Out of my three kids in elementary school and one kid in preschool – Hallie was the only one that needed to provide a box for Valentine’s day – and even then it was optional. She’s in her last year at the school and I thought maybe she would feel too old to do a cutesy box. She told me just before leaving for Mexico she wanted to create something. After a search on pinterest she landed on the hot air balloon.
This afternoon was spent bringing that vision to life. The worst part was while we were cutting out the balloons Hallie said, “Mom – does it make you really sad knowing that you’ll never get to do this again with your daughter?” She was smirking when she said it, but it made me stop in my cutting. She was right. My boys are not going to want to make cutesy bumble bees or gumball machines or popcorn buckets or hot air balloons. In fact when making a box in their class is optional they choose the decorated paper sack. I really will miss these projects with her; she knows how to cut me deep! 😉
Back to the hot air balloon! We took 8 sheets of 12×12 paper and cut them into a balloon shape. We used spray glue to attach them together. The balloon portion is being held up by 4 dowels (wrapped in red and white wrapping paper) that were notched so the paper balloon actually sits in the dowel. The dowels were attached to the side of the basket with some twine. It was the perfect final-valentines-box-project.
After the Christmas decor comes down and I’ve finished sweeping the red and green glitter – I like to get my house back in order. It always feels like Valentine’s sneaks up on me and it seems I’m never quite ready to deck the house out again in holiday decor. Don’t get me wrong – I love to decorate for the holidays, but some holidays I go for simple and Valentine’s is one of them.
In the past I’ve made many red and pink crafts including the Valentine’s rag banner that hangs along our entertainment center. I also think it’s fun to get the kids involved and have them help make some decorations. Here’s a printable banner I designed for them to color.
For full instructions and the free printable download, go to howdoesshe.com.
I like to get Valentine’s boxes squared away early – actually I like to get most school projects squared away early – because I am a much better helping parent when it’s not last minute and we’re not all frustrated. I was looking back at pictures and realized Hunter has only had one year where the teacher asked that they bring a box. The other years they decorated paper bags at class. I’m all for simplification, but I’m also a creative. To be honest, when you have three kids in elementary school, it helps if one of the teachers goes simple!
Here’s a few Valentine’s boxes from our past as well as a few from pinterest that have caught my eye – just in case my kids need to create something this year. 🙂
Bennett needed a Valentine’s box. He’s one that will come home from school ready to take on the project immediately and then change his mind a couple times. He wanted an angry bird box. He then changed his mind to a pig box. He was afraid the pig wouldn’t hold all his valentine’s so we started sorting legos to make an angry bird lego box. After getting all the kids to sort, we couldn’t get the angry bird to look right only using the straight edges of a lego. Plan D: A magformer’s valentines box. Easy as could be and didn’t require a trip to the store.
Hallie on the other hand was just lamenting the fact that she had graduated from Valentine’s boxes. She’s done some great ones over the years and she was sad to not participate this year. And then she came home from school today – the day before Valentine’s – and excitedly exclaimed her teacher said those who wanted to bring in a box could – or they could use a wal-mart bag for the optional Valentine’s that may or may not be passed out. It’s 5th grade after all.
I thought a wal-mart bag sounded great. But Hallie wanted a box – perhaps her last box ever (insert sarcastic and dramatic voice). I had just said yesterday I wish I could make her a unicorn box because it would be so cute and I’m not sure any of her brothers will let me convince them to use it. Hallie was against my unicorn idea.
I started rummaging through cupboards to find something she could use. I found our old cookie jar in the back of a deep kitchen cabinet and instantly a pinterest picture popped in my head. Put another container inside the cookie jar and fill the edges with M&Ms. Hallie jumped at the idea. A trip to Wal-mart and then to Walgreens (no valentine m&m’s at Wal-mart?!?) to collect candy and 10 minutes later she had her valentine’s box. Maybe not as cute as a unicorn – but just as functional and way easier.
This year’s Valentine free printables include individual Kool-aid packets, handheld mazes and Valentine’s gummy bears. Can I let you in on a little secret…My kids valentines are determined by the size of their class. For example – Bennett needed 25 valentines – so when I saw a box of 25 gummy bears – Done. Hallie and Hunter have more than 25 kids so I would’ve had to buy two boxes. Instead, I purchased things that fit their class size. Necessity is the mother of invention, right? My creativity works the same way.