Valentine’s Day Makings and Musings

Making valentines #waldorf

Happy Valentine’s Day to one and all! I just wanted to spread some love around. Asher made valentines for four of his classmates last week. His teacher splits the class into groups; so far, he’s never had to make valentines for the whole class.

I would like to say he was conscientious and thoughtful about making each of the four valentines he had to make unique, but I would be lying. Glue, slap on a heart, write Happy Valentine's Day in cursive, from Asher, done.

I would like to say he was conscientious and thoughtful about making each of the four valentines unique, but I would be lying. Glue, slap on a heart, write Happy Valentine’s Day in cursive, from Asher, done. When I asked him if there was anything more he could do to make them special, he added “You’re cool!” on the backs.

Asher asked me the other night about the path of hearts, which is something I’ve been doing for years. I put a whole bunch of paper hearts on the floor leading from their bedrooms to our kitchen table. I’m touched that he remembered it.


We’re enjoying a three-day weekend now, which for my children will turn into a whole week off school. Unfortunately, Ian’s not feeling well today. But we had our special Valentine’s Day breakfast nonetheless. Heart-shaped pancakes with strawberries and honey vanilla Greek yogurt and eggs. They all got pretty chocolates.

Performance at Rudolf Steiner College as a the opening of the teachers' conference

After that, Lucas went to Rudolf Steiner College to perform “Ezekiel Saw the Wheel” with his eighth-grade class as a way of opening the teachers’ conference. They sang beautifully! Roughly:

“Ezekiel saw that wheel
Way up in the middle of the air
Now Ezekiel saw that wheel
Way in the middle of the air

Now the little wheel run by faith
And the big wheel run by the grace of God
In the wheel and a wheel hurling
Way in the middle of the air”

Flowers for my loves! Happy Valentine's Day!


We wandered through the biodynamic farm on the campus for a few minutes, while I snapped pictures. It’s just a gorgeous day.


I spent a sweet moment with my gorgeous son, who is truly a joy to be with most of the time and most especially when we’re alone.


And then there was a bunch of normal stuff: basketball practice, and Asher playing with the neighborhood kids, and laundry, and Ian went out to run errands. I hope he’s feeling better!

Ian, I love you. Every day. Always.

Here’s my little prayer to St. Valentine or Aphrodite or Kamadeva or Freya or Hathor or Inanna or Oshun or Min or …

Whoever you are, whomever you love, may you find some way to connect with someone on this day. May we all realize that we are stronger together than alone, braver with friends at our backs, kinder when we remember that we are loved. May we love with courage, constancy, patience, and trust. May our love inspire us, ignite our creativity and dreams, make space for play and peace, catalyze our will to do good and be generous, and burn away the dross and drudgery of our lives. May we see the good in others, not their flaws, and may we extend that same love and forgiveness to ourselves.

Happy Valentine’s Day! I’m going out to plant irises.


Happy Valentine’s Day—Almost

Path of hearts

My little son asked me last night, “Mama, are you going to do the path of hearts again?” And my heart grew three sizes in that moment. I’ve always tried to make the little holidays and festivals special for my family, and his asking about this little tradition shows me that he has had some memorable experiences of family celebrations in our home. I usually do all the magic-making at night or early in the morning before they wake. Tomorrow, we’ll have a special breakfast of pancakes and strawberries, I think. And I’m hoping Ian will make me a pretty steak dinner tomorrow night.

Valentines #8yearold #secondgrader #secondgrade #waldorf #sacramentowaldorfschool #waldorfhome

Asher’s class celebrated by exchanging valentines today. I’m so grateful to his teacher for splitting the class into groups. Asher joyfully made six valentines. If he had had to make 27 valentines, it would have been a different story. Lucas made brownies for his seventh-grade classmates.


How do you do Valentine’s Day? Here’s a few ideas for you:

In other news, the boys are currently with their grandmother celebrating the end of the week and grandma’s dog’s birthday. (We do a lot of celebrating, I guess.) The kids have next week off. Ian’s prepping for a big conference. Lucas will play a basketball game tomorrow, and then play in a tournament next week. It’s 70 degrees today and gorgeous, and it feels entirely like SPRING.


