I think it started with rocks. Or maybe someone who "borrowed" some shiny beads from a decorative vase at home. Either way, within a few weeks of school starting Miss M (5yo) and her primary friends (all the girls and even a few of the boys) were all collecting and trading "gems."
I eventually took Miss M to the dollar store with money she'd carefully extracted from her piggy bank (funds courtesy of the Bank of Grandparents) to buy a $2 container full of blue plastic "gems" that she placed into a drawstring bag. She then distributed one to each of her classmates who wanted one.
So, when Valentines started creeping up on us, there was no question what we'd do. We went back to the dollar store and picked up a spool of ribbon, bags of "diamond" gems, heart shaped gems, rhinestone hearts and, of course, chocolate hearts. I also spotted some little red organza drawstring bags to put the gems in.
We came home and divvied up the packs so that each bag would have one chocolate plus an assortment of other sparkly gems. While Miss M carefully filled and closed each bag, I popped onto my computer to design a cute tag on Canva to go with it.
Once I had a rough draft, I showed it to her and she set about customizing it, "No, can you make it this colour?" Can you use this picture?" "Maybe change the letters to this type of letter." Awww, baby's first font lesson!
Once she was satisfied we printed them off and wrote her friends' names on them (the back has a To and From part), I punched a hole in each, slipped a ribbon through to tie it to the drawstring pouch, and we were good to go.
Quick, easy, adorable and I think her friends will love playing with their gems!