10 Last-minute Valentines for Kids

10 Simple Last-Minute Valentine Ideas

I’ve been having a look around for some simple, last-minute valentines to make with kids. (And not just any kids: Preschoolers are my target demographic.) I love the simplicity of this one—a red balloon (heart-shaped if you wish) with washi tape!

We don’t have any specific rules in Hudson’s class. Candy is A-Okay. Store-bought is just fine. (What’s this I hear about some schools requiring homemade cards only?) So there’s no pressure to do anything ambitious, but I do think Hudson is getting to an age where he might enjoy handing out things he had a part in making.

Last year, he and I went to the drugstore and bought some little cards, and I asked him to color or write his name on each before sneaking in a few SweetTarts and sealing them up in little envelopes for bringing to school—which he was excited about. There were 30, which doesn’t seem like a lot until you watch a three-year-old lose interest after writing on two. In other words, whatever you decide to do for a preschooler’s valentines, be prepared to do it yourself.

Then, at his school, each child makes a little bag for collecting mail, which is stapled shut and sent home with him or her at the end of the day.  Here’s a few things I’ve gleaned from watching him tear open his own goody bag at the end of the day. The ones with a treat or a game are really the only ones that get any attention; I read them all aloud to him, but I couldn’t be sure he was listening over the sounds of that lollipop smacking. Which is all just to say that, at this age, it should probably matter more that he feels excited about making and delivering the valentines he gives than about the ones he gets. The cute factor, the clever puns… that’s probably more for the grown-up trying to read them aloud beside them. At least for now.

Here are a few more really cute ideas that might be in our future…

10 Simple Last-Minute Valentine Ideas

2. Sometimes the simplest ideas are best. Hudson would probably love getting to use a stapler on each bag, and the photograph is a great idea for preschoolers who can’t yet read each others’ names.

10 Simple Last-Minute Valentine Ideas

3. We still have a lot of plastic bugs around the house… would be perfect for these Love Bug cards.

10 Simple Last-Minute Valentine Ideas

4. Like I said, I love the idea of using your child’s photo on the card, especially at this age. We got a few last year and Hudson really took a long look at those ones, too. Design Mom has some tips for getting this 3D effect.

5. Who doesn’t love a bouncy ball? Just have the copy shop print these out for you pick up packs of balls and cellophane bags.

6. Tic Tacs are probably not the best choice for our preschool class (too small), but the idea could be applied to lots of pre-packaged candy—or even to a box of raisins! Amy at The Idea Room has the printable.

7. I think these Superhero pops would be Hudson’s absolute favorite of the bunch. It’s adorable. I do have a sinking suspicion, however, that I’d end up doing an assembly line all by myself after the kids go to bed—with an x-acto knife and a glue gun. Hmmm.

10 Simple Last-Minute Valentine Ideas

8. These “Wild About You” valentine printables by Sarah M Style are one of my favorites. We’re a big fan of attaching those little plastic animal figures to things around here (case in point).

9. Mer Mag’s pirate printables are adorable. She stitched little felt hearts on—and then sewed a little bag of candy to the back of each, but I’m thinking you could also go the route of washi tape and SweetTarts. (In case you couldn’t tell, I’m just looking for an excuse to buy a bag of those for myself.)

10 Simple Last-Minute Valentine Ideas

10. Design Mom just posted this printable for using those little fingerlights. This is a brilliant idea (see what I did there?): kids go nuts for them!

Do you bring Valentines to your child’s class? What are the rules? At what age do kids really start to look forward to giving and getting them? I have very fond memories of gluing doilies to red and pink construction paper hearts and bringing decorated shoe boxes to school.

P.S. Yesterday was Skyler’s first day at nursery school! I wonder what she’ll think of all this.

[All photos via the tutorial links provided]

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