OK, your tween/teen is dating and Valentine’s Day is coming up. What do you do? What do they do? What is appropriate? Does anyone else feel bad for the poor boys these days? I mean just asking a girl to homecoming has turned into a major effort requiring loads of planning, creativity and money. So what do they do when Valentine’s Day rolls around? I am hoping we can help set expectations for our children at a much more reasonable level. Lead your child in the right direction with these sweet, inexpensive and (don’t tell them) wholesome gifts that they can put together themselves.
I am certainly not creative enough to have thought of all of these great ideas; but I did gather them up to make it easier for the smitten teen/tween!
1) The Vintage Photo Mason Jar – a black and white photo of the young couple placed inside a mason jar. Fill the jar with vegetable oil (this preserves the photo) to give the creation a vintage look. Your child could even print out a personalized note on photo paper to include on the other side of the jar.
2) Brown Paper Package Tied up with String……filled with a few of your favorite things. This is an easy but sweet idea, simply fill the bag with favorite candies, warm socks, homemade cookies and a picture of the two of them together.
3) Valentine Scavenger Hunt – a fun and active experience if you have a creative child. Or get some great ideas from:
4) Secret Message in a Bottle – This is a super cute idea that can be easily personalized for the young valentine.
5) “Take” Them to Lunch! – Our tweens and teens are always bored with lunch and love to get it delivered. Your child would have to send a text the night before saying something like “lunch is on me tomorrow, Happy Valentines day”. With a little help from Mom or Dad a bagged lunch with some of their Valentine’s favorites can be delivered to school. Don’t forget to include a note from your child and a cute valentine candy, decorated cupcake or cookie.
6) Conversation Heart Balloons – This is my absolute favorite; super cute, makes a big impact, easy to make and personal.
Young Friends – How do teen and tween friends celebrate this holiday? If they don’t have a special someone, then help them celebrate with their friends. I go a little crazy when I prepare for this kind of a party and tend to over-do the decorative supplies. You can go all out or keep it simple it’s up to you.
Valentine’s Day cake/cupcake decorating party!
Decorating supplies needed (most can be purchased at Michaels):
• Pre made fondant in great valentines colors
• Decorative, edible paper
• Disposable decorating bags
• Icing tip set – buy the cheapest you can find (around $2 – $3)
• Icing couplers – buy the cheapest you can find (around $2 – $3)
• Decorative candy hearts, sprinkles, edible sparkle
• Cupcake and or cake boxes and ribbons to tie the boxes
• Cupcakes and or small cakes, prepared and removed from pans – I would provide at least 3 per person
• Two batches of butter crème frosting
• Confectioner sugar
• Rolling pins – borrow a few extras
• Cookie cutters, heart shape, small circles, flower shaped – whatever inspires you.
• Food coloring
Prepare the cakes or cupcakes ahead of time so they can be fully cooled before the party
Prepare the butter crème frosting ahead of time and set out with the rest of the supplies
Demonstrate the instructions to the group and then let the kids get creative. Depending on the number of kids you are brave enough to have in your home they could work in teams or individually. You could even have them vote at the end of the night on their favorite decorator.
1) ‘Dirty ice’ the cupcakes/cakes. The butter crème frosting is used as glue to make the fondant stick. Roughly frost the cakes with the butter crème.
2) Roll out the fondant. The fondant will be slightly hard coming out of the package. You work with it much like play dough. Dust your counter space and your rolling pin with confectioner sugar. The sugar prevents the fondant from sticking. Roll out the fondant to be slightly larger then the cake. The fondant should be aprox 1/8” – ¼” thick. Using a spatula, remove the fondant from the counter and place over the dirty iced cake.
3) Using your hands smooth the fondant covering over the entire cake.
4) Cut excess fondant from cake with a knife, you can seal or seam fondant together using a little water
5) Use the cookie cutters or a knife to cut shapes and strips and borders from another color of fondant. Fix these fondant shapes to the cake using more of the butter crème icing as glue. Add other decorative elements to your creation until you have achieved maximum fabulousness!
6) The butter crème icing can be colored, placed in the decorating bags and topped with coupler and tip. Use the colored butter crème to add details on top of the fondant.
7) Each child can eat a creation and take some home to use as gifts for other friends or their own families! Place the cakes in the cake boxes and tie with a pretty ribbon.
More frosting may end up in their stomachs then on their cakes, but that is part of the fun. I guarantee that you will find white confectioner sugar hand prints in the oddest places for weeks and that your feet will stick to the floor when you are trying to hurry for carpool the next morning. But you will be rewarded by the funny smiles on their faces, their giggles and their creativity.
Teens and Tweens – let us know what you think!
Answering the following questions will help confused mothers help their own children for years to come. We would really love to hear from you!
1) Do you like the idea of making a Valentine’s Day gift? (Answer Yes or No and then tell us Why)
2) Did you like any of the ideas listed above? (Answer Yes and Which Ones –or- No and Why Not?)
3) What would you like to receive on Valentine’s Day from someone special?
4) What would you feel comfortable giving on Valentine’s Day to someone special?
5) Tell us about something special that you may have received on Valentine’s Day. What made it special to you?
Email your answers to Bobbie@GoodLifeFamilyMag.com