can usually find them super cheap.

DSC_1250.JPG12729123_10100106068539812_6169298407255728733_n.jpg4. Conversation Heart Candy Activity: Is it even Valentine’s Day without conversation heart candy? I downloaded these free activity sheets, and the kids enjoyed snacking while working on their fine motor skills. Win. photo 12744750_10100106068779332_2357876761914992689_n_zpsbfg1jbd1.jpg10346227_10100106068674542_2018693135243685905_n.jpg5. Valentine’s Day-themed snack: I’m convinced “mom, can I have a snack?” is the most commonly asked question in our house. And, I get it. Growing people need some fuel. I try to have snacks on hand at all times, especially when we have guests. For our play date, I threw in some trail mix into a Valentine’s Day goody bags similar to these. This year, I have a few cookie-cutters I want to incorporate into our day. I don’t bake, but I’m thinking these would be cute for a ham and cheese sandwich. Find a similar style here.12715639_10100106068435022_4954726995890947974_n.jpg

 photo 12745510_10100106068345202_8061233192722947901_n_zpsvsuurwhb.jpg
 photo IMG_5651_zpss0ej4nke.jpgThere you have it: 5 simple and low cost ways to host a few friends for the day we celebrate LOVE.
 photo DSC_1215_zpsflsjuilg.jpg

Side note: For our play date, I also wanted to make these knock-off Pottery Barn Valentine’s Day envelopes (tutorial here), but I ended up finding some in the Target $1 section last year. Here’s to hoping they have them again this year! The kids all brought Valentine’s to exchange and took them home in these.

And one last thing: I am currently reading The Life Giving Home by Sally Clarkson, and she suggests writing out verses that have to do with love and putting them in a bowl for the month of February. I love the thought of having my kids pull out a verse over breakfast and talking about it. I am hoping to try it.


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