Making our Valentines

The main task for this afternoon (once the usual homework, reading, piano practice, and snack time have been completed) is making our valentines. Lately we have preferred to go the homemade route, usually by making use of some cute printable found via Pinterest and attaching something small (there are hundreds ideas available).

Has Valentine’s Day always been so focused on treats and candy? My memories of Valentine’s Day as a child simply involve crafting some type of heart decorated holder, and filling classmates holders with cute little paper notes. But every year my kids are bringing home as much candy as they do on Halloween! And since we still have a large bowl overflowing with Halloween and Christmas candy, I opt to make Valentine cards that are candy-free.

The children and I browsed ideas on Pinterest, then headed to Target to see what we could find. We ended up purchasing the cute little bubble wands ($3 for a pack of 24) for my 10 year old and 7 year old girls to pass out. We will attach them to this cute printable from Simply Modern Mom: I am bubbling with excitement that you are my friend.

Image via Simply Modern Mom

My four-year-old boy opted for the bouncy ball option (16 for $3). We are going to attach them to this printable from What the Teacher Wants: Have a ball today!

Non Food Valentine Pics3
Image via What the Teacher Wants

Pretty simple and fun!

I thought we were all set, until my daughter asked what we were going to do for teachers this year. Uh….yikes! Time for more browsing. And in the spirit of usefulness and less candy, we are going with hand sanitizer and this printable from Simply Sprout: Spread Love, Not Germs!

Image via Simply Sprout
Image via Simply Sprout

Looking for more ideas? You can check out last year’s Valentine’s here, or scroll through my links below for some of the other options we considered this year.

Glow sticks: here and here




100 Clever Valentine’s Sayings paired with small items/treats

February traditions of love

February is a great month. Valentine’s Day provides an added incentive to show love to others, and in our family we make that our focus for the whole month. Here are the ways that we plan to show love this month.

Make valentines for classmates: we prefer simple and handmade (usually involving a printable found on Pinterest) and of the non-food variety. You can check out last years version here.

Simple decorations for our house, involving handmade hearts from the kids and love-themed printable found online.

Give the Family Heart Attack. “I love_________because__________”

Make and decorate sugar cookies (favorite recipe).

Leave love notes for each other, using our red mailbox.

Hearts on the Wall-read about our new tradition of dinner time scriptures and conversation starters here.

Family Home Evening lessons: This year we will focus on loving others, loving God (and how he loves us), loving ourselves, and loving our ancestors.

Play the Heart Healthy game.

Personal Study: Review this wonderful talk by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, “How Do I Love Thee?”

Plan a heart menu for February 14th. Perhaps use heart cookie cutters for pancakes, cheese slices, brownies?? Heart shaped pizza??

Gift giving: I like to give my children a little gift to open on Valentine’s Day. Usually it is a book. Last year I found some heart nightgowns on clearance that were perfect for the girls.

Reading books: You can find our Love booklist here.

Favorite Scriptures about LOVE and HEART (how many can we memorize this month??)

John 15:12 “This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you”

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Matthew 22:37 “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind”.

2 Nephi 4:15 “For my soul delighteth in the scriptures, and my heart pondereth them”

Alma 45:7 “Yea, I will keep thy commandments with all my heart”.

Love books to read in February

In February we like to read books about love and hearts. I think the favorites at our house would have to be I Love You, Stinky Face and My Heart is Like a Zoo. Here is what we are reading this month:

I Love You, Stinky Face by Lisa McCourt

Plant a Kiss by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

The I LOVE YOU Book by Todd Parr

Love You Forever by Robert Munsch

The Day it Rained Hearts by Felicia Bond

You Are My I Love You by Maryann K. Cusimano

Kisses by Nanda Roep & Marijke ten Cate

My Heart is Like a Zoo by Michael Hall

Lilly’s Chocolate Heart by Kevin Henkes

You can also check out love books from years past: 2013 and 2009.

Heart books we like to read in February

My theme for February is all about hearts, love, and of course–Valentine’s Day. Posted below are the books that we have been snuggling up and reading this month.


The Day it Rained Hearts by Felicia Bond: I kept hearing reviews of this book all over the blogosphere this year, but unfortunately my local library doesn’t own a copy. I took a risk and bought it for the Sweet Bee for her Valentine’s surprise (I rarely buy kids books without previewing them myself first) and I am so glad I did. It is a really sweet story.

The Biggest Valentine Ever by Steven Kroll

Plant a Kiss by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Lilly’s Chocolate Heart by Kevin Henkes


A Kiss Like This by Mary Murphy: The Sweet Bee found this on the shelf at the library. It is a really cute story about all kinds of kisses (giving plenty of opportunities while we read for mom to bestow kisses on her cute little kiddos!)

Mouse’s First Valentine by Lauren Thomposn

Happy Valentine’s Day, Mouse! by Laura Numeroff

Goose Needs a Hug by Tad Hills

Won’t You Be My Kissaroo? by Joanne Ryder


My Heart is Like a Zoo by Michael Hall: This book was a favorite of my little Z boy. We spent a morning creating heart shaped animals inspired by this book.

The I LOVE YOU Book by Todd Parr

FHE Lesson: Healthy and Happy Hearts

Since February is the month of love and hearts, of course we had to have a Family Home Evening lesson tied into the theme.  The Heart Healthy Exercise game shared by Marie at Make and Takes was the perfect activity for my kiddos: making hearts strong and healthy by exercising in a fun way.I followed her instructions and found some clipart online of the various heart healthy actions I wanted to include and I made some very simple posters.My poster included the following actions: sit ups, kick, stretch, roll over, push ups, jump, jog in place, and jumping jacks.

