I love getting homemade cards and personalized notes from my kids. But sometimes young ones need a little extra prodding - a bit of help to get the creativity flowing. If you have youngsters in your house, give them a create-a-card kit this week for some do-it-yourself valentines. You'll be giving a little gift to get another heartfelt gift started.
If you are a grandparent, assemble inexpensive mini kits for each of your school-age grandchildren. (Add a hint: "I'd love a homemade card from you.") Send the assembled kits in the mail and, who knows, you might find a surprise "craft with a heart" delivered to your address Feb. 14.
A valentine-making starter kit in a box might contain red, pink and white construction paper, lace or paper doilies and a small bag or tin can filled with valentine stickers, cut-outs from vintage valentine cards, conversation heart candy, buttons, pieces from old jewelry, sewing trim like rickrack and ribbon, glitter, etc. Add a new marker in a fun color, a pair of decorative-edge scissors from a craft store and a new glue stick. Tuck in envelopes and some postage stamps, too.
Or, make mini kits to give to grandkids, cousins and friends. They might contain a small tablet of colorful paper, heart stickers and a valentine-themed stamp and ink pad. Put the items together in a sandwich bag or in a clear cellophane gift bag with a decorative ribbon for a nice presentation.
Extra idea: Share this fun sealed-with-a-heart tip with the kids. After they have signed and inserted their homemade valentine cards into envelopes, they can seal them with a heart. Have the child press her thumb onto an ink pad and then onto the closed flap of the envelope with the first print angled to the right. Make a second thumbprint to the left to create a one-of-a-kind heart shape.
Donna Erickson is the executive producer and host of public television's award-winning family lifestyle series "Donna's Day." Her latest book is "Donna Erickson's Fabulous Funstuff for Families." For more ideas, visit MinnMoms.com/donna, sign up for Donna's e-newsletter at donnasday.com, like the Donna's Day Facebook page or follow Donna at twitter.com/Donna_Erickson.