Who throws a Valentine’s Day party in preschool? No one! With the pressure off, I thought we’d have a little Love-themed play date for my 2-1/2 year old daughter Lulu’s school friends which would serve 2 selfish purposes: 1. I’d get to meet the other moms (carpool leaves us all disconnected) and 2. I’d have to unpack some of the boxes scattered about from our December move and get my house together.
The invitations were Hershey bars wrapped in craft paper and bakers twine accompanied pink hand-written party details on buckslips from Paper Source. Each invitation had a couple of hearts pasted on (made from a 2” heart punch) before being slid into red string-and-button envelopes.
Snacks were kept simple and nut-free by serving squishy applesauce, gold fish crackers, mini boxes of raisins, fresh strawberries and a cheese plate plus bottled water and juice boxes. For the finale, we used red, pink and white Valentine sprinkles and sparkly gel icing tubes to decorate sugar-cookie hearts that were frosted with buttercream.
The house was decorated in flag banners made by slicing triangles on my paper cutter using Valentine craft paper that I then strung onto gold yarn and hung at multiple levels across the party space. We threw Lulu’s hot pink chevron printed teepee in the corner of the room which added flavor, play space and covered up the fact that we have yet to buy proper furniture. The kids’ table (actually a 6’ folding table from Target propped onto storage bins to make it kid-height) was covered in a conversation-heart themed cover I bought at Home Goods.
Centerpieces were jars of varying sizes with paper lollipop-style Valentines and filled with Valentine-colored M&Ms, Hershey’s Kisses and Conversation Hearts. We rented kid-sized chairs and put a foam heart and bubbles at each place setting. The little ones were supervised by our fabulous babysitter Jessica who made valentines with them by covering the foam hearts with all kinds of stickers including sparkly sticky jewels.
The kids had so much fun with both crafts – the valentine and the cookie decorating – and most of the moms were able to breathe a bit knowing Jessica was leading the charge. It was indeed fabulous to get to know the other parents but the best part of all was seeing my own little one in her hearts dress handing out favors (goody bags filled with Valentine-themed treasures from Target) to her friends and generally having a grand old time. Lulu’s happiness, as always, was the best valentine of all.