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Valentine's Day

VALENTINE BOXES
My third and fourth graders decorated, filled, and personally delivered valentine boxes to our senior church members. The children filled the boxes with valentine cards, packets of tea and cocoa, small candies, and a "Jesus Loves You" magnet. Our kids and adults were blessed by this project.

For fun valentine boxes, try one of these:
• Take-Out Style-You'll need large unmarked food cartons from an Asian-style restaurant. Kids can use stickers and markers to decorate the boxes.

• Collage Boxes-You'll need papier-mache or cardboard boxes (available at craft stores). Have kids cut out pictures, words, or phrases from magazines. Kids might find words such as "great," "wise one," or "loving Jesus." Have kids glue these images and words to the boxes using Mod Podge.

Cheryl Slater
Valley Center, Kansas

PRAYER VALENTINES
Encourage your church to give the children in your ministry a Prayer Valentine. Around the first of February, write each child's name and age on a red cut-out heart. On the back, write Ephesians 4:14-19-the Scripture reference only, not the words.

Punch a hole in the top of each heart and pull white yarn through the hole. Tie the yarn and hang these hearts from the ceiling in your church foyer. Post a sign in the foyer and place an announcement in your church bulletin (for several weeks), explaining that church members can take one or more hearts and pray the Scripture for children until Easter.

If any hearts aren't taken by Valentine's Day, give them to your staff to pray for those children.

WOVEN WITH LOVE
Your kids will enjoy creating this giant valentine for your neighborhood. First you'll need permission to use a large area of a chain-link fence on your property or near your church. You'll also need several rolls of red and white crepe paper streamers.

Explain to children that they're going to work together as they weave streamers in and out of the fence to create a design. Have children brainstorm what kind of image could communicate God's love to people as they drive or walk by the fence. Children may decide to create a white heart with a red cross in the center. Or they may choose to create three hearts for the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Once the design is created, gather around the fence and pray that God will use the image to show people how much he loves them. Then take a picture of your weavers and their creation. Celebrate with hot cocoa and heart-shaped sugar cookies.

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