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10 Clever valentine ideas for busy-as-hell moms

Maria Mora is a freelance writer and single mom fueled by coffee, questionable time management skills, toaster oven waffles and the color orange. She lives in Florida with her two young sons. If you see her on Twitter, tell her to stop p...

Quick and easy ways to celebrate

Short on time this February? Try valentines that won't take up too much of your day. We've got fun and fast ideas for ways to celebrate with your kid on Valentine's Day.

Valentine's Day has gotten a little out of control. We get it. Embrace love without spending all day wrapped up in making valentines. We've collected 10 clever ways to celebrate Valentine's Day with your kids — even when you're seriously busy.

1

Play-Doh candy pops

Play dough candy pops | Sheknows.com

Photo credit: Parent Teach Play

When your kids are too little for candy — or you're not a fan of candy — try a simple craft that creates make-believe candy pops. All you need is a silicone heart mold or heart cookie cutters and some Play-Doh. Check out the cute ones by Parent Teach Play.

2

Easy photo Valentines

Easy photo valentine | Sheknows.com

Photo credit: Craft-o-Maniac

Looking for a way to wow your kids' friends without putting in too much effort? Try homemade photo cards that use candy as a sweet bonus. "My kids loved them because they were sort of silly, and also a bit personalized," says Jenny. "They both were thrilled to hand them out to their classmates at school." Find out how she made her cards at Craft-o-Maniac.

3

Order a personalized book

Personalized book | Sheknows.com

Give your child a Valentine's Day treat she'll remember forever. Instead of candy or toys, have a personalized children's book created. (I See Me, $30)

Find handmade valentines kids can make >>

4

Color a simple snack

Color a snack | Sheknows.com

Make Valentine's Day morning pancakes or mix pretty pink and red into store-bought white icing for iced cookies. You won't need much more than food coloring. Your kids will appreciate the heartfelt treat and it won't take too much time out of your day. (Amazon, $13)

5

Dress the part

Dress the part | Sheknows.com

Surprise your little valentine with a heart-themed shirt she can wear all year round. Look for neutral colors and trendy prints and illustrations that look good whether it's February or November. (Gap, $14)

6

Make a mix tape

Blank CDs | Sheknows.com

When you were a teen, nothing was as special as a homemade mix tape. Teach your children about the wonders of mix tapes by creating a kid-friendly CD full of love songs. Blank disks are super cheap these days. Make it special with a handwritten note that explains why each song is important to you. (Best Buy, $10)

7

Download and print easy valentines

Minecraft valentine | Sheknows.com

Photo credit: Over the Big Moon

Minecraft is where it's at for approximately all kids between the ages of 5 and 13. Actually, quite a few adults are into the game as well. Download these adorable Minecraft valentines from Over the Big Moon. You can assemble them while you catch up on TV.

8

Distribute Rainbow Loom refills

Rainbow loom refills | Sheknows.com

Purchase a bulk lot of Rainbow Loom bands and fill small treat bags with them for your kids to pass out at school. These days, tiny rubber bands are even more popular than candy. (Ali Express, $10)

Check out these Rainbow Loom tutorial videos >>

9

Order custom stickers

Order custom stickers | Sheknows.com

Kind of over the whole thing where your child agonizes over signing 24 individual valentines? Make it easier on everyone by ordering budget-friendly personalized stickers he can hand out at school on the big day. (Etsy, $10)

10

Decorate with a banner

Valentine bunting | Sheknows.com

Don't go overboard decorating for Valentine's Day. Show the kids some festive love with a simple fabric banner that you can use year after year. (Etsy, $17)

More Valentine's Day ideas

4 Outer space crafts for kids
Cool cornstarch crafts for kids
Make a Valentine's Day mailbox

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