Over the years I’ve tried ALL of the different ways to make valentine boxes in the classroom – from the brown paper bag to over the top crafty cut-outs. There are pros and cons to all of these, so let’s talk through those as we work towards the absolute easiest option if you’re making preschool valentine boxes in the classroom.
First, I like to use this as a class activity because families are busy! They don’t always have the time or supplies that they might need, and if I put out supplies for all of the children then they start with a level playing field. Making Valentine boxes also meets a ton of our learning standards in a way that gets the children excited for the holiday and really keeps them engaged. I’m definitely taking advantage of that!
Bags are always a good choice when you have a large class. It’s really easy to put the valentines in these and prep them so that they can be taken home. This eliminates a lot of time and frustration for the teacher on the day of your party. Brown paper bags are definitely economical, but they aren’t exactly sturdy, and the lack of handles can make them hard to carry. My favorite thing about a classic brown paper bag is that when the party is over you can fold down the top of the bag, staple it, and put it in a backpack without worrying about it getting spilled on the way home. A gift bag on the other hand will likely be a little bigger – which is helpful given the trend of adding items to valentine cards, they definitely take up more space now than they used to! Gift bags are generally a little sturdier than a paper bag, and they do have handles, BUT you can’t always count on those handles to stay attached which can lead to spills. Gift bags can also be harder to close up if that’s a concern.
Paper pouches or large envelopes are really cute, and can be an excellent project to work on as a class, but they don’t usually hold up very well. If you have more than 10 children in your class then I would use these only for parent gifts or decorations because something made of paper and held together with glue stick just won’t be durable enough to hold a ton of valentines and make it all the way home.
Boxes are definitely a durable option – but all boxes are not created equal. Boxes can also be harder to source, and a more expensive option. If you’re recycling them, then you also have to consider the time and effort that will go into covering the boxes and cutting holes in all of them.
If you want to see some of these different ideas, I shared a great collection of Valentine box projects in this post!
So what’s the easiest way to put together valentine boxes? I’m actually going to give you two options. First, I am in love with these Valentine mailbox kits from the DOLLAR TREE. Yup, only $1.25 for all of the supplies to make an adorable Valentine box. This would be an excellent option if you really want families to put together boxes at home. One of these could go home with each family, or you could keep a few on hand for families that might need a little extra support in order to complete this task. They come in 4 different designs, and you can order them in bulk on their website if you need enough for a class, or even for an entire grade level. ‘
If you’re looking for an option that offers a little more creativity (which is my personal preference), then you can pick up these ready-to-decorate boxes at Hobby Lobby – for around $1 a box!
Adding some basic supplies, like this set of paper doilies, heart cut-outs, and glitter foam stickers (affiliate link from Amazon), and you’re all set!
I don’t know what it is about paper doilies, but I have fond memories of them being a part of nearly every one of my elementary school Valentine’s celebrations – maybe it was a 90’s thing, but I’m all about bringing them back so I can re-live the nostalgia.
Truly, the ready-to-decorate boxes would’ve made my slightly OCD heart so happy as a child. I was always obsessed with finding ways to cover up any trace of “old shoebox” that might show through my elaborate Valentine-themed designs. Here’s how we used one of these Hobby Lobby boxes this year to make my daughter’s Disney Descendants Valentine dreams come true: