Planning and Styling a Valentine's Day Party for Kids

Valentine’s Day is nearly here! This is the cutest, sweetest, and loveliest holiday we get to celebrate. Love is in the air, whether you’ve got your own sweetheart or not, and the best part? There’s always an abundance of chocolate. For other moms like me, we know that there are two sides to this holiday – one side with our husbands or SOs, and the other with the kids. The kids love Valentine’s Day, but for entirely different reasons than the adults. I remember growing up in elementary school and having Valentine’s Day parties in the classroom. There was always a lot of pink, red, and white decorations around. There were cupcakes with heart-shaped sprinkles on top, and the whole class would take the time to draw, cut, paste, and write valentines to our parents, teachers, or even crushes. Now as a mom, I find that these types of holidays are great opportunities for kids to enjoy a holiday that may or may not mean a whole lot to them. It’s hard to sell a bunch of kids on the idea of true love and Cupid when they’re still trying to get their cootie shots! But by making the day fun and playing up the things they care about, you can help them create fond memories and start building their Valentine’s traditions from an early age. So, let’s say you’re in charge of  Planning Valentine’s Day party, or you’re hosting one for your kid and their friends at your home. What can you do to make the day extra special for the kids?

COLOR

Of course, we’re all familiar with the typical Valentine’s Day colors – red, pinks, whites, and sometimes purples. One of my favorite things about theme parties is how well the party’s colors really help to tie the theme into every aspect of it. From the décor to the food to the games, the colors should be prevalent and obvious across the board. Careful here, though. You don’t want to overwhelm your guests with too much of one color. Something that I find helps me keep things balanced is starting with a white base and adding pops of color here and there. For example, if I’m decorating a cake, I’ll usually have a white base frosting with pink and red piping and sprinkles. Or, if we’re playing Bingo, maybe the cards are white, but the playing pieces are colored candies. You can definitely be a little bolder if you’d like, but remember the rule of thumb – it’s easier to add than to subtract.

LAYOUT

When you’re planning a party for kids, the layout counts more than ever. The reason for this is they typically aren’t able to entertain themselves the way adults are. They won’t just walk in, grab a drink, and strike up a conversation with their friend on the couch. They need a bit more structure. For this, try having a distinct pathway set for the kids when they come in. Right when they walk in, have a table of party favors – things they’ll need for the party. Put everything in an easy-to-grab-and-keep-track-of bag with their names on it, so there’s no confusion later. What’s in the bag? I like to put some fun candies to occupy them while the rest of their friends filter in. Paper fortune tellers are usually a hit, and they get the kids interacting with one another. This is also a good opportunity to give them all of the supplies and tools they’ll need for any projects or games. After they’ve got their bags, direct them to grab a drink and then to go sit at the table until everyone else shows up. On the table, I like to have things like popcorn or small sandwiches – foods that are easy to eat, that won’t create too much of a mess. 

Planning Valentine's Day Party DÉCOR

There are a ton of different ways you can inject some Valentine’s love into the party’s décor. Like I said, it’s the cutest holiday! If you hit up the party and craft stores around this time, you’ll already notice a ton of Valentine’s-type decorations. Just remember – every aspect of the party is an opportunity to tie back to the theme. One thing I’ve been really into lately is fun, striped straws. They’re so simple, but they’re definitely not everyday items. If you have a table set up with the food and drinks, have a great wall hanging over it! This will help the kids identify where they can find the snacks, and it’ll also glam up your otherwise simple living room or classroom. I like these paper flower decorations. Also, a little glam never hurt. Don't be afraid to throw some bling where you need it! I'll never say "no" to glitter.

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