This time last year I was blissfully unaware of the classroom Valentine exchange tradition. I’m not really sure how I missed it given the number of Pinterest boards full of ideas for creating non-food treats wrapped up with a card (usually including a pun) and ribbon for your kiddo to share with his or her classmates.
If you’ve shared these kinds of creations on your Pinterest boards this blog post is not for you. I will pause for a moment and throw out props for the creative and organized folks who can make this happen. I am not one of those people. So, if you’re looking for a super simple, cheap, and personalized idea for your child’s Valentine’s card for classmates then keep reading.
Fair warning, this card will not win you any awards or generate any ooohs and ahhhs. It does not include a treat like play-dough or stickers or a pencil because I like to keep it simple enough for my 5 year old to do most of the production himself. He is coming along really well with tying his shoes but we’re a few years away from tying ribbons and assembling 29 treats.
Earlier this week I realized we’ll be away for the Valentine’s celebration at my son’s school and needed to get his cards to school this week. So with 24 hours to go this is what we created:
See, I warned you it wasn’t going to win any awards 🙂
I did this in powerpoint. The same idea will work in other programs but I find powerpoint very forgiving when it comes to laying out images and text beside each other.
With my 5 year old on my knee I opened Powerpoint and inserted a text box. We shared the typing of Happy Valentine’s Day. I asked him what kind of picture he wanted and we did a Google image search for “Beach”. He specifically asked for a picture the kids could colour so we filtered our search by clip art. I suggested adding a heart shape, he chose the colour blue to match the beach theme. I added the line for him to sign his name.
(Our school specifically requests that we don’t write the recipient’s name on Valentine cards as it makes handing them out in the classroom harder. You could easily add another line if you wanted.)
Note: When looking for images I also filtered on images “labeled for reuse” so I didn’t infringe any copyrights.
The next part is what truly amazed me. I sent the file to the printer and suggested we work on signing his name after I put his baby brother to bed. When I entered the kitchen 20 minutes later he was in full production mode. He had sourced markers and scissors and organized his work so he signed both cards on the page, cut the page in half, and stacked the finished cards in a pile.
I usually keep our projects fairly straightforward but this time I went for *super* simple because of time constraints. In the end I was reminded how awesome it is to see your kid take ownership over a task and figure out how to get it done, “all by myself” as my little guy likes to say.