It’s almost Valentine’s Day… and if you are the parent of grade-school or preschool age kids that probably means Valentine’s Day parties at school.
High fructose corn syrup, food dye… and boxed Valentines cards.
Now, I’m sure you know that I have very strong objections to the first two… and as for the boxed Valentine’s Day cards.
I just don’t like them.
There’s nothing really wrong with them… except that they are usually comprised of characters my kids aren’t interested in, from movies they haven’t seen (largely because they’re not out on DVD or streamable on Netflix or Amazon yet).
Or blatantly inappropriate. Come on… Twilight? Really? Without railing against Twilight as teen and preteen literature (maybe I’ll write that post someday…), let me just say that if your kids are in the boxed Valentine stage of life, they are waaay to young to be “into” Twilight.
So, no boxed cards.
On the other hand… I might have something of a lazy streak. Which means that you can better believe that I am not going to be the mom who is up until one in the morning cutting, gluing, and hand lettering a doily Valentine for each of my kids’ classmates.
But with the help of a printer with ink in it, some card stock, and PicMonkey, I can whip out some cute, homemade Valentines in no time! PicMonkey is free — you don’t even have to sign up! — or you can upgrade to PicMonkey Royale for even more options!
Easy Homemade Valentines using PicMonkey
To help you get you started, this is one example that I made.
To make this bunch of Valentines, I used the “collage” feature. In order to make a collage, PicMonkey asks you to upload a picture. I’m not sure if there’s any way around this, but I just pick some random picture to make it happy. You don’t have to use it!
I chose the “square deal” layout, and then went to the bottom to change the size to 1500 x 1875. There’s a lock/unlock button there that allows you to change the settings. This fits beautifully on an 8 1/2 x 11 piece of paper.
Then look under “swatches” for your background pattern. This one came out of the Sweethearts category. Once you have picked out your background, click “edit” at the top to open it in editor. Here is where you add your cute little animals and words!
Bee Mine — In Overlays I used two Buggles bees, one flipped; a Doodly Heart, also flipped; Brudmo Jiggler font; and red color choice “d40000.”
Owl Always Love You — In overlays I used a Cutimals owl** and a Doodly Heart; Dead Hardy font**; and red color choice “b40008″ and green color choice “156000.”
Have a Sweet Valentine’s Day — In overlays I used a Doodly Heart ; Brushtip Travis font ** ; and red color choice “b40008″.
I’d Pick You Any Day — In overlays I used Graphic Blooms; Mission Script font, and red color choice “d40000.”
Note: ** indicates a PicMonkey Royale upgrade.
Then I saved them, copied them into a Word document, and hit “print.” And had the Pixie cut them out.
PicMonkey has plenty of fun options to play around with.
Valentines for Older Kids
Here are some the Boy created… though he swears he’s “not participating in Valentine’s Day” this year.
And if you feel like your Valentines need envelopes, check out how to make your own from Homespun Seasonal Living.
Here’s an idea for a bookmark, too. Which I think is awesome because I love books, and also because I can pretend that the Valentine will be put to some use, and not thrown out immediately.
And, now that we’ve got the Valentines figured out, let’s find out what teachers really wish you knew about Valentine’s Day and classroom parties.
Tips from Teachers
These are tips from real live teachers who just want Party Day to run smoothly.
Follow the teacher’s directions. I always ask for cards in a specific order, by a specific date, so the kids can pass them out independently during breaks in our day. It saves time on Party Day. ~ Kristen, kindergarten
If we’re frosting cookies, your child *will* get frosting in her hair. I’m sorry. No… I’m not really sorry: Messy is magnificent. ~ Juli, preschool
If you’re sending in a Valentine’s craft for the class to complete, please make sure the kids can complete it independently — and without any extra supplies like paint brushes or hot glue guns! And doesn’t need adult supervision. ~ Kim, 3rd grade
Please don’t be the parent who comes in to do a project and it’s one of those pre-cut, out-of-the-box, only one right way to do it kind of project. ~ Juli, preschool
Remember what you signed up for, and send in that. ~ Kim, 3rd grade
Not everyone has to send in cupcakes; strawberries are red, too. ~ Anne, 1st grade
Don’t make your kindergartner write their classmate’s names on every single Valentine. Writing their own name 20 to 40 times is plenty! ~ Meave, kindergarten
Are you a teacher? Do you have any party tips you wish parents knew? Please feel free to leave them in the comments (with the grade you teach!) and I’ll add them in!
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The photos in this post were edited with my affiliate partner, PicMonkey.
For more Valentine’s Day ideas, check out My Week on Wednesday and Valentine’s Day.
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