Valentine Crafting: a Tween Girl Bonding Experience
I decided on a whim to throw an after school Valentine crafting party for my daughter and a few of her friends and it turned into an all out bonding session. Laughs, jokes, secrets and a whole lot of Valentine crafting went down. If you’re looking for ways to get inside your nine and ten year-old’s heads, crafting might be just the thing!
After a quick trip to the grocery store for candy (of course), flowers (I couldn’t resist), Valentine-themed sugar cookies (why not?) and some paper heart doilies, I set up our dining room table with every pink and red crafting material I could find around my house.
It didn’t take me long to create quite the Valentinetastic setting: White butcher paper for a table cloth, some festive flowers, in the middle in a white baking dish, candy conversation hearts sprinkled all around, scissors and markers in red and pink mugs, all my red and pink washi tape in a bowl, some neon pink craft paint (neon is a must) set up with jars of water and mugs of paint brushes, pink and red origami paper and some miscellaneous junk mail catalogs to cut up and we were good to go!
Time to pick up the girls from school.
But first some insider tips!
You think I had time to stop by a local florist and have them make me a quick party centerpiece? Heck no! I just used my handy washi tape (that was already out on the table for crafting) and created a quick floral grid like so:
I cut my two bouquets of grocery store flowers down to just hovering above my baking dish and slipped each flower lightly into the grid. I filled it up with gerber daisies and hypericum (aka coffee bean. I know my grocery store rocks the floral department) until my arrangement was nice and full and covering up my washi tape. Then I filled my dish with water and set it in the middle of the table to distract from the seam of the two pieces of butcher paper meeting in the middle of my table. I placed lace doilies and heart candies all around and it was pretty enough for a party.
Another secret? At the last minute I decided to type out some Valentine sayings. Just lines of type saying things like Happy Valentines Day or I love you or BFF’s forever…things I thought the girls would like to cut out and maybe paste onto their Valentines but then I kind of got carried away (I had to fill the page up after all) and started adding silly things like schmoopie and when I think of you I think of… you remind me of chocolate and rainbows...pink fluffy unicorns….etc etc. You get the picture. It was silly.
What I didn’t realize was what a hit it would be! Give some nine, ten and eleven-year-olds some text prompts and hilarity will ensue.Yes, there were fart jokes a plenty and somebody made somebody else think of potatoes and pineapples and all kinds of nonsense BUT I got some good intel on what was really going on at school. Who they thought was cute, who they couldn’t stand, who was a kangaroo butt…just good old fashioned girl gossip. I was a fly on the wall and in mom heaven.
If you build it, they will come.
At the end of our party the girls had made quite a few really cute Valentines. None that they wanted to take to school and hand out but something to give their families and maybe tape into a diary or stick on the back of their wall to remember a fun time. They were cute and sweet and surprisingly insightful. No major works of art but it was more about the process than the end result. I chalked it up as a success.
Looking for other activities for a crafting party, check out our Valentine’s Day craft ideas in our archives.