Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

February 12, 2013
Valentine’s activities can keep kids busy during crummy weather

What do you do with kids during an inversion? The very cold, very smoggy days we have experienced during the last few weeks are certainly not outdoor play days. Indoor activities are in order. Television, movies and video games are certainly popular options, but they are not the only options.

The Valentine’s Day holiday offers lots of opportunities for activities involving kids. Rolled dough cookies, like sugar cookies, are popular Valentine’s Day treats and can be great fun. Making the dough, chilling it, rolling it out, cutting shapes and frosting cookies can occupy as much time as you will let it.

Realistically, it can also make as much mess as you will let it. Save time and the mess by making the dough ahead of time so it is ready to roll when the kids get home. Easier yet, purchase rolls of ready-to-roll sugar cookie dough found in the refrigerator section of your grocery store or purchase packaged mixes.

Roll it out, cut the shapes, bake and do the decorating.

The decorating is where kids wax creative. Use frosting, candies, decorating tips and more. Use candy sprinkles on the dough before the cookies are baked or sprinkle them over the top of frosting right after it has been spread.

Cards are big business today. According to Hallmark and American Greetings card companies, and to no one’s surprise, Valentine’s Day is second only to Christmas for the volume of card purchases in the entire year.

Prices may cost only a few cents each when purchased in the bulk packages popular among school children. However, individual cards, luxuriously trimmed with velvet, lace, ribbons and bows, may be highly sentimental or funny.

Cards have been popular since the 14th century at least. With the advent of printing came the advent of printed cards.

Valentine’s Day was once a sentimental day given to gifts of gallantry. In a day when such things were an extravagance, gifts might include gloves, ribbons and silk stockings. Eventually this gave way to cards, which were originally handmade. Bits of ribbon, colored paper, lace, velvet and other materials were combined to express true love. They were often elaborate with padding and a scent added or perhaps artificial flowers, gilt paper, wedding rings, cupids and lace borders silvered and gilded.

They may have been emblazoned with phrases such as “Be Mine,” “I Love You” or “Remember Me.”

These cards were sent by both men and women. Usually they were missives of love, but even in the proper good ol’ days, it was not unknown to turn the tables with an insultive card.

Ready-made cards are available everywhere, but so are the materials to make homemade cards. Kids might spend an afternoon fashioning such cards. This may not be a fun task if an entire school class needs cards, but for someone special it might be.

Look for bits of ribbon, lace, heavy paper, colored papers, padding, foil and even pressed dried flowers. Dried flowers make attractive cards for all occasions. Use cardstock for the card and attach the flowers by laying them in place and covering them with clear contact paper. Obviously these need some planning ahead, but flowers — particularly flat ones like pansies — work very well. Press and allow them to dry and make the cards in advance to use throughout the year. The envelopes can be purchased at paper supply stores.

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