I also followed her suggestion and made a heart bean bag to use as a throwing item. Cut two hearts out of red felt, hot glue 3/4 of the edge of the hearts, fill with beans, then glue the rest together. A simple project that took just a few minutes, but my kids loved playing with it.

Lesson Plan

Lead a very brief discussion about hearts. Do you know the word “heart” is found 1473 times in our standard works of scripture? Obviously, hearts are important! It is important to take care of our hearts and keep them healthy and happy.

We can keep our hearts happy by…. (reading scriptures, following the prophet, praying, keeping the commandments, etc).

It is also important to keep our physical hearts healthy. We can do this through regular exercise and activity.

Play the heart healthy game: Take turns throwing the bean bag on the posters, and do the action it lands on. We also had some other hearts to choose from to let us know how many of each action we should do (5, 10, 15, or 20).

End the evening with a discussion of our favorite “heart”scriptures and eat heart shaped cookies for dessert!

Favorite Heart Scriptures

Matthew 22:37 “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind”.

2 Nephi 4:15 “For my soul delighteth in the scriptures, and my heart pondereth them”

Alma 45:7 “Yea, I will keep thy commandments with all my heart”.

Spreading love in February

This little mailbox is a new addition to our family’s annual February festivities. When I found it in the dollar aisle at Target I picked it up without hesitation. The mailbox is our “love box”: anyone who would like to can leave message inside for another family member. The girls get pretty excited when they notice the raised flag and know that there is a message inside. In the picture you can see some of the messages that have been sent (and received).

Writing a note just takes a minute, but it is a nice way that we are showing love in our family. I was also inspired by the idea of a 14 Acts of Love countdown to Valentine’s Day, shared at Make and Takes. We haven’t been able to do it every day, but it has helped us to have a more service/other oriented mindset.

I have found so many great ideas online this year for Valentine’s Day. Thank you, Pinterest, for keeping it all organized for me! You can view the ideas that have sparked my interest on my Valentine’s Day Pinterest board. I also have a great set of links that I shared last year.

On Love

“Jesus Christ, the Light of the World, is the only lamp by which you can successfully see the path of love and happiness for you and for your sweetheart. How should I love thee? As He does, for that way ‘never faileth.'”

Read the full text of this talk by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland here.

A Heartfelt FHE, and a few Primary inspired lessons

The Ant Bug had really been looking forward to making hearts and decorating our house for Valentines Day, and she figured that the last day of January was the perfect day to bring on the hearts. Since January 31st was a Monday, a Family Home Evening activity/lesson was born!

Scripture of the Week

“Yea, I will keep thy commandments with all my heart” (Alma 45:7).


If Listen With My Heart by Sally DeFord (the song taught in Primary during the month of January, found in the January 2011 Friend Magazine).

Lesson Plan

Display the scriptures and review the four books in the standard works. Explain that the scriptures are the word of God, and have been given as a guide to help us in these days. Explain that the Topical Guide and Index to the scriptures are wonderful tools to help us get the most out of our study of the scriptures. You can find scriptures on many different topics: Jesus Christ, faith, baptism, atonement, repentance, etc. There are even scriptures that have to do with heart(s).


Cut out construction paper hearts of all sizes (use the easy method here). Share and discuss scriptures relating to hearts with the help of the Topical Guide. We read a few different verses until we hit on the perfect scripture of the week for our family (see above). Hang the hearts around the house, and finish off with a treat!


I am really excited about the 2011 Primary theme “I Know the Scriptures are True”. I taught Sharing Time for the month of January in our ward, and I found a lot of resources and ideas that transferred well to a Family Home Evening lesson. One week we played this scripture matching game. We talked briefly about the scripture story and sang the accompanying song.

Another week we discussed how the scriptures will tell us all things that we should do. We used this set of scenarios and answering scriptures to find solutions to things that children would commonly have questions about.

A few different ambitious people have put together FHE lesson for the entire year that correspond to each weekly theme in Primary. Go here on Sugardoodle and then scroll down to Family Home Evening lessons for a few different packets to choose from.

Primary resources and lesson manuals are great places to look for inspiration and helps for Family Home Evening!

The season for hearts: Valentine’s Links

Once again, the season of hearts is upon us. The Ant Bug has really been looking forward to February, and she made sure that we had our hearts ready to go and up on the walls by January 31st (wow, one day early!).

I’ve been finding a lot of fun ideas to celebrate Valentine’s Day, and the best way for me to keep track of them all is to share them with you!

Decorating the House

Fun banner ideas from I love it all

Valentine Heart and Ribbon Garland from Our Best Bites

Free love printable from

Button Collage from I really should be sleeping

LOVE Canvas art from Crap I’ve Made

Live Laugh Love printable from I love it all

Handmade Valentines for kids to make

Monster Valentines from Make and Takes

Happy Face and Flowery Valentines from Teach Mama

Paint Chip Valentines -thanks to Not Just Cute for the link!

Things to do with the kids (or for them)

Lunch box knock knock jokes from Teach Mama

3 quick and easy heart activities from The Activity Mom

Valentine’s Day Scavenger Hunt from The Activity Mom

Thumb Print Hearts from Frugal Family Fun Blog

Felt heart clips from Pink and Green Mama

Love Birds from Moments of Mommyhood

Gifts for that special someone

Key to my heart from I love it all

For Him from I love it all

Our fun valentines activities from 2010 can be found here and here.

I’m sure there will be more to come, but I just wanted to share the good ideas I have already found in my reader. I’ll be back next week to share with you my versions inspired by some of these projects!