Updated: Feb 11
If you're anything like me you, may sometimes find it difficult to keep up with school projects! Especially the optional ones! While it would be easier to pick up a box of pre-made Valentines, they don't necessarily allow our kids to fully grasp the concept of Valentine's Day. There is nothing wrong with picking up a box of Valentine's or dollar store party favors! The kids like them, they're simple, we're all busy! But if you have the time and desire, there are lots of ideas out there that allow your children to create gifts for their classmates, thus allowing them to express their creativity while putting thought and effort into really showing their friends how much they appreciate them.
Although I could get behind most any DIY craft, my favorites are always the low-waste type. Kids of this age will probably not hold onto, or even read, the little papers accompanying Valentine's. Small plastic party favors are probably a favorite of the kids, but the bane to my existence! They typically break easily and quickly end up in a landfill where they will sit for hundreds of years. Best case scenario, they end up under the seats in your car or under your bare foot as you're walking down the hall. If it were acceptable, baked goods would be a great alternative. But most classrooms do not allow home-baked gifts - for good reason!
Here are a few of my favorite low-waste, DIY Valentine's! Do some "googling" and find a craft that interests your kids! I plan to have a special Valentine-making activity, complete with a couple of my kid's friends and hearth-themed goodies.
Low-Waste, DIY Valentines
1. Heart-Shaped Birdseed Bricks
There are several recipes available online. I am using one from:
I have also made bird feeders using a binder such as peanut butter or sunflower butter (for a nut-free option). I'll update this post with pictures after our craft night with the kids!
2. Heart-Shaped Recycled Crayons
Raise your hand if your kid's art buckets, bins, or drawers are being overrun by broken crayons. Making your own shapes using silicon molds gives these crayons a new shape and a second chance! This link here provides some simple steps: https://www.kenarry.com/homemade-heart-shaped-crayons/
3. Recycled Seed-Paper Hearts
Seed paper hearts are another sweet Valentine's gift idea! These hearts are made from recycled paper and contain flower seeds. The whole heart can be planted and watered to grow beautiful flowers! See the steps here:
(Don't have time to make your own seed-paper? I have bought seed-paper favors on Amazon. But this one looks too fun to pass up!)
Other Valentine ideas
These Valentines are less DIY, but still more eco-friendly and practical than dollar store trinkets and individually-wrapped candies.
(I've accompanied each Valentine idea with a suggested line or a small description)
1. Coloring pages - "You color my world" or "You make my world colorful"
2. Pencils - "I'm drawn to you" or "You're all-write"
3. Legos - "Thank you for building me up" or "We go together like LEGOs"
4. Jokes - No quote necessary! It just gives the receiver something funny to read :)
5. Games - These could be small word searches, a crossword puzzle, tick-tack-toe, etc.
Let me know if you give any of these ideas a try and how it turned out!