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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.5. 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.
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.