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valentines 2012

I was asked by the folks over at Martha Stewart's family blog to submit an idea for their valentine contest. If you feel so inclined, I'd love if you popped over and voted

We're big fans of Valentine's Day at our house. This has not always been the case, as I spent most of my high school and college years dreading Valentine's Day and wanting to slap all those love-struck couples I saw making out on campus. But Valentine's Day with kids is a whole different story, and besides our annual Valentine's Day family dinner, the big debate is always what the kids will bring for their classmates this year.

My kids are also big fans of candy, and what's a valentine without a treat? So we were a little puzzled when my daughter Bee's teacher asked that we not include candy in our cards this year (due to an allergy in the class). A valentine without candy? WHAT?

We wanted to come up with an idea we could make at home, with materials we had on hand (if possible). I remembered these Fourth of July folding fans from Martha Stewart and we decided to make a Valentine-y version. (It's also been around 75 degrees here in Southern California lately, so fans make a lot of sense here!)

You can read the directions here, but these come together pretty quickly if you have a few helpers on hand. Bee was great at folding the paper up accordian style, and I was on glue and handle duty. You can make them any size you want, but we made most of ours using 12" x 5" pieces of paper, which will make a 5" fan.

I made little tags that say simply "I'm a fan!" and "Stay cool!" and we punched a hole in the top and bottom. Feed your fan handles through the holes and it will keep the handles together and hold your fan open. You can download a PDF of the tags here, it prints 12 to a page. Cardstock or a paper with some heft works best.

I'm hoping the kids in Bee's class with be "fans" as well. Happy Valentine's Day!

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