A Valentine’s Party (with a Printable Valentine’s Game/Card)

A week ago, Bart and I were looking over our schedule for the week and Bart said, “We should give Ella the chance to do a Valentine’s mailbox, like you used to do in elementary school.”

After a little discussion about how to best facilitate such an activity, we decided to invite all the friends from our apartment complex over on Sunday afternoon, and have each couple or family bring a decorated mailbox and a Valentine to hand out to every family.

Bart sent out the evite (listing Ella as the host, which I thought was darling), and we quickly got an enthusiastic response.

Ella was thrilled about painting her mailbox (Bart was less thrilled about all the glitter I let her use on it), and couldn’t stop talking all week about “my party wif friends.”

I was in charge of the Valentines we would hand out and when I saw these little tic-tac-toe cards on my Valentine’s Pinterest Board, inspiration struck.

I remembered how, at Christmas, Ella fell in love with Don’t Eat Pete (it was one of our advent activities), and I thought it’d be fun to do a Valentine’s version.

I made the cards and then had them printed as 4×6 photos (if you sign up for an account with Walmart’s photo shop, you can get 25 free prints, so this cost me exactly nothing). I then picked up a handful of the clear spice bags from the bulk section of my grocery store and filled them with a bunch of red hots (so cheap! so festive! so tongue-burning!) and stapled the bags to the back of the cards.

I was extremely happy with how they turned out, and Ella insisted we play many rounds of it during the week.

When yesterday afternoon finally arrived, Ella was beside herself with excitement, asking every two minutes, “When are my friends coming?” and finally went to stand by the clock in her bedroom so she could watch the clock turn to four. 
Because it was between lunch and dinner, I didn’t want to do a huge spread, but I certainly wanted to have some treats. 

I did some vegetables and crackers with a couple of dips, because I like to pretend to be healthy.

And hello to some of my favorite cookies, these granola cookies, which I loved for this event because they were definitely a treat, but they also had some substance, with granola, coconut, flaxseed, wheat flour, cranberries, almonds, and peanuts. They were met with rave reviews. 

And a couple of mini-loaves of cinnamon strawberry bread. I wisely stashed one loaf away for myself to eat later because all of the slices I put out got scarfed.

After an hour or so of visiting and eating, every family showed their Valentines and then we set out all the mailboxes on the kitchen counter and went around delivering one card or treat to each box.

We had some great little treats and cards:

 Homemade fudge from Landen and Adam

 Cupcake cards from Kasee and Jason

3-D stars from Kristin, Joel and Sienna

And we had one happy little girl (who may or may not have been quite hopped up on sugar by the end of the evening).

If you’re unfamiliar with Don’t Eat Pete, here’s how to play: Place a candy on each square (or heart, in this case) and send one person out of the room. The other players choose one number to be “Pete” and then invite the first player back into the room. That player begins eating the candies off the board, one by one, until he or she picks the candy that has been named Pete, at which point the other players all yell, “Don’t eat Pete!” Download the printable game card here.

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  • Reply Ash February 11, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    I love this in all its Valentines cuteness. The hostess is adorable, as usual:)

  • Reply 46bb3da0-7463-11e2-88cf-000bcdcb5194 February 11, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    Did you just accidentally reveal Ella's name? 🙂

    • Reply Janssen February 11, 2013 at 4:28 pm

      Her name isn't really a secret – I just don't want it to be searchable, so I don't really mind if it's in a photo.

    • Reply Rhea February 12, 2013 at 12:05 am

      I LOVE it!

  • Reply Creole Wisdom February 11, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    So fun! I bet she loved every minute of it. In my opinion, the boxes are the best part of Valentine's Day. We made them when I was in AOPi in college 🙂 Had the time of our lives and I would still now… maybe a group at church will do them! 🙂

  • Reply audrey February 11, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    When I clicked on the download link, it took me to a page where it said that the download was not available. Has anyone else had this problem?

    • Reply Janssen February 11, 2013 at 5:12 pm

      You're right! I had the settings on private – first timer, clearly! All fixed now.

  • Reply Rhi February 11, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    Oh my goodness. Too cute. I cannot wait to do this kind of stuff with Henry.

  • Reply Jenny February 11, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    Your sister lives in your apartment complex?
    Don't Eat Pete! is on our top ten favorites for party games.
    CUTE party.

  • Reply Amber February 11, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    What a cute party!! We also play a version of that game- called don't eat Santa 🙂

  • Reply Jessie February 11, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    I just introduced my kids to "Don't Eat Pete" yesterday and they have been loving it!! They can't get enough 🙂

  • Reply ct February 11, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    Don't eat Pete looks fun. My 2 year old will love it. I must admit I was confused why you posted some other child's mailbox on here but then remembered Ella is a pseudonym.

  • Reply Peaceful Reader February 11, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    Groovy Girl just complained to me the other day that as 5th graders they no longer have a Valentine's party at school. She was so sad as she listed off "no mailbox, no treats, no cards to read." I think the mailbox is the best part. Great party Ella!

  • Reply The Apron Gal February 11, 2013 at 10:48 pm

    Such a cute party! We loved it! And all your food, as usual 🙂

  • Reply Packrat February 12, 2013 at 2:48 am

    You come up with the best ideas. Sounds like a good time.

  • Reply Lindsay February 12, 2013 at 4:35 am

    This is so cute! I'd love to have a Valentine's Day party like this. You have great ideas for your family. 🙂

  • Reply Shelly February 12, 2013 at 5:01 am

    Fun idea. You make party throwing sound easy, and do-able.

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