Valentine’s Day is almost here and G’s preschool is celebrating with parties. I thought about grabbing a box of Valentines and putting a few conversation candy hearts inside the envelopes because I loved getting those as a kid! Before we found out L has nut allergies I wouldn’t have thought twice about grabbing a bag of those hearts, but now I know better. I grabbed one the other week and…the label carried the warning that the hearts are made in a facility that processes nuts.
I was extremely disappointed.
Does that mean the candy hearts have nut ingredients in them? Nope. But in my mind the warning means I’m risking my child’s safety because the candy could be cross-contaminated, so I do my best to avoid bringing foods with that warning into my house. G’s preschool is a nut-free facility and I want to make extra sure that what I bring in as a treat doesn’t have the potential to affect anyone negatively, so I decided I’d do what I did for Halloween and include a non-food treat with G’s Valentines.
Since I was going candy-free, I scoped Pinterest for card ideas. I found a cute bug Valentine by Dandee Designs, but I couldn’t find any small bug toys when I went to the craft store. I did find dinosaurs, so I went a slightly different route.
Supplies I used to make my DINO-Mite Valentines
I folded pieces of card stock into fourths and cut along the lines using a pair of craft scissors that had a fun edge to them. Then I cut as close as possible the straight edges of the paper so the pattern was on all sides.
I was worried about the twine cutting through the paper once I attached the dinosaurs, so I stuck a piece of Washi Tape towards the bottom of the card for reinforcement. Don’t fret if you don’t have decorative tape; regular tape would work just fine. This part is optional, Then I punched two holes for the twine to go through.
I had a mental image of how I wanted these cards to look. Part of the vision involved using the computer to type the Valentine messages, printing them out, and gluing them to the card stock. But I found out G’s teachers wanted Valentine’s Day cards turned in by a certain date. When I checked the calendar I realized I had to turn them in the very next day in order to get them in by the due date (G wouldn’t have school again until after the due date). I didn’t have enough time to make my whole vision come to life. So, sorry kiddos. You got my not-super-fancy writing on your Valentines. I used a Sharpie to write above the tape: [Child’s Name] You Are DINO-MITE! [From, G].
I debated whether or not to make these by myself after I got home from my PiYo and Pole class that night or rearranging our schedule so G could help assemble them before bath time. I decided it would be best to have him help, so during nap time I got as far as the hole punching and cutting the twine before stopping so G could help assemble the cards.
G helped by threading the twine through the holes (a great way to practice fine motor skills!). When I told him who the Valentine was for he chose which dinosaur he thought the child would like. This was the main reason why I wanted him helping me with the Valentines. It was a great opportunity to get a better idea of who he plays with and how well he gets along with his classmates. I learned he does play with a little girl sometimes, so he’s branched out a tiny bit outside his Best Buddies he’s known since last year, and there are a couple of kids he doesn’t care for because they aren’t good at sharing.
Buying little Valentine’s Day cards and not even worrying about a treat would have been the easier way to go, but I had fun making these. G even chose two leftover dinosaurs for me to make he and L Valentines for Valentine’s Day!