Valentine’s Day has never been my favorite, so it’s harder for me to get in the spirit I suppose. I mean I like flowers and chocolate as much as the next WAHM, but I’d rather be surprised with them on a random Tuesday than because the calendar says it’s February 14th. You love me? Awesome. I know because you folded and put away the mountain of clean clothes that was keeping me from falling face first into bed, not because you paid 5x markup for some grocery store roses that look like the cat has been chewing on them. We don’t have a cat, mind you. But you know what I mean.

I suppose my excitement for Valentine’s Day waned some years after the classroom exchanges and parties stopped. I mean who doesn’t love an excuse for a cupcake? I am happy to report however, that my kiddos are in the sweet spot age-wise for Valentine’s Day–ages 8 and 6. Not QUITE old enough to be mortally embarrassed by having to exchange some sort of “I think you’re neat” sentiment with every classmate, but old enough to write their own names and the names of all their classmates and to almost enjoy the task. Woot! AND to still let me make cute stuff that they are not embarrassed to hand out. Double Woot!

Baby Girl is in Kindergarten this year. I was sort of halfheartedly perusing Pinterest a few weeks back and came across these super fantastic candy necklace Valentine’s Day printables from willowday. Ding Ding. We have a winner. Baby Girl never met a candy necklace she didn’t like. Plus, she LOVES a good assembly project. I wound up tweaking an existing rosy-cheeked likeness I already had of her from this gymnastics party and also threw in a To:/From: format that her teacher requested for handwriting practice, then printed them 2up on a 5×7 card and trimmed. Here’s my finished product.

I cut straight slits from the edge to the neck on either side and slipped the candy necklace in either slit, hiding the rest of the necklace (actually we used the 3/$1 candy bracelets from Party City) behind the card. We slipped each card into an inexpensive sleeve from the gift basket section of Michael’s (45 bags for $3), folded the excess behind and sealed the flap with heart stickers. She is super pumped to give these out, and I could tell she felt quite accomplished when we were done. I so wish this had been my idea. Sigh. Anyhoo, you can download your own free printables at willowday (link above).

Now that I had her taken care of I turned my attention to my big boy–age 8. I had seen some bookmark Valentines and thought it was a fabulous idea–perfect for second graders or any age reading chapter books. Useful with a life past February 15th, which would mean avoiding overtly V Day colored schemes. Simple graphics. Nothing too frilly. So then I set out to think of some pithy bookmarky saying. Came up with “You’re tops in my book.” Boom. Googled it.¬†Found these cute printable bookmarks from Positively Splendid that say “You’re number 1 in my book.” Phooey. Don’t you hate it when you thought you’d come up with something? I so wish this had been my idea. Sigh.

I designed a different version for my kiddo. I wanted it to say something cool (or that he would think was cool). Think like an eight-year-old boy. Think like an eight-year-old boy. Honestly, I probably could have resorted to one-word potty humor and that would have been the funniest thing they’d ever seen. Or even, “Dude, it’s Valentine’s Day.” This is what I came up with.

“You wrote the book on AWESOME.” I hope it makes them all feel good every time they look at it. I got his stamp of approval and printed–complete with his name because with all the school work we have and extra this week for Valentine’s prep I seriously could not think about the effort it would take for me to get him to address these. I took them to my local pack and ship for lamination. Almost lost an eye in transport. Bent over holding them and one of them stabbed me in the corner of the eye. Nobody saw. Score.

Hope your kiddos have a magical Valentine’s Day and that you fold no laundry. Or at least keep the cat away from your flowers. For real. That stuff you sprinkle in the water cannot be good for them.