Valentine's Sweeties {a year of creative play dates} | Tuesdays with Jacob

Valentine's Sweeties {a year of creative play dates}

January 31, 2016

I recently saw a facebook graphic that suggested we get rid of Valentine's Day and replace it with a second Thanksgiving. While I would be all for that, (#teamturkey) the fact is, Valentine's Day isn't going anywhere. No way is Hallmark going to let us give up it's cash cow. And truth be told, Valentine's Day can be a lot of fun with your little ones. I recently put together a sweet little playdate that will be perfect for all your little sweeties. 

If you read my last playdate post, you know I like to center my playdates around three things: a craft, a meal, and an activity. For our Valentine's get together I thought it would be fun to make heart shaped pizzas for our meal, and the obvious choice was to make valentine's cards for our craft. I got stuck on the activity for a bit, then decided to turn dessert into the activity! Our little party guests were 4, 19 months, and 15 months. I can say without a doubt that they all had a blast. 

We started a little before lunch and first up was assembling the pizzas since they would take some time to bake. We wanted to have them ready around the same time the kids normally eat. (to avoid meltdowns of course) I precut the heart shapes out of Pillsbury Pizza dough and we assembled them on the pan. We let the kids take turns helping spread the sauce, (better for older kids) and adding the toppings. I'd say an equal amount of pepperonis made it into their mouths as onto the pizzas! 

The Recipe for these is simple!

Valentine Mini Pizzas
1 container of Pillsbury pizza dough
1 jar of your favorite pizza sauce
Approx. 1 cup of mozzarella cheese
mini pepperonis
heart cookie cutter

1. Cut heart shapes out of the pizza dough using your cookie cutter.
2. Spread a thin layer of pizza sauce over the dough
3. Sprinkle cheese over the pizza sauce
4. Top with mini pepperonis (or other toppings!)
5. Bake on a pizza pan at 450 degrees for 20 minutes



Once the pizzas were in the oven (450 for 20 minutes) a little someone realized they weren't going to get to eat right away. 


Not to worry, I had a little trick up my sleeve! I took all the traditional ingredients of trail mix, added some valentine's flair with pink iced animal crackers and valentine m & ms, and dumped them into a tray. The kids happily munched while they waited for their pizzas. 




Once the pizzas were ready we served them up on the patio along side heart shaped fruit kabobs and juice boxes. The patio was absolutely perfect during our Florida winter, not too hot or cold, but I recognize that not everyone will have this option!




The pizza was a huge hit and taking it out to the patio made for easy clean up. Every last bite of pizza got eaten and needless to say, we had a bunch of happy kids once their bellies were full! 




Full, happy bellies meant it was craft time! The kids got right to work making Valentine's for their daddies and grandparents. Ahead of time, I bent and taped empty toilet paper rolls into heart shapes and filled some cupcake liners with red paint. I made sure our paint was washable and wouldn't stain, but if you aren't sure you might want to use smocks. 



The kids stamped the toilet paper rolls into the paint and then onto a sheet of pink construction paper folded in half. Toddlers need help and supervision, but loved giving it a try after they were shown how. Pre-schoolers can be more independent. Crafting in between lunch and dessert was just the right amount of time for little bellies to digest. 




After a thorough clean up, (keep lots of baby wipes on hand!) we moved on to dessert. The kids played for a little bit while I melted some white chocolate melts over a double broiler on the stove. While it was melting I filled a muffin tin and some cupcake liners with various sprinkles. Once the chocolate was melted I dipped a bunch of strawberry wafers into the chocolate and then laid them out on plates. Quickly, before the chocolate set, we let the kids decorate them with sprinkles.

Valentine Wafer Cookies
Strawberry wafers
white melting chocolate
valentine sprinkles (or other toppings such as nuts, coconut, etc.)

1. Melt the chocolate in a double broiler on the stove over low heat, stirring until smooth
2. Dip each wafer into the chocolate and then lay on a sheet of parchment paper
3. Before the chocolate sets, sprinkle on your toppings
4. Allow chocolate to harden and then enjoy!





There was definitely some snacking going on, which was absolutely hilarious since the chocolate hadn't set yet. Chocolate goatee anyone?





The kids had an absolute blast, and my little buddy slept the whole way home. The best part is, it didn't break the bank. Our party supplies came exclusively from  Dollar Tree, Target Dollar Spot and Walmart. I'm already dreaming up all things green and gold, so I'll be back soon with some shamrock shenanigans! 


1 comment on "Valentine's Sweeties {a year of creative play dates}"