The celebration of friendship and love will undoubtedly include a card exchange between students. As your children proudly hand you their class list, you realize before you've begun, that the initial eagerness to sign 20 or 30 Valentine's Day cards will dwindle after about the eighth card written.
We can put our creative juices to work and help our kids make homemade cards. Valentine's Day is about friendship and love. Taking the time to create something by hand lets the recipient know that they are being thought of in a special way.
But what about an alternative to paper cards? Imagine how excited your children will be when you suggest the idea of edible Valentine cards? Can you hear their squeals of delight as they run into the kitchen? They know they will have the coolest cards in school - Valentine's Day cards you can eat!
This activity is an enjoyable way to spend time with your child. Should you be blessed with more than one child needing valentines, you can all work simultaneously. And the trick to making this valentines activity stress-free is to be organized.
You will need the following:
A cookie recipe - try our sugar cookie recipe (below)
Tubes or containers of pre-made, colored icing
Small decorations, such as sprinkles and mini candies
Plastic wrap or cellophane
Optional -- small cards personalizing the gift
Makes 2 dozen - depending on cookie cutter size
1 cup margarine 1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons baking powder
2-1/2 cups flour
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. In a large bowl, cream margarine and sugar together, then beat in eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix together dry ingredients. Add to creamed mixture and mix well.
3. You can now roll out the dough with rolling pin. Using heart-shaped cookie cutters will add to the message these cookies are intended to express "I like you."
4. Bake the cookies on ungreased cookie sheets for 10 minutes or until golden in color. You must allow the cookies to cool before decorating them. If not, your icing will melt.
Your little bakers may appreciate the necessary time-out from the kitchen. If you suspect your children will tire easily, why not continue to decorate the following day?
When you are ready to put the final touches on the edible Valentine cards, place the decorating accessories on the table before beginning. Have a sheet of waxed paper at each child's workstation to make clean up easy.
Provide your child with possible examples for the edible Valentine's Day cards before giving the green light to go ahead. Outline the cookie with icing and small candies, print each classmate's name on a cookie or just spread the icing with a small knife and add sprinkles.
The edible Valentine's Day card possibilities are as endless as your child's imagination.
When you have enough valentines for your child's class and teacher(s), allow your little baker to sample a couple. There is nothing more rewarding than tasting something you made yourself.
The decorated cookies will need to air dry for at least one hour (depending on the icing used) before they can be wrapped. Wrap each cookie in plastic wrap or cellophane. You can have your kids add some ribbon to each of their valentines, if desired.
If your child still has enough energy, encourage him to write a gift tag. A simple something like "To Johnny From Shauna" will suffice. It's guaranteed the recipients of these edible Valentine's Day cards will feel special - and, best yet, your children will be proud of their hand-made unique gifts.
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