We had a few of my daughter's preschool friends over for lunch, cookie decorating, and cocoa the week before Valentine's Day. I'm sure the kids barely notice the food presentation, but it's sure fun for me. Besides, if you know me at all, you know that I can't resist any opportunity to use my Old Town Imports serveware. It's kind of a problem. Amidst the swirl of this little play date, I realized that it's probably time to stop having this little soirees for kids and maybe concentrate on having events with people my own age who might actually care :) But at the end of the day, I'm just happy to have a creative outlet and a daughter who loves parties as much as I do.
We kept it simple by picking up bagels from our favorite NYC bagel shop with Valentine's Day-colored cream cheese (strawberry, plain, and blueberry), and served cherries, strawberries, and peanut butter pretzels, per Ella's request. We had strawberry and plain milk for the kids, and then after lunch we decorated cookies.
Yes, I realize that "simple" is relative. But if you have the right equipment you can make a bigger impact than the effort it takes. For example, it's just as easy to wash cherries and dump them into a little pewter bowl as it is for me to wash them and dump them into a cereal bowl... that, and if you've noticed, you'll see running trends in the events that I host. For example, check HERE and see last year's V-day play date HERE. Notice any similarities? I'm so not original. I just try to recycle ideas and make them better the next time (hopefully with better photography and styling too!)
We used our awesome Kuhn-Rikon cake decorating set (I got mine for $12 at TJ Maxx), and it's perfect for kids because they don't have the option to stick their little fists into a bowl of frosting. I started out letting them use the "pretty bowls" of sprinkles with a little spoon, but after a mountain of sprinkles on one child's plate and a near disaster I put them away and pulled out the more kid-friendly $2.50 Target special- 5 little sprinkle shakers with Valentine's Day colors and hearts (see below).
The kids decorated glassine bags with stickers and crayons, and then they each got to choose a selection of chocolate and sprinkle-covered pretzels to take home with them. They liked that.
Hope you all had a happy Valentine's Day!