Happy Valentine’s Day, my friends. Wherever you are and whomever you love, may you revel in the joy that connection brings. And may your heart be open to receiving all the love you inspire.

Valentine’s Day Catch-Up

Asher's finished valentines. His idea, design, and words. I did the writing for him. #valentine #holiday #son #waldorf #firstgrade #sweet

I know Valentine’s Day was two weeks ago, but we’ve been out of town on vacation, and then reentering work and school life. I won’t belabor it, but I do want to leave a picture of how we celebrated this year.

Expert valentine maker says, "Don't take my picture. It's in PROGRESS!" #valentine #son #papercrafts #holiday #homemade #love. #loveinthesuburbs

Asher made valentines for classmates. His teacher divided the class into groups and the children gave valentines to the other kids in their groups. It was so much easier making six valentines instead of 27!

Four new napkins for our Valentine's Day family meals #valentine #sewing #home #holiday #homemade #loveinthesuburbs

I did a little sewing, which I rarely do but really enjoy. I made six new napkins for our home.

New napkins #valentine #holiday #home #homemade #waldorf #loveinthesuburbs

Happy Valentine's Day! May love be forever increasing in your lives!

We had a lovely breakfast and dinner together, with a pretty table setting and the pathway of paper hearts leading from the boys’ bedrooms to the kitchen, which is something I’ve done for many years. I was thinking of not doing that this year because we were leaving on vacation shortly after and I thought I’d avoid the extra cleanup work. But then Asher told me the night before, “Mama, don’t forget to put all the hearts on the floor.”

For my sons

They got a couple of chocolates and a stuffed toy each. And mama-made valentines, of course.

Lucas, in sixth grade, had a Valentine’s Day Roman feast; they were finishing up a block on Roman history and celebrated with a toga-clad feast.

Best Valentine’s Day Books for Young Children


Are you looking for a good Valentine’s Day story to share with your family? Good luck! I’ve found that by and large the pickings are pretty slim. I started writing this post of my favorite Valentine’s Day picture books more than a year ago, and it’s pretty much too late to be much use this year. But what the heck, right? I’ve done a lot of research to develop this list and I can assure you that many, many titles didn’t make my list. (Write me and I’ll give you my opinions about what to avoid.) As usual, I recommend steering clear of any holiday book from a movie or TV franchise.

Snowy Valentine, by David Peterson, 2011

I think this is my favorite of all the books in this list. Peterson is the author/illustrator of Mouse Guard comic book series, for those of you in the know. This is his first picture book. In it, Jasper bunny searches the forest for a Valentine’s Day gift for his wife Lilly. He looks to his neighbors for ideas, and considers knitting a gift, chocolate-covered flies, and wilted flowers. He narrowly escapes the fox’s soup pot! (This part could be unsettling for the youngest readers.) Over the course of his day, Jasper creates the best possible valentine for Lilly. The story and illustrations are compelling.

Henry in Love, by Peter McCarty, 2009

A simple, tender story about a first crush. Henry brings a blueberry muffin in his lunch. Henry likes Chloe very much; he really likes the way she does cartwheels. Chloe and Henry get to sit together at lunchtime, and he gives her his blueberry muffin. Good for the Kindergarten or first- or second-grade child.


Woof A Love Story, by Sarah Weeks, illustrated by Holly Berry, 2009

“A dog is a dog and a cat is a cat, and most of the time it’s as simple as that.” Dogs and cats are different, but it doesn’t stop the dog from falling in love with the cat. Dog tries and tries to say “I love you!” but unfortunately, they don’t speak the same language. Cat can’t understand him, until he finds the universal language of love that she can understand. The illustrations in this book are bold and vibrant.

Plant a Kiss, by Amy Krouse, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds, 2011

A perfect choice for a toddler or preschooler. Its adorable illustrations and rhyming text are cute, and it’s pages are embossed, so there is a tactile element to the reading experience. The meaning is simple: Love grows!

