Don’t let a small budget deter you from hosting a Valentine’s Day party this year. With a little bargain shopping, you can easily decorate for a small party — from napkins and plates to wall decor — for under $20. You might be surprised how well-stocked your local Dollar Store or bargain retailer is when it comes to seasonal items. I bought the Valentine’s Day round serving plates that I used as chargers, the kid-sized square red plates, napkins, cupcake stand, placemats, stickers and red glittery hearts for the wall — all for only $1 each! If you don't have time to scout out stores for the best deal, you can always find pink or red plates, cups and napkins at your local grocery store. If you're the DIY type, you can make everything from placemats to wall decorations from a few sheets of pink and red scrapbook paper too.
A heart-shaped cookie cutter can go a long way when it comes to prepping your party menu! From finger sandwiches to brownies and cookies, cut everything into heart shapes before you plate it. For a personal touch, and so you can serve each child’s plate with any allergies or food restrictions in mind, mark each child’s place setting with a personalized place card. We used pink card stock and these adorable mini clothesline pins we found at the Dollar Store to mark off a plate for each child. Since we eat mostly organic in our home, we served organic brownies, organic cupcakes with mashed strawberries versus food coloring for pink frosting and PB & J sandwiches with organic preserves. The kids had a feast of sweet treats and the ingredient-conscious parents had peace of mind!
It’s not always easy getting little ones to stay at the party table, so make sure you have lots of fun things planned to keep them engaged. We created a playlist on our iPad with kid-appropriate songs that are about love and, in between all of the snacking on brownies and sipping on strawberry milk, the kids sang their little hearts out and grooved in their seats. When the party was winding down, we gave them Valentine's Day-themed boxes that they could decorate with the stickers we'd scattered on the table for decor. This way they could personalize their to-go boxes for the left-over goodies and exercise a little creativity.
If your Valentine’s Day party will be filled with sweet treats, remember to give your little ones an outlet for physical play so they can burn off all that sugar before they're expected to settle down for the night. As soon as the kids left the table, we encouraged them to go play outside where we had bikes, scooters and soccer balls ready for the sugar rush.
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