Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Valentine's Craft Playdate

Brantley had been dying to have some of her friends from school over to the house for a playdate.  I threw out the idea of having a "Valentine's Playdate," and of course, my daughter, being a chip off the old theme-party-loving block, thought that that was the "best idea EVER (in her own words :))."  So we started planning and came up with a Valentine's Craft Playdate!

I made the invitations for free using PicMonkey, a free photo editing website, that is super easy to use, and really fun!  And they actually just changed the format of their website, so making printables, and invitations, and other things is very easy, even for a beginner.  You don't need a graphic design background or any experience to bring your ideas to life(I am not being compensated in any way by PicMonkey for my opinions, I just really like the website and use it all the time!).  We gave the invitations to all the kids in Grayson and Brantley's preschool classes, and ended up having a fun little group of kiddos show up for our crafting playdate!

I knew I wanted the girls to have a cute Valentine's outfit for their playdate, so I made their Sweetheart Dresses, with the heart cut out in the back.  They were adorable, and I think they felt pretty special in them!

I did not want to get out of hand with decorations and food, and turn it from a good old get together into a full-blown party.  I wanted to keep things simple, and not spend much money!  So, I picked up a few things from the Dollar Tree and Wal-Mart, and kept it festive, but low key!

I covered the kitchen table that was used as the "crafting table," with an inexpensive red table cover, and a roll of brown craft paper.  I strung some heart doilies on twine, and made a cute garland for the window.  Very easy, inexpensive, and took just a few minutes to make.

I made the same doily garland for my mantel too.  I also moved one of my antique windows up there, and stuck on some glittery hearts from the Dollar Tree!  I covered a piece of plywood with red and white polka dotted wrapping paper, and stuck a few more hearts on there.  I thought it actually turned out pretty cute, and I like that I'll be able to use the window and the board all throughout the year, just by changing the accessories!  That was about it for the decor.  Like I said, I wanted it simple, and not like a Valentine's explosion.

In the dining room, we had the food!  We had juice boxes and strawberry milk, some ham and cheese cut out in hearts, a small veggie tray, cupcakes with cherry gummy hearts on top, and a really yummy white chocolate covered popcorn, pretzel and M&M snack mix that was a hit with the moms!  Very simple, but still yummy treats.

We also decorated cookies that the kids could eat or take home, and made candy kabobs for treats as well!  And by the way, they do not end up looking as cute as they do on Pinterest, but the kids didn't mind one bit, it was still candy! :)

I wanted to keep the crafts very simple since we were mainly dealing with kids 4 and under.  The kids could make a Valentine's heart wreath, by cutting out the center of a paper plate (moms helped with that), and coloring, gluing on hearts, and sticking on Valentine's stickers all around it.  For the other craft, we had twine and heart doilies, paper and felt hearts, and the kids could make their own heart garland to hang in their rooms!  They all made both crafts (even the boys!  And some made multiples of each!), and even the two year olds were able to do them with  little assistance. :)  

It was really such a fun day, and I was so glad that we were able to have some of Brantley and Grayson's classmates over for some fun.  I didn't overdo it and overthink it (for once), and let the kids kind of lead the way and let them do what they wanted to do and play when they wanted to play.  It was a low stress playdate, and it was nice to be able to chat with some of the other moms in a more relaxed environment than in the rush of carpool and pickup!

I had thought about having a Christmas Playdate or a Halloween one too, but Valentine's was perfect.  The fall holidays and Christmas are so busy, that it's hard to fit in another party, but things have kind of slowed down a bit by February.  And Valentine's Day is pretty fun when you're little, so why not celebrate?!  We may have to make our little Valentine's playdate an annual thing!

Someone LOVED his cookies!

So, thanks to the friends, and moms, and one brave dad (!) that joined us for our Valentine's Craft Playdate.  We had a great time! :)

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