Mouse and Mole Secret Valentine, by Wong Herbert Yee, 2013

Secret Valentine is a 40-page “chapter book” for early readers. If you like Frog and Toad books, you’ll probably like Yee’s Mouse and Mole books too. Together Mouse and Mole make valentines for all of their forest friends, and the text gently teaches simple valentine-making skills such as cutting hearts and applying glue and glitter and then tapping off excess glitter. Then Mouse and Mole deliver their valentines together and have lunch at a restaurant. Each wants to give a secret valentine to the other, and they visit the sweet shop and the flower shop for gifts. Then they attend a Valentine’s Day dance. This book shows an innocent romance for little readers or listeners.

One Zillion Valentines, by Frank Modell, 1981

This is a sweet story about two friends, Marvin and Milton. They learn that “Valentines aren’t just for girls. Valentines are for everybody,” and “If you don’t send any, you don’t get any,” and finally that you can make your own. They make valentines for everyone in the neighborhood, and they sell some, too. With the money they earn they buy some chocolate and end up giving it to each other. This is the only Valentine’s Day book I found that includes same-sex valentines.

The Valentine Bears, by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Jan Brett, 1983


Mr. and Mrs. Bear hibernate in the winter, but Mrs. Bear sets her alarm clock for February 14 to wake up and celebrate Valentine’s Day, even though it’s not spring yet. Mr. Bear sleeps on. She makes lots of preparations such as getting honey, beetles, and bugs. They celebrate together, and then go back to sleep till spring. The black, white, and red pictures in this book are charming, but not as lavish as many of Brett’s other works.

Pleasant Fieldmouse’s Valentine Trick, by Jan Wahl, illustrated by Erik Blegvad, 1977


Find this one at your library, maybe. The animals of the forest want to know if spring is coming (but Groundhog doesn’t do his job). They are grumpy with each other and tired of winter. Terrible Owl and Tired Fox steal food. Pleasant Field Mouse figures out a way to make his neighbors happy again. The pictures are black and white ink drawings as you see above. This is a good read-aloud story for 4–8s.


The Day It Rained Hearts, by Felicia Bond, 2006, was previously published as Four Valentines in a Rainstorm (1983). Cornelia Augusta catches hearts that fall from the sky and turns them into valentines. Because each one is different, she’s able to make unique valentines for her friends. This book is an endearing choice for a young child.

Bee My Valentine, by Miriam Cohen, illustrated by Ronald Himler, 2009.

This book explores the social life of the first grade. The teacher directs her class to make a valentine for all the children in the class. But they don’t all follow her instruction; some kids send extra valentines to their best friends or even to themselves! George gets fewer valentines than anyone. This makes him feel sad and left out, and he hides in the coat room. The class then cheers George up by playing music for him. The art in the book is quite beautiful, but the valentines are all store-bought and the whole scenario makes me wonder where the kids’ parents are. I would never allow my child to fail to bring a valentine for everyone.

Love Splat, by Rob Scotton, 2008

Splat has a crush on Kitten, and he made her a special valentine. But Spike also likes Kitten and this discourages Splat. Eventually, Splat learns that Kitten likes him back. Very simple. Cute. Not at the top of my list, though.

Will You Be My Valentine, by Steven Kroll, illustrated by Lillian Hoban, 1993

This older story is OK. The story explores the feelings a young child might have when wanting to play with a child of the opposite gender, and not being sure if that person likes him. It covers his insecurity and jealousy when another boy gives his female friend a valentine. The mother in the story does a good job of facilitating their friendship. Some might think it’s a sweet story, as Thomas and Gretchen become friends and each other’s special valentines at the end, but I feel it’s too gender stereotypical and kind of mature for the age of the kids in the story, who appear to be Kindergarteners or first graders. Also, the way the teacher organizes Valentine’s Day for her class is crazy: She has each child choose one name out of a hat. Recipe for disaster.

Cranberry Valentine, Wende and Harry Devlin

I have lukewarm feelings about this one, I admit. But since I didn’t hate it, I figured I’d include it here. Mr. Whiskers has never had a valentine before, but this year he gets one from an anonymous giver—in fact, he gets several. At first this is very upsetting to him, but then he thinks, well,why not me? “I’m the best clam digger in the bog country. I have wonderful whiskers. I sing like a blinking bird.” Turns out, the local sewing circle has been sending him valentines. I don’t really see what about this book would appeal to children, apart for the recipe for cranberry upside down cake in the back of the book, which is cake from a mix plus cranberries. This book is part of a five-book series about the town of Cranberryport. Maybe this book is better taken in the context of the other titles in this series.

