Easy Valentine’s Day Ideas for Busy Parents

My best-laid plans were rapidly going down the drain.

Instead of sweetly crafting Pinterest-perfect Valentine’s, my three-year-old was trying to place 1,000 stickers on the dog. The baby was screaming. And I was trying to figure out if I could use artisanal wrapped wire to mainline wine.

There HAS to be a better, less stressful, way to get 20something children a Valentine’s Day treat!

Class Cards

Crafting adorable handmade Valentine’s is super sweet, and unbelievably time-consuming.

When you start, you THINK it’s going to be great: your angelic kids will lovingly draw and write sweet messages to their classmates and teacher.

Reality: you will end up forcing your child to “just make the stupid cards” on February 13 at 9pm. Because you had all the things to do, and they have no motivation to do this craftivity on their own.

Want to make it easy? Yeah, me too!

Just buy a box or two of those old classics: supermarket Valentine’s Day cards. Sure, they are impersonal and slightly cheesy. But that’s fine. These are cards for kids. Do you know how long they spend looking at the cards? Blink twice. Your kid’s card was just tossed into the “read” pile. If you add candy, add an extra blink or two.

Teacher Goodies

One question: does your idea involve chocolate or caffeine? No? Skip the adorable craft you saw on social media and stick with the handmade card only.

Seriously. Much like Christmas, teachers will be inundated with cards and gifts. And while we truly do love the beautiful cards your kiddo makes us, there are once again only so many teacher-themed things that we need.

Go with the classics: thoughtful card, a gift card to a local coffee spot and a box of chocolates. The caffeine will make us more awake during the bleak midwinter months. The chocolate will make us happy. And the cards will melt our hearts.skip-the-homemade-cookies-and-grab-a-dozen-from-the-grocery-store-instead

Snacks to Share

“Yay! Class party! I get to make two dozen over the top treat bags,” said no parent ever.

Don’t stress though, I’m with you. And I like to use this simple mantra: KISS. Or Keep it Simple, Silly!

Remember those slice and bake “sugar” cookies with the designs inside? They still sell those. Get two packs and go to town.

Feeling fancy? Order a few dozen cupcakes from the supermarket bakery, or just get the grab-and-go packs. Or get sleeves of sugar cookies without the designs, and let your child add sprinkles pre-baking. It makes the cookies look pretty! Another great choice is to make brownies, from a box (duh), and add chocolate chips and marshmallows, or frozen raspberries.

“Why do you hate the Pinterest things?”

Oh, I don’t! Don’t get me wrong, they are SUPER cute and look so nice.

On Pinterest.

Have you tried to make one, at that high level, with children around? Or, worse, WITH actual children participating?

I’m betting the results aren’t quite what you had imagined.

Plus, have you thought about the time and money involved to craft just ONE of those precious little items? Yeah, now multiply that times 24 or so. It could be HOURS of your time, and leave your wallet slightly lighter.easy-valentines-day-ideasSo ask yourself: Is it worth it?

The mason jar filled with homemade brittle with the perfectly handwritten tag or the very punny personalized card will be looked at for approximately 5 seconds.

Enough time to determine: a) who it is from; b) is there candy; and c) is the candy any good. Once those questions are answered, your hours of labor will be pushed aside for the card that had Fun Dip attached.

This year, exit the parenting one-upsmanship race that we seem to have entered. Go the simple, cheap and easy route.

Your sanity will thank you.


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