Saturday, February 12, 2011

Valentine’s Day Gift Baskets for Children

Parents don’t spend enough attention on their kids on Valentine’s Day. While of course, it’s important to lavish your romantic partner on the big day, we should still have enough energy leftover to throw a little love toward the children.

After all, they are told that the holiday is uber-important at school. They are served pink cupcakes and treated to a sparkly valentine from each and every kid in their class. I don’t want my little girl coming home from school and finding that her mommy doesn’t want to be her valentine too!

So, this year I set out to create a Valentine’s basket for each of my kiddos – one little boy and one little girl.

I started out hunting for baskets they could reuse, not something they would donate to the landfill within hours. I found gorgeous little baskets for only a few dollars each at Christmas Tree Shops, but you can also find this type of basket at any craft store.

I’m not terribly crafty, so you can probably do better than me with the wrapping. I just crunched up some pink and red tissue paper and lined the baskets.

Then I got them each a book. I’m always trying to promote reading. My son loves Elmo, so I got him Elmo’s Valentine by Stephanie St. Pierre. For my daughter, I got Valentine’s Day Disaster by Geronimo Stilton. I can’t wait to give it to her – I know she is going to be psyched.

Then I got them each a box of those kind-of-gross little candy hearts with the words on them, just because I know how fun it is for kids to read the little messages. I don’t care if the kids actually eat the candies, and they were only a quarter a box. (This gift might not be suitable for smaller children, as these little hard candies could pose a choking hazard.)

And of course, I had to get them each a cute little stuffed pink and red bear. I managed to find some at a local toy store that were locally made. They were a little bit pricey, but I hope that the bears will last for several Valentine’s Days to come.

Then, because I couldn’t bring myself to buy my son an outfit with hearts all over it, I bought them each a set of cozy Valentine’s Day pajamas. We live in Maine, so February is still a chilly experience, even with the cozy love vibes afforded by the big V.

And finally, I made my children some valentines. Like I said, I’m not terribly crafty, so I used some pink paper and my good old-fashioned computer. I made little cards that said “I love you more than the Universe is wide” and I included some coupons in each card. I made coupons for “1 cupcake baking, frosting, and eating afternoon with mom,” “one trip for summer ice cream with mom,” “1 messy room free pass,” and “1 trip to park.”

I just have to make sure that I don’t regret it when one of them presents me with an ice cream coupon in July, when I’ve a zillion other things to do. I’m excited to gift these baskets to my children. I’m excited to have such cute little valentines in my house.

This post was written by Robin Merrill, who blogs at uBaby, a website dedicated to helping every woman have a happy and healthy pregnancy.
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