Easy Valentine’s Day Decorations

Valentine's Day decorations

Here’s a quick, easy decoration you can make with the kids for Valentine’s Day. I thank Family Chic for the inspiration. We used chenille stems instead of wire and I like the way the hearts have red outlines. Also, the yarn sticks pretty nicely to to the fuzzy coating; we didn’t have to wrap the yarn all the way around the wire each time. We used up some scrap yarn that Grandma gave us. It’s always lovely to use what you have on hand already, don’t you think?

Bend chenille stems (aka pipe cleaners) into heart shapes. Tie one end of pink, red, white, or variegated yarn to anyplace on the heart shape. Now wrap the yarn around the heart every which way, or any way that pleases you, taking care not to pull it too tight and distort the heart shape. You can cover the heart in as much or as little yarn webbing as you like. When you’re ready, tie it to the middle top of your heart and leave an end long enough to serve as a hanger.


I decided to hang our hearts on a stick I found on the ground outside.

These hearts look great hanging on the wall or in groups. And if you use other colors of chenille stems and yarn, they would make pretty decorations for other special occasions, too! Imagine them in rainbow colors for a birthday party, or as a wall hanging in a child’s bedroom!

Valentine Ideas

In this post I’m going to share with you a few links to some beautiful Valentine ideas and craft tutorials. I figure that late January is the time to start thinking about making Valentines if you have class sets to make. If you’ve got more than one child in school, and about 30 classmate for each child, well, that’s a heck of a lot of love that you have to create before Valentine’s Day!

I’ll start with a few of our own projects.

Valentine Stones

Here is an easy way to use up any fabric scraps you might have lying about your sewing basket: Valentine Stones. I made these for my family but they could be for classmates, too. Each stone has a fabric heart on one side, with a message of friendship on the other.

Spin Art Valentine's Day Cards for Lucas's Classmates

These Spin Art Valentines were created using a Spin Art painting toy. These are a little labor-intensive if your child is young. But the results are quite beautiful and each one is unique. I didn’t write out a full tutorial for these, but I think you get the idea from the photo. Spin the paint. When paintings are dry, cut out hearts or butterflies. Glue them to cards.

I’ll spare you the Crayon Heart Valentines. They’re all over the internetz. They are fun to make, though.

Watercolors on Coffee Filters

These Rainbow Valentines are painted coffee filters. They are easy even for the smallest children to make. Simply paint three or four colors of Stockmar watercolor paints onto painting paper or coffee filters. Allow the paintings to dry on a flat surface. When they are dry, cut paintings into smaller pieces, if necessary, and then fold each one in half and cut a heart shape. Add the child’s name to the back or a simple message, such as “You warm my heart.” Older children can embellish the fronts of their rainbow hearts with some glitter glue, or sew them onto colored cardstock with a needle and embroidery floss to make lovely Valentines.

Third Grade Valentine Tree

Make a Valentine Tree and decorate it with beeswax hearts! Use pink, red, and white modeling beeswax to make pretty heart ornaments. Warm the beeswax in your hands or place in a pot of warm water for a few minutes to soften it up. Give each child a chunk of softened beeswax and ask them to make a heart. It can be solid, or just an outline, one color or several. Thin “snakes” of beeswax can be braided together and then formed into a heart shape. As the wax cools, it will stiffen and keep the shape you make. Poke a hole in any solid hearts. Add a ribbon or yarn loop for a hanger and then hang all the pretty hearts on a bare tree branch in a vase.

My Boys' Valentine Pillow Sachets from Mommy

I made these little Valentine Pillow Sachets for my kids one year. They are wool felt and stuffed with wool batting, lavender flowers and some essential oil. My boys keep these little pillows in their beds. And although they do get lost among the bedclothes, when they are found again my kids always take a long sniff. Even after several years, they still smell great. An older child can practice handwork skills by making one of these for a best friend, perhaps.


Here is a great tutorial for shaved crayon hearts (suncatchers?) by my friend Marcy at A Simple Life. I’m very tempted to do these this year. I think these look great in the window.

