On Kids Making Their Own Valentines and 5 Underachieving Valentines Ideas

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image © bigstockphoto.com
Psssst. Lean in. I’m talking to you, mother or father or guardian of small children. You’re doing a great job. I know you’re really, really tired sometimes, and part of the reason is that it’s exhausting to do a bunch of little mundane but very important things like cut the grapes in half I mean quarters so your kids don’t choke on them. I know it’s hard to keep track of “pajama day” and “crazy hat day” and “bring this form back with two dollars and fifty cents for pizza day.” That’s why I want you to give your children and you a gift this year. Listen closely, because I think it’s a secret you might not know: you don’t have to make elaborate valentines for your child’s class. You don’t! It’s not in the law or in the handbook for “the only way to succeed as a parent.” I promise. I’ve seen dozens of really really adorable ideas on Pinterest that you could make, but you don’t have to. You don’t have to glue little masks on tootsie pops (I swear this is a thing. Google it.)  or make individual baggies with 3 marshmallows, 4 chocolate chips and a piece of licorice cut up into tiny hearts. In fact, I would argue that by making valentines for your children’s classmates you might be taking away the opportunity for them to do it themselves. I hereby decree, therefore, that staying up late into the night making valentines for the class is not something you need to do and that the pressure you might feel to do it is something you can (and must) let go of. It’s ok. Go against the culture and have confidence that if you do, if you say “nope, my child will make his own valentines and sign his own name on them” (gasp!) you are giving your child a wonderful gift that is at least as valuable as the gift you would be giving him if you made him a bunch of beautiful valentines to hand out to the class. Give it a try! Don’t know how to do something this revolutionary? Check out these
5 “Underachieving Yet Authentic unValentines That Children Can Actually Make with Limited Parental Involvement”
1. Index cards I: on the front draw a picture, on the back write a heartfelt reason the child is glad to know his or her classmate. If the child is too young to write, he or she can dictate to the parent.
2. Index cards II: on the front, a sticker. Yep. a sticker. Just one. Ok, maybe two or three. Just… stickers. The child picks it off the sheet of stickers and sticks it on the front. On the back – a note or even just his or her name signed.
3. Heart sponge: cut out a heart shape from a sponge (parent can do this) – kid stamps some hearts on pieces of construction paper and signs his/her name.
4. The supreme “un-valentine”: give your child whatever supplies you have on hand: paper, feathers, crayons, paint, doilies, sequins, — whatever — and let their imagination run wild.
5. The “It’s not a cop out, I promise your chid will be fine” – Go to the local drugstore, get a pack of the fill-in-your-name ones and have your children fill them out. Done.
You can do it! Easy valentines for everyone. You might even decide they look good enough to put on Pinterest!

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