When I was in elementary school, one of my favorite days was the one that I got to exchange valentines with my classmates. It was such a thrill to go to the grocery store with my mom and pick out a box of Care Bear or Rainbow Brite themed foil valentines. I’d rush home and carefully tear them apart. Then, I’d spend hours addressing them to my friends, taking extra care to make sure that each one expressed the perfect sentiment for each friend. After we traded them at school, I’d treasure the new valentines I brought home for months.
So when Zack started preschool (what seems like ages ago), I reverted back to my elementary school ways. I was giddy to choose a box of Tonka Truck (his then obsession) valentines for him and was delighted to address them to his new friends. These valentines even came with stickers as favors to include, which I thought was perfect for his little class of 2-year olds.
On Valentine’s Day, Zack came home from preschool with a paper bag he had decorated, and it was full of valentines. Where they simple foil valentines like I had sent? Oh, no. Y’all, I had fallen victim to my first experience with mothers trying to out do one another. There were homemade baked goods, handmade paper valentines and “bouquets” of lollipops. Apparently, my cute Tonka truck valentines made me look like I was just phoning it in. Gah! What a stress for a first-time mother.
When did preschool Valentines become such a big deal? At the time, I blamed Martha Stewart. But now that we are in the age of Pinterest, creative handmade valentines are all the rage. Zack is now in elementary school and Emma is in that same 2-year old preschool class. As I’ve matured as a mother, I no longer feel the pressure to produce the class’s best valentine. But as a sometimes crafter, I can’t help but want to try…
This year, I’m ahead of the game with our valentines finished a month before Valentine’s Day. Write this in your calendars, folks, because I am NEVER early with anything! I designed a cute little valentine for both of my kids to hand out to their classmates. It is unbelievably quick and easy to assemble, and it is inexpensive to boot.
I came up with the sweet sentiment of “Your Friendship is a LifeSaver” and created a little folded tent card to fit onto a snack sized baggie. The back of the card says “Your Friend,” so that we could fill in either Zack’s or Emma’s name. I left a space on the back left side of the card so I could go back and label each one with a classmate’s name once our teachers send the valentine list home.
I bought a few bags of wild cherry flavor individually wrapped LifeSavers (because they were red) in the candy aisle of our grocery store. The candy was less than $2/bag, and I used about three bags to fill 30 valentines. I put five LifeSavers in a snack size baggie – I used Ziploc brand, but I think all brands are basically the same size. Emma had fun helping me fill the bags, and we got a little counting lesson out of the task, too!
Then, I printed on white letter-size cardstock the printable that I designed and cut each one out on the thin black lines. The printable below is available to you as a free download by clicking here. Please be sure to let me know if you have any trouble with the download – I uploaded it as a Zip file to save you the download time, but you can double click the downloaded zip file to open it. Zack wrote his name on his valentines with a red felt marker, and I did the same for Emma’s valentines.
I folded the zippered part of the baggie over so that the bag wasn’t so tall, and stapled a tent card on each side over the zipper. The result is quite adorable, if I do say so myself!
You are welcome to use the above printable and make the same valentines for your child to take to school this year. I’d love to hear if you use this idea!
Have you thought about school valentines yet this year? What kind of cute things have you done in the past?