Heart Baby

Eileen at Little Acorn Learning shares a sweet Little Heart Baby tutorial here. This little doll would be a perfect gift for a child or a teacher, and would make a charming addition to a classroom or home nature table.

Valentine Window Transparencies Tutorial

Hello! [This post has been edited to remove a broken Pinterest link. 2-13-15]

10-Pointed Window Star

Anyway, I’m kind of obsessed with window stars lately. I got some new supplies for Christmas (kite paper and a new book and paper kit for making window stars). They are challenging for me and so rewarding when you get it right. I made a ten-pointed star the other day and I had to enlist Ian’s help to get the angles right when assembling the points. Then we had to buy a protractor!

Green Window Star

This eight-pointed star I made is new.

Rose Window, Not My Creation

And I accidentally-on-purpose bought this rose window transparency from an 11-year-old kid on Etsy, a shop named Knitting Momma. I couldn’t help myself. It’s so pretty and I like the gnome head shapes within it. See them? (Pay no attention to my dirty windows.)

Heart Window Transparency Cropped

And that got me experimenting with my kite paper. I made this transparent window valentine using three pieces of square kite paper, two red and one white. I like this one a lot. The kite paper is only 6.25 by 6.25 inches, and I wondered if I could do something similar but bigger with tissue paper.

Red and Pink Heart Transparency

Now, I wouldn’t say my valentine window transparencies are perfect, but we learn in the doing, right? So here is what I did, and what I learned along the way, in case you would like to play along.


  • tissue paper or kite paper in valentine colors (red, pink, dark pink, white, purple)
  • scissors
  • iron on medium heat and ironing board
  • glue stick
  • tape


First, lay several pieces of tissue paper of different colors on top of each other. Iron them flat on your ironing board with the heat on medium. Any wrinkles should iron out nicely. Do not spray with water while ironing.

Cutting Hearts Tissue Paper Hearts
Then, with your papers still stacked, fold it once in half and then in half again. You should now have four stacks of tissue paper. Take one stack, fold it in half, and cut out a big heart shape. Iron out the center crease. Separate the hearts that you’ve just made. They are pretty much the same size, so they can be stacked up again in layers as you make your designs.

Cutting a Smaller Heart from a Bigger Heart  Assorted Sizes

Try cutting one heart into smaller hearts by cutting along the heart’s edge. You’ll end up with two usable pieces: the smaller heart and the heart-shaped edge with an open center. Do this a few times and also cut additional hearts out of the scraps from the big hearts.

Take one large heart layer and fold it into quarters or eighths, like you would if you were going to cut a paper snowflake. Along the main fold line, cut a small half heart. When you unfold, you’ll have four or eight cut out hearts. Be careful about where you’re cutting, as it’s easy to cut beyond the border of your heart since it’s not a symmetrical shape. This heart transparency shows the four small cutouts. (While it’s folded, you can cut additional shapes such as diamonds or triangles if you wish, like you would for a snowflake.)

Pink Heart Transparency

Cut Out Designs

Try folding one layer in half and cutting a simple design. Here is one with tulips.

Now play with the layers you have made. Put a whole heart on the bottom and start stacking other layers. Arrange them in a pleasing way, mixing the colors as you like. Hold them up to the window or a lamp to see how the layers affect each other when the light shines through them. The more layers you have, the darker the shapes will seem. You can also put layers on the back of your heart.

Pink and Red Heart Transparency

Keep in mind that you want the valentine window transparency to look nice both when the sun shines through it during the daylight, but also when it’s dark outside, when the interior light of your home will shine on the front of the heart.

When you have the papers arranged the way you like them. Use a small amount of glue from your glue stick to stick the layers together—and be very gentle because the tissue paper rips easily. Try to keep the outer edges lined up precisely. Gently add dabs of glue until all the layers seem sandwiched together. Now iron the valentine window transparency flat again. You can use a small dab of glue stick glue to stick the transparency to the window, or use tape.

I Made These!

You most likely have small hearts leftover from making the big ones. You can make small transparencies as well. The smaller the valentine transparency, the simpler your design will probably be. Several sizes look great all together, I think.

