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kristin.pierskalla@hennepin.us

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Valentine's Day and Friendship parties

Valentine’s Day and Friendship parties are a fun tradition in schools in February. Let’s talk about how your child can have fun while helping the environment too!

Card Box

Skip the pre-made ones at the store and reuse a box you already have at home. Shoe boxes, tissue boxes or small shipping boxes work great, and you can cover them with things you already have like newspaper, brown packaging paper or aluminum foil. Decorations are easy using markers, crayons and scrap paper. Once your child is done with the box you can remove any items that can’t be recycled, flatten it, and put it in the recycling bin.

Cards

Giving a creative, hand-made card is a fun way to celebrate friendship with classmates.  Grab some construction paper and set out to create some fun that the kids can have a great time personalizing.

Treats and gifts

Many schools are asking parents to provide something other than candy. A disposable, cheap toy is not the way to go. Not only does it create clutter, but they most likely end up in the garbage and go into the landfill. Here are some fun ideas that are alternatives to disposable gifts:

  • Handmade friendship bracelets – these have been around for decades! All you need is some embroidery floss, yarn or cord and instructions. Just search on Pinterest – you’ll find all sorts of styles!
  • School supplies like a ruler, crayons or pencils – many of these items have disappeared or have been broken by this time of the year.
  • Handmade crayons – this is not only a fun gift, but a fun activity at home as well. Make sure you help your kids with this one! Martha Stewart even has a video to show you how.
  • Flower seeds – stores are already starting to carry seeds for those who like to start their own plants. Be creative! You could simply give a packet of seeds or your seed packet can also be your card. Or you could buy seed starter pots (mini pots), fill them with soil and the seed and simply attach instructions to get the seed started.
  • Handmade soap can be another fun project for kids and adults. There are plenty of recipes online, but here’s a simple one we thought you’d like: DIY Homemade Soap Your Kids WILL Use by Mama in the Now.
  • If your child’s school still allows them to give out candy or other food snacks, and you’d like to give out that treat, using the candy package as your card is another great way to go to reduce the clutter. Many already have a space on the packaging for you to write on.
Making Valentine’s Day and Friendship Day creative, fun and personable is a great way to celebrate the holiday – all of the while reducing waste as well.