Miah had been so excited about our “gluten free Valentime’s party” all week. Her preschool V-day party was scheduled for Thursday, and as much as she and I both wanted her to go trade cards with her little friends, one of the planned activities was to decorate sugar cookies. Normally this would leave kids giddy with excitement, but both my four year old and I were apprehensive.
I don’t know how some of you other parents of kids with severe food allergies or Celiac disease handle these types of situations, but after talking to Miah we both agreed on a gluten free party at our house with all her friends and cousins.
You see, it’s been a little bit of a struggle with her in school. She’s been having lots of gluten reactions lately from cross contamination at school and friends houses. Maybe it will get better when she’s older. Maybe it would be better if food wasn’t such a big part of every celebration or used as a reward in school. Maybe.
Her teacher’s are AMAZING! They ask if something they’re using for a lesson is gluten free, wipe down desks, and wash hands. They really try so hard, but how can you contain a cupcake mess a little girl brought to share for her birthday…with preschoolers? How do you have Fruit Loop counters all over the place (even if Miah is using GF smarties) and not get some cross contamination. Kids are messy. Kids stick their fingers in mouths…and noses. Yes, I’ve tried sending her with her own GF cupcake, frosting, and sprinkles for the Halloween party to decorate with the rest of the class. I even volunteered to bring GF treats and delegated naturally gluten free munchies to other mom’s to bring for the Christmas party. That worked the best, but it was a lot of work and let’s face it I just can’t afford to feed the entire preschool gluten free every time there’s a holiday!
So we got excited about a Valentine’s party at home!
This party was so simple! We invited a handful of her little friends and I used things I already had around the house so it cost me…$0! And the kids had so much fun. February isn’t usually very warm, but it felt like May! So we took the party outside. (Flowers and balloons provided by grandma!)
Gluten Free Party Munchies:
I made the Thumbprint cookies earlier in the week and put them in the freezer for safe keeping and to keep little hands from grabbing them before party time. Just thaw at room temperature a couple hours before you want them.
I was fresh out of zucchini but I had a couple apples that I shredded to take the place of the zucchini. Worked just fine! I didn’t even bother buying any Valentine muffin liners and just used left over candy cane designed ones from Christmas. Cause seriously, only Martha Stewart would notice!
We started off by snacking on the muffins and cookies while the girls decorated these super simple and cute foam paper heart wands (pictured above). I had found the foam paper that came with cutout stickers at Wal-mart a couple years ago for Allie’s birthday. There was plenty left over so I finished them off and stuck a skewer through it to make a wand. You may want to clip the end of the skewer so no one impels themselves or use large popsicle sticks.
- colored foam paper
- foam stickers
- skewers or large Popsicle sticks
- tape or glue (opt.)
XOXO Tic Tac Toe:
This game was supposed to be “cupid bulls-eye” where they take turns shooting a toy bow and arrow at a heart shaped target. Unfortunately, by the time we got to party time the bow and arrow were no where to be found. So I quickly improvised (as you can tell by my fabulously crooked x’s and o’s). I used some extra foam paper and cut out some x’s and o’s for a large scale version of tic tac toe. Cause you know…hugs and kisses…xoxo…I had to explain it to the 4 and 5 year old’s. But they had fun with it.
Hug, Hug, KISS!
Okay, this was a simple one that the girls absolutely LOVED! It’s duck, duck, goose with a Valentine’s twist. Hug, hug, KISS! The one that was it got to wear the cupid wings. After a couple rounds they ditched the wings…of course they also ditched most of the rules and ended up chasing each other all over the yard too.
“Love You Beary Much” Beanbag Toss: (or sock toss…whatever)
This adorable little bear is my oldest daughter Allie’s Valentine’s box for her class party. Since Allie is exceptionally punctual and wonderful about getting projects done ahead of time we had it finished the day before. (Of course her brother isn’t like that so I still had the late-night-valentine-box-scramble fun with him). Anyway, since her party wasn’t until tomorrow this bear pulled double duty and became a beanbag toss game!
I had planned on making some easy heart shaped felt beanbags, but apparently I’m not as wonderfully punctual and didn’t get them done. So instead I grabbed 3 pairs of rolled up socks! The girls got to be pretty good aims and most of them could get 2/3 by the time we wrapped things up.
We ended the party by trading some dollar store Valentine’s cards and thanked everyone for coming. Success!
Happy Valentine’s Day!