Friday, February 8, 2008

More Valentine fun....

You may think that with all the Valentine projects I am posting that I am some sort of Valentine's Day freak. Believe me, I'm not. My husband and I don't "do" Valentine's Day...and even back in college when I was "dating" (if that's what you want to call it) I had only one Valentine's Day dinner date. I remember it vividly, and exactly how cheesy the whole thing was. But I do remember really liking Valentine's Day in elementary school, except in 2nd grade when a boy tried to give me a necklace and I wouldn't accept it and he sat at his desk crying and trying to break it and I thought he was so pathetic I finally accepted it, only to be mortified about actually wearing it.... but usually I really liked Valentine's Day. I liked making cards for everyone in my class. I liked the lace doilies my mom bought just for card making. I liked trying to be clever with rhymes or how the candy I was attaching to the card fit with the prose I wrote. Also, my Dad always gave us girls cards or chocolates, so Valentine's Day has always seemed more of a kid’s holiday to me than a romantic one.

I have always helped my kids make their Valentine's for their classmates. Last year, when Ethan was in nursery school, I asked him to pick out the treat to give out with the Valentine. He chose plastic watches filled with little pieces of gum. I struggled for a few days trying to think how in the world multicolored plastic watches went with Valentine's Day and came up with little notes that we attached to each watch that said, "Will you be my Valen-TIME?" I thought it was pretty clever. I also used my one and only craft punch to cut out hearts from pink paper and newspaper. The kids stamped them with some stamps I picked up at Michael's. Then I stitched the hearts together, covered them with clear contact paper, and the kids gave them to their teachers as bookmarks. Alex made different versions this year.

Alexandra also wanted to make something unique to give out to her classmates. She has recently been interested in making word puzzles with her grandma, and we thought that might make a cool Valentine.

We found a free custom puzzle maker online (there are many, this is just the one we used). There we typed in all her classmates' names and it produced a word search that we downloaded to our computer. Then I created a page that had the puzzle on one side and a message on the other and printed them directly onto some large label paper. (This paper is so cool. We use it a all the time! It is an 8.5 x 11 full sticker sheet. It comes 10 to a package, and we get it at the $1 store! How cool is that?) We cut the sticker sheets out, and stuck them to the cards we had cut from some scrap booking paper. (The cards are 4 x 4 when folded. You can get 4 cards from a sheet of 12 x 12 scrap booking paper.) Then we cut two slits into the folded side, folded the slit into the card and inserted a pencil into it!

So, two of my three kids are ready fro V-day. Now I just need an idea for my 8-year old Hudson, that is cool and not too embarrassing for a 3rd grader to pass out to his class. Any ideas?

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