Young at Heart

Ideas you'll love for planning a Valentine-themed party for kids or anyone who's young at heart.


Make homemade cookies in the shape of hearts.

Cut five hearts from construction paper. Glue them together on your invitation to make a caterpillar. Draw the legs and facial features and write all necessary information on the hearts.


Decorate your table with a lollipop centerpiece using a 4-inch Styrofoam ball, cut in half. Glue the flat edge of the ball to a 9-inch red poster board circle. Insert one lollipop for each guest into the ball. Fanfold tissue paper and secure between the lollipops with straight pins.


  • Make red punch or pink lemonade.
  • Serve heart-shaped sandwiches or cookies.
  • Sprinkle red candy hearts over vanilla ice cream.
  • Create a heart-shaped cake or ice-cream cake from a square and round cake pan.

Party Favors

  • Necklaces made from pieces of red candy rolled in a piece of clear plastic wrap, tied with curling ribbon between each piece of candy, and a piece of ribbon connecting the two ends.
  • Waffle cones filled with candy and wrapped in red cellophane, tied with red yarn.
  • Fortune Valentines: Write special Valentine messages on paper hearts. Roll and insert inside Pepperidge Farm Pirouette cookies.


  • Place a couple of balloons on the front door where the party is to be held.
  • Balloons and streamers always look great at any party. Attach a thread or string to the ceiling or walls so that it hangs above the party table, then drape streamers over it.
  • Always hang balloons in big bunches for a maximum effect. You can give one to each guest at the end of the party.

Games are the most important part of a children's party. Be sure to clear plenty of indoor space so that everyone can join in the fun.

Who Has My Heart?

What You Need:

  • Small heart to fit in child's hand
Sweetheart Candy Wreaths make great party favors and game prizes.

How to Play the Game:

1. One child sits in middle of a circle and plays "It."

2. The rest of the children sit with their hands behind their backs.

3. "It" keeps his/her eyes closed while the leader gives one of the children a toy heart to hold behind his/her back.

4. "It" opens his/her eyes and the leader says, "Who has my heart?" "It" gets three chances to guess who has the heart.

5. If "It" guesses correctly, then the child holding the toy becomes "It."

6. If "It" does not guess correctly, then the game starts over.

Heart Toss

What You Need:

  • Large bowl
  • Medium bowl
  • Small bowl
  • 1 bag of heart-shaped candy

How to Play the Game:

1. Children line up single file behind a line.

2. Each child receives three candies.

3. Place 3 bowls in a row approximately 3 to 6 feet away from the line.

4. Children take turns throwing one heart candy into each bowl -- small, medium, and large.

5. The children who get a heart candy in all three bowls receive a small prize.

Hot Heart

What You Need:

  • Soft stuffed heart
  • Music
  • CD or tape player

How to Play the Game:

1. Children sit in a circle.

2. Give one child the stuffed heart and tell everyone it is "Hot."

3. Tell the children the only way they can avoid "burning" themselves is to pass the heart on to another child while the music is playing.

4. Once the music stops, the child holding the Hot Heart is "It" and leaves the circle until only one child is left.

Valentine Picture Words

What You Need:

  • Large bowl
  • Pencils
  • Small slips of paper
  • Drawing paper

How to Play the Game:

1. Each person writes down the name of an object related to Valentine's Day on a strip of paper, folds it up, and places it in the bowl.

2. Divide the players into two teams.

3. A member from one team picks out a piece of paper and looks at the word, then has one minute to draw the word on the drawing paper.

4. The other team members must try to guess the word before the time is up (3 minutes).

5. If they guess the word before the time is up, the team wins a point. The other team then gets a turn. Play to 5 or 10 points.

Impossible Hearts

What You Need:

  • Paper
  • Red crayons
  • Bandannas or handkerchiefs (optional)

How to Play the Game:

1. Give each child a piece of paper and a red crayon.

2. Put a blindfold over each player's eyes, or instruct everyone to close their eyes.

3. On the word GO, all the competitors must try to draw (with eyes still shut) an outline of a heart, and color it in.

4. Give a prize for the best effort.

Valentine Candy Count

What You Need:

  • Clear glass jar
  • Multicolored candy hearts
  • Paper
  • Pens or pencils

How to Play the Game:

1. Fill the jar with candy hearts; count them as you put them in.

2. Give each guest paper and pen or pencil, and have each person write down their name and a guess of how many hearts are in the jar.

3. The person with the closest guess wins the jar of candy.

Mended Hearts

What You Need:

  • Red construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Large bowl

How to Play the Game:

1. Cut one heart for every two guests from construction paper. Cut each heart in half in a unique way (cut one with a zig-zag, one straight, and so on) and place all the "broken hearts" in bowl.

2. As each guest arrives, have each guest pick half a heart from the bowl.

3. After all the guests arrive, have your guests find the person who has the other matching half.

4. The pair that find their partner first, wins.

Hidden Kisses

What You Need:

  • Small, individually wrapped chocolate candies
  • A small prize, such as a stuffed animal or page of stickers

How to Play the Game:

1. Before the party begins, hide candies around the room.

2. Challenge your guests to find as many as they can.

3. Give a prize to the person who finds the most.

Seven "S's" To Success

  • Start planning early.
  • Share party plans with your child.
  • Simpler parties work best.
  • Schedules make the party a success.
  • Set up a party area that is smart and safe.
  • Sense of humor is a must for any host.

Plan Early

Planning is the key to every successful party, and we have a six-week countdown to fun. Share all aspects of the planning and decision making with the ones involved -- especially children. Sharing the party-planning process with your child will make him/her feel special and keep your party on an upbeat note.

2 to 3 Weeks Before:

  • Make a guest list.
  • Make a schedule of activities.
  • Decide on decorations and favors to make and which ones to buy.
  • List all supplies needed.
  • Plan party menu.
  • Make invitations.
  • Mail invitations or deliver invitations.
  • Buy party supplies.
  • Start making party favors and decorations.
  • Order cake if you don't plan to make your own.
  • Arrange for extra help.

One Week Before:

  • Finish favors and decorations.
  • Confirm any orders placed for cake and/or party supplies.
  • Make any foods that can be made ahead of time.
  • Write out final schedule of activities for the party.

2 to 3 Days Before:

  • Buy remaining food for the party.
  • Buy film and videotape.
  • Check batteries for cameras, flash units, and camcorders.
  • Check on guest count.

1 Day Before:

  • Childproof party area.
  • Decorate the party area.
  • Prepare all do-ahead food.
  • Make a schedule of activities.

The Day of the Party:

  • Finish food preparation.
  • Finish decorating the party area.
  • Decorate the outside of your house with balloons or a sign.
  • Keep your activity schedule handy.


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