Valentine Window Transparencies

This Magical Window Stars book is terrific. Many of the designs are very complicated, which is a thrill for me. Maybe I’ll work up to them. The book has many star designs that require rectangular papers. In the meantime, you can find a wonderful free tutorial on folding a simple window star here at GardenMama’s blog.

This Origami Suncatchers kit is the one I got for Christmas. It contains the kite paper, a book of 20 star designs, and a glue stick. I find the instructions and photos in this kit to be easy to follow.

A Toy Garden sells both square and rectangular kite paper. This shop is where I buy lots of gifts for my children. A Toy Garden also sells the Magical Window Stars book and a book about rose windows called Rose Windows and How to Make Them.

And finally, if you want to purchase window stars, I recommend peeking in the Etsy shop of Harvest Moon by Hand. Ann is the best at making window stars. Her work is stunning.

Happy Valentine’s Day to you and your loves!


Valentine Stones Tutorial

Valentine Stones

I made these fun valentine stones for my guys last year. They’re better than sweets, in my opinion (my kids might disagree). They are very simple to make, but require a little time for drying, so give yourself a day or two.



* flat stones from your yard or the craft store (any color)

* tiny fabric scraps in valentine colors (you decide)

* mod podge glue and a paint brush

* sharpie pen


Wash your stones and let them dry completely. Cut out small hearts from tiny fabric scraps. I admit that if you’re a quilter, you have advantage in the scraps department. Cut hearts that will fit on your stones; you may be surprised at how small they need to be—of course, this depends on your stones. For myself, I had stones of varying sizes and I like the variation.

Dab some mod podge on your stone, then place your fabric heart on it. With your paintbrush, coat the entire top of the stone with more mod podge. Smooth out any wrinkles in the fabric heart. Set it aside to dry for several hours or overnight.

Repeat as many times as you like! Frankly, I think these valentine stones make a big impact when you have lots of them.

When the tops of your hearts are dry and shiny from the mod podge varnish, turn them over. Write a word or brief message on the other side of the stone with your sharpie pen. Remember the chalky valentine heart candies? What are those called? Conversation hearts?

Valentine Stones

If you or your child is giving these stone valentines as special gifts to friends or teachers, stock messages like “Be mine” work great. If you are making these for your family, you can get more personal. For example, I also used phrases like “I’ll always love you,” and “I’m so proud of you,” and “All we need is love.” Make a special valentine stone for each member of your family, with a message just for them. You know what they need to hear!

Do you have a meaningful family joke? A lyric to your family’s favorite song? A family motto or mission statement? Any of these would be perfect for your custom valentine stones.

Finally, paint the writing side of each stone with mod podge, too. This will give the stone a finished appearance when it dries.

Valentine's Day Breakfast Table

Now arrange the valentine stones artfully for Valentine’s Day, or wrap them as a Valentine’s gift. Your family will have fun holding the stones and turning them over to read all the messages. Mine did!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Valentine’s Day Blessings

Valentine's Day Breakfast Table

Happy Valentine’s Day from our family to yours!

Valentine's Day Breakfast Table

May you be filled with the love that surrounds you, take it into yourself, and let it inspire you.

Valentine Stones

May you love deeply and truly, with honesty, courage, and compassion.

Valentines for Third Grade

May you enjoy life, take big bites, and savor small pleasures and everyday delights.

Valentine's Day Nature Table

May you see and appreciate the beauty in the world and in people everywhere.

Valentine Tree

May you cultivate your creativity and capacity to love, for whomever you love, every day.

Blessed be!

  • About Sara

    Thanks for visiting! I’m Sara, editor and writer, wife to Ian, and mother of two precious boys. I am living each day to the fullest and with as much grace, creativity, and patience as I can muster. This is where I write about living, loving, and engaging fully in family life and the world around me. I let my hair down here. I learn new skills here. I strive to be a better human being here. And I tell the truth.

    Our children attend Waldorf school and we are enriching our home and family life with plenty of Waldorf-inspired festivals, crafts, and stories.

    © 2003–2018 Please do not use my photographs or text without my permission.

    “Love doesn’t just sit there like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new.” —Ursula K. LeGuinn

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