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Art&Seek Jr: Valentine Picks for Your Little Sweetie
by Therese Powell 11 Feb 2014

After you’ve taken care of the class valentines, check out one of these fun events.

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Art&Seek Jr. is one mom‘s quest to find activities to end the seemingly endless chorus of the “I’m Bored Blues” while having fun herself. Impossible you say? Check back on Tuesdays for kid-friendly events that are fun for adults, too.

I’ll admit it. Although I am a lover of Valentine’s Day, I am a hater of the teensy-tinesy kid valentines that come with the holiday.  You know the ones I’m taking about–they’re the cards that you madly rush out to buy around  10 p.m. the night before the class Valentine’s Day party. The valentines are part of a run to a local drugstore which includes ingredients for 2 dozen pink and white valentine cupcakes that also fall into the “things forgotten” category, but that’s another tale.  In the spirit of the holiday, you’ll want to check out these Valentine-inspired events.

Anyway, back to my story. Beside the fact that buying kid-valentines slips my mind every year, there are  other reasons these pesky little love notes annoy the bejeebers out of me. The first problem is the number of valentine’s per package. Most packages I see contain between 15 and 18 valentines. Clearly the manufacturers haven’t been inside an elementary classroom in the last 5 decades, because we’ve never been in a class with less than 22 kids. Or maybe they do know, because right out of the gate you’ve got to buy two packages. Even if you do get lucky and find a set with enough cards, a great many of them are so gender specific you have to get boy Valentines and girl Valentines. Disney Princesses and Monster High just don’t cut it with most of the 3rd grade boys I know. You’d think with the surplus of Valentines left over from year to year, we’d be set, but every year it seems the extra Valentines go into hiding until Feb. 15. They usually come spilling out of a cabinet while I’m looking for some lost object. If’ I didn’t know better I’d say they were mocking me.

After you get the cards home, that’s when the real fun starts. First, you have to rely on a sleepy child to remember every kid in her class, and the name spellings of each kid because the Valentine list has been left at school (see “things forgotten” category above).  At about 11 p.m. after all the Valentines have been accounted for and you’ve worked your way through most of the “Kate with a ‘C’ or Kate with a ‘K?'” name drama, it’s time to start sealing the little buggers. A lot of the packages have done away with envelopes and instead supply you–and I say you, because your child abandoned this project ages ago–with tiny little heart stickers to close the notes. At first glance, these appear to be a great alternative to the old-fashioned envelopes you had to stuff, but after about three attempts at closing the notes you discover the heart stickers fail miserably and require not one heart, but about 4 per card to do the job adequately. This means that you run out of heart stickers about halfway through the pile and since you’re out of tape, the rest of the notes have to be closed with return address stickers. It’s at this point in the game, I usually surrender and adopt a “good enough” attitude. I’ve still got cupcakes to make, after all.

I swear  that next year we’ll start early enough to make homemade valentines. But despite the cards, like I said earlier, I do love the holiday. It’s all about the three things I adore the most;  chocolate, pink cupcakes and love! All of which should be celebrated with a holiday.

Pinkalicious doesn't need Valentine's Day as an excuse to eat pink cupcakes. (photo Casa Manana)

Pinkalicious doesn’t need Valentine’s Day as an excuse to eat pink cupcakes. (photo Casa Manana)

Celebrate the day with your favorite little sweetheart at one of these Valentine inspired events.

When you’re a kid, Valentine’s Day is less about love, romance, and kissing and more about the party. Take that to heart and celebrate the day with a party at either the Haltom City Library or at the Parr branch of the Plano Public Library. Both library will feature a puppet show and Valentine crafts. Maybe you can score a handmade card, or two for grandma.

The storybook character Pinkalicious seemed to embody the thing kids love most about Valentine’s Day–pink cupcakes! Just don’t eat too many or you’ll wind up like Pinkalicious, or with type 2 diabetes. You can see the girl who ate too many cupcakes come to life on stage at Pinkalicious the Musical. It’s opens Friday for a two week run at Casa Manana in Fort Worth.

Feel like clowning around? Stop by NorthPark Mall on Saturday and see My Funny Valentine, a show with professional clowns from Slappy’s Puppet Playhouse. In addition to the silliness, Slappy brings along his pupput friends, European style marionettes, who add to the fun. Catch Slappy and the gang in the NorthCourt near BookMarks.

Here’s hoping you have plenty of heart stickers this Valentine’s Day!

Therese Powell is an Art&Seek calendar coordinator and KERA-TV producer. She spends most of her free time seeking out adventures for her 8-year-old daughter, Rose. Tell us about your ideas for quirky kid adventures by leaving a comment. Or e-mail Therese at [email protected].

 

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