Saturday, January 30, 2010

Children's Valentine's Day Party

Love is an act of endless forgiveness, a tender look which becomes a habit. ~Peter Ustinov

Last week I shared from the 1905 book Bright Ideas for Entertaining by Mrs. Herbert B. Linscott. I wanted to share this week from her ideas for a children's Valentine's Day party. Before I do, I wanted to mention that I have helped plan two classroom parties in past years and helped during many others. Hands down, the favorite activity is making homemade Valentines for parents and/or grandparents. Last year I brought in small paper doilies, plus red, pink and white construction paper. The teacher had crayons and markers we put in the middle of the table. I also had precut hearts I had picked up at the store. The kids LOVED making cards; boys and girls alike. I think sometimes we try to make things more complicated than they need to be, and forget that kids just love to express themselves.

Mrs. Linscott recommends these things:
Cut from pink paper as many hearts as there are to be boys, but no two of these hearts must be the same size; cut from gilt paper the same number of hearts, one for each girl, matching in size those cut from the pink paper.

When the guests arrive, give each boy a pink and each girl a gilt heart. When a boy finds a girl who holds a gilt heart matching in size his pink one, they are partners for the evening. In this search, all the formality will have worn off.

Notes: Gilt paper was a paper that had a very very thin layer of gold on the top of the paper itself. You can find gold metallic paper, but I think it would be much cheaper and easier to use pink and red construction paper for the hearts.

I have to admit I'm not sure what age this would work with. The tiny ones; 3 to maybe 6 or so wouldn't care too much, but after that age it would be "I have to partner up with a BOY?". I still think it's a cute idea though.

Next Mrs. Linscott describes this game:

Cupid's Dart will pass a jolly half hour. Make a large heart of several layers of pink tissue paper, and fill in loosely with bonbons; encase this in a slightly larger heart of open-meshed bobinet; hang on the wall on one side of the room by two loops sewed to the large, upper part of the heart. Provide a toy bow and arrow, and let each child in turn shoot at the heart. The arrows will remain sticking in the lace and paper, and the one whose arrow comes nearest the center receives the first prize-a heart shaped box of candy.

Also provide small heart shaped boxes filled with candies for each child to take home.

Notes: I did some looking, and bobinet is material much like a screen or some type of netting. So open-meshed would mean the holes are bigger, which would allow the arrows to "catch" when they hit the heart. I also noticed she mentioned lace and paper later. I'm thinking maybe it was more like loose doily material?

Lastly, she suggests refreshments and decorations:

Make sandwiches from heart-shaped pieces of bread, cut with a cake cutter; bake the cakes in heart-shaped tins, and have the ices frozen in the same design. As red and pink are the proper colors for decoration on this day, it will be a pretty idea to have the lemonade colored pink with fruit juice.

Pretty favors can be made from crepe tissue-paper. Flowers, bonbon boxes, handkerchief-cases, and many another trifle, will please young folks, more especially if they are the work of their little hostess's own hands.

This last paragraph is an example of why I love learning how they entertained in years past. How many of us have handkerchief-cases laying around or bonbon boxes? But then some things are timeless like tissue paper and tea sandwiches!


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