Valentine’s Day lends itself to all sorts of adorable projects for both parents and kids. Unfortunately there is not always time to complete complex crafts! For this simple DIY Valentine gift all you need to do is fill a bucket (PLUS t comes with free printable Valentine cards and a homemade play dough recipe)!play dough
Fun Valentines for Kids
I found sweet little buckets decorated with hearts at the Dollar Tree (they are approximately 4 inches tall and 4 inches in diameter). At only $1 for 2 buckets I knew they would make adorable and affordable Valentine gifts.
I designed a free Valentine printable that lets your Valentine know you are sending them “Buckets of Love.” Didn’t they turn out cute? They were inspired but the cute manga drawings my kids love, in Japanese the term is “kawaii.”
Non Candy Valentine Idea
Your favorite candy is a simple way to fill the bucket. However, I also love candy free ideas.
My favorite homemade gift as a little girl was the homemade play dough I helped my mom make and color in our very own kitchen.
My mom was my preschool teacher so I looked up her play dough recipe in the cookbook we “wrote” as 4 year olds. It’s a simple, classic play dough recipe made from basic kitchen ingredients.
My daughter and I made one batch of play dough and colored it pink, red and lavender in honor of Valentine’s Day. It filled 2 buckets. We used bakers twine to decorate the buckets and a clothes pin decorated with washi tape to hold on the free printable Valentine card. (The buckets, bakers twine, washi tape and clothes pins all came from the Dollar Tree.)
I hope you try making play dough with your kids. It’s an easy project that is cheaper than store bought playdough.
Easy, Non-Toxic Play Dough Recipe
- 2 cups white flour
- 1 cup table salt
- 4 tablespoons cream of tartar
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 cup water
- food coloring
- Whisk together the flour, salt, cream of tartar, oil in a medium saucepan. Slowly whisk in the water until it is fully incorporated and there are no lumps.
- Turn on stove and heat the mixture over medium high heat until it thickens and pulls away from the sides of the pan. Stir frequently, using a wooden spoon while you heat the play dough to keep it from sticking or scorching.
- Once the dough is a solid mass, remove it from heat and place it in the bowl of a stand mixer. Knead the dough for 2-3 minutes with a bread hook until it is smooth and shiny. You may also knead by hand. Divide the dough into 3 portions and add food coloring to the middle of the dough lump.
- Mix with the mixer or knead by hand until the color is fully incorporated and even. To make pink you need 6 drops of red food coloring. To make red you need about 12 drops of red food coloring. To make lavender you need 5 drops of blue food coloring and 8 drops of red food coloring.
Store the play dough in an airtight container (like a bucket!) or plastic bag. You do not need to refrigerate. It lasts a long time!
Free Printable Valentines
Make sure to download your free printable Valentine cards in the free printable library. I love the little faces on the buckets. So cute!
I hope you try making play dough! It is a great way to teach kids about cooking and makes a fun gift.