I just came from a family dinner at my sister's house, where she and her daughters had set a kids' table for the cousins that was decorated for Valentine's Day. Sorry--I forgot my camera!
Trust me, it was cute. Placed on each plate was a box of Sweethearts conversation heart candies.
The boxes made a darling decoration, and it got me wondering what all you can do with candy hearts at a Valentine's Day party. Here are some ideas I found around the Web.
- Turn a box of conversation hearts into an edible iPod, an idea from FamilyFun magazine.
- Reinvent them as candy heart cupcakes, as suggested on the blog Hello Naomi. (Check out her other beautiful cake creations while you're there, like this sweet engagement cake, which would totally work for a kids' Valentine's Day party).
- Put conversation hearts in Rice Krispie Treats, as About.com's Guide to Candy suggests.
- Make candy heart soap (an idea from Martha Stewart) and give it away as party favors.
- Also from Martha, fill a vase with conversation hearts.
- Have your kids give conversation-heart Valentines using these free printables from Bunny Cakes.
- Make and then hang a candy heart wreath as a party decoration, as seen on Tidbits from the Tremaynes.
- Frame them! As seen on My Creative Departure. Who knew candy hearts could be so pretty?
And here are some ideas from me:
- Have kids make stories that incorporate the phrases on the hearts, gluing the hearts onto paper and writing down words in between each one.
- Fill a clear jar with candy hearts and have the guests guess how many are inside. The person who comes closest gets to keep the jar at the end of the party.
- Play Valentine's Day bingo using conversation hearts as markers. Let the kids eat or save their hearts after each round of play. Likewise, use candy hearts as markers when playing games of Tic Tac Toe.
- Lay a box of candy hearts flat and add two sets of wheels to the bottom, turning it into a little race car. Add a note that says, "My heart races when I see you" and give as a Valentine or party favor.
- Cut out oversized hearts from pastel construction paper, write typical conversation heart messages on each one and hang them from the ceiling with string. Or, string those hearts side by side to make garland, similar to this easy-to-make Valentines heart garland.
- Instead of serving dessert on a plain plate, dab dots of royal icing around the edge of a plate ahead of time and press one heart onto each dot, surrounding the space where a slice of cake or other treat will go. Allow time for the royal icing to harden so the hearts hold in place.
- For a party-time activity, have the kids make gingerbread houses and decorate them with Valentine's Day candies, including conversation hearts. You can make gingerbread from scratch or follow my tutorial for easy graham cracker "gingerbread" houses.
- Crush up the conversation hearts and dip freshly-frosted cupcakes in the sugary dust. Press one whole candy heart into the dust on top of each cupcake.
- Along those lines, make a batch of whoopie pies and then roll the frosting edges in conversation heart dust.
What ideas do you have for using conversation hearts?