Do you remember Valentine’s Day from your childhood years? Back in the 1970’s when I was growing up, teachers did not make you hand out cards to everyone, which led to the feelings of many children being hurt. In the past, teachers and parents were not as aware as we are today of the effects of being left out on a child’s self-esteem. Today, parents are all to cognizant of what happens when their child is left out. In fact, if this practice were to take place today, parents would not only call the school, but the teacher, principal and anyone else who worked in the building would be called out on social media.
Fast forward to the late 1980’s when I began my elementary school teaching career, and things had changed for the better. The school rule was you bring in a Valentine for everyone or noone at all…there were no exceptions. This led to everyone having happy feelings about the day, and it was a rare child who did not bring in cards to share. It was a very positive move to be inclusive and consider the feelings of others. No relational aggression was permitted.
As far as class parties went, this was a rather small affair compared to the festivities we held to celebrate the December holidays, Spring holidays and and the end of the school year in June. Parents did not typically come into my classroom for Valentine’s Day parties, so I had to do it myself. The kids enjoyed the smaller scale party, because they were not doing any work, they got chocolate and other sweets to eat and of course, the valentines!
The children made their own mailboxes out of white paper bags that I bought for them. They used stickers, markers and glitter glue to make their own personal mailbox that I taped to their desk. This was a simple and easy craft that each child enjoyed doing. There were no rules except that they had to be creative.
When it was finally time for the party, the kids happily walked around the room and put sweet treats and cards into their classmates’ bags. Opening them up and watching them giggle at the silly puns and funny cards made me smile. Such a small thing brought such joy to everyone…and no child was made to feel alienated and left out. Everyone received a card or treat from whomever brought it in.
When my oldest daughter was old enough to exchange Valentine’s Day cards, it was fun to select just the right one. It was not always easy to select, as she could only buy one box. During her childhood, the popular characters were the Powerpuff Girls, Rugrats, SpongeBob Squarepants and the popular Disney movie character of that particular year.
For my twins, popular characters were Curious George, iCarly and anything from The Disney Channel, like Hannah Montana and The Wizards of Waverly Place.
And the tradition continues…handing out Valentine’s Day cards that feature popular characters is still something kids like to do-I know. While my children are no longer interested in handing out cards to a group of friends, I know many preschoolers that still do!
The Origins of the Valentine’s Day Card
It is believed that Americans began exchanging hand-made cards celebrating Valentine’s Day in the early 1700s. In the 1840’s, Esther A. Howland began selling the first mass-produced valentines in America. Known as the “Mother of the Valentine,” Howland made elaborate creations with real lace, ribbons and colorful pictures known as “scrap.”
While there are plenty of crafty kids who like to make their own Valentines, for those who do not, here are some of the most popular choices children have to hand out for their card exchange this year!
Disney Moana Valentine’s Day Cards
This film took the box office by storm over Thanksgiving weekend and it was a solid hit for Disney. With a strong female lead, a funny side-kick, two animals and a storyline that actually permitted her parents to be alive (not a typical Disney plotline), it has earned hundreds of millions of dollars both domestically and abroad. This boxed set of Moana Valentine’s Day cards contains 32 cards, four of each design. With a strong male character in Maui, boys will not mind receiving this in their Valentine’s Day mailbox.
Disney Descendants Valentine’s Day Cards
In the middle of the summer of 2015, the Disney Channel premiered one of it’s Original Movies and it became an overnight smash hit. Descendants starred a stable of the channel’s most popular stars, and the plotline, music and costumes resonated with it’s target audience. There was clamoring for a sequel, and this summer, the fans wishes will come true! Descendants 2 will premiere with not only the original cast, but a new group of villains will be added to the mix.
The box of valentines also has a bonus tattoo with each one.
Disney Princess Valentine’s Day Cards
For those of you who have a girly girl who cannot get enough of her Disney Princesses, then these are the cards you will want to buy for her. There are well over a dozen different sets from which to choose. Some feature one particular character while others have a variety of royalty to hand out to friends.
Star Wars Valentine’s Day Cards
Star Wars fans can find a plethora of different kinds of Valentine’s Day cards to hand out. The Force Awakens is just one of them.
Disney Junior Valentine’s Day Cards
Younger children also love to hand out cards for the holiday. Choosing one with a favorite character isn’t easy, so you can select a set that has several of them all in one box, like the one pictured above. Some of the choices even come with treats, like lollipops.
Choosing the perfect Disney Valentine’s Day card will be fun for your child!
Featured image created by the author on Picmonkey.