There’s nothing sweeter than kids celebrating Valentine’s Day. It’s all the fun of special friendships and innocent crushes without the complexity and high expectations of the adult version of the holiday. And celebrating Cupid’s big day with a bunch of kids inevitably reminds us to approach our own love life with lightness and enthusiasm. After all, love tends to engender more love. And sugar definitely engenders an enthusiasm of sorts!
Invite loads of love into your home by hosting a Valentine’s Day party for your children and their friends. If you do a little poking around online, you’ll find lots of “inspiration” for perfectly prim parties that are cloying not only for their over-the-top focus on sugar, but for their microscopic attention to detail. This party design by Anders Ruff is gorgeous – and you’ll find lots of similar pins on Pinterest – but I mean, really, people. My wedding didn’t even approach the level of coordination and exaltation of a single theme. So just remember to take inspiration from talented guys like Ruff, then carry on with a simple party that will keep your kids awash in affection, not drowning in perfection.
Candy Hearts Party To host a Candy Hearts–themed party, start by sending out Mixbook’s Candy Hearts themed Valentine’s Day cards. Add details of the party on the reverse. To decorate, simply cut large hearts out of pastel construction paper, and string them up into garlands. Give every guest a candy necklace upon arriving – boys and girls alike will love encircling wrists, necks or ankles with a little sugar. Perhaps I’m being naïve to assume they won’t immediately chow down on their candy jewelry, but for treats I’d stick to one sugar source like cupcakes with strawberry frosting. Then keep the rest of the snacks healthy – fruit kebabs, crackers, sliced red peppers formed into little hearts and plain “bubble” water with raspberries as a kid-friendly garnish For a craft, set the little kids up with everything they need to create candy heart art. And show the big kids how to make candy heart rings.
Bulls Eye Host a party that celebrates the proverbial target of Cupid’s arrow. I can’t think of a better way to merge the interests of boys and girls with fun games and decorating that’s a little more bold than the typical pastel pink set off by white paper doilies. Start by sending out Mixbook’s Heart Bulls Eye card, adding party details on the back. Invite guests to dress in red and white and to come ready for target practice! To create a Valentine’s Day game in the spirit of Pin the Tail on the Donkey, simply paint concentric red circles on a large sheet of white paper. Or if you’ve shopped at Target recently, use a large bag to create a quick bulls-eye. Cut a few paper arrows out of construction paper and set your little blindfolded Valentines spinning! For a fun dessert, make a classic jellyroll cake with raspberry filling.
Doily Art Here’s a party that’s best for preschool-age boys and girls. Little kids especially love celebrating holidays just like they see them depicted in the books they read – namely: doily decorations and fun palette of pink and red. For the little ones, use the age-old formula for a fun Valentine’s Day party and know that there’s comfort in the cliché! Kids will be over the moon with excitement to receive the Mixbook Doily Hearts invitation in the mail. Start the party with a fun art project creating doily butterflies with clothespin bodies and pipe cleaner antennae. Then move on the healthy snacks followed by a simple sweet dessert. Skip the often-featured candy bar if you want your sweet little party to stay that way.
Lips & Mustaches Kids of all ages love to have fun with fake mustaches and “smoochy lips,” as my son calls them. Set the scene for this low-effort dress-up party by sending out Mixbook’s Pucker Up Valentine card, adding party details on the back. Invite guests to come mustachioed or glitter-lipped for fun. Have a large empty picture frame (extra credit if you can find a gilded one from a thrift store!) on hand that you can have them pose for pictures behind. For a craft activity, have your young Valentines create lip-and-mustache lollipops that can be sent home as a party favor. Then don’t forget to upload all your silly party pictures into a mini Mixbook photo book to give out to friends as a memento of your fabulous day!
Happy Mixbooking! Happy Smooching!