Lately, when I find my eldest son
getting into mischief struggling with boredom, I’ve been calling in the troops.
Isn’t it funny how, sometimes, the simplest, least expensive toys are the ones that end up capturing young children’s imaginations and fleeting attention spans, and hold onto them the longest?
My big boy got his first pack of ninety-nine-cent Green Army Men a few weeks ago, and I thought, for sure, they’d just end up underfoot and scattered all over the house.
I was pleasantly surprised, then, when they quickly became one of his favorite toys (second only to his trains, planes, firetrucks and cars).
As he’s gotten older, he’s become more and more interested in what Daddy does at work (and, all of the planes, helicopters and tanks we drive by) every day.
Now, when I put a couple of the green little guys in his hands, his whole demeanor changes.
One second, he’s running up and down the hallway, threatening to wake up his baby brother with playground shrieks and shouts. The next, he’s in the zone, fascinated, and I can see his imagination running wild behind his big blue eyes.
I love watching him take the time to closely examine each tiny figurine, then line them up in a row one by one.
Once he’s gotten his little soldiers set up the way he wants them, a serious battle will ensue, complete with all sorts of interesting sounds effects.
Then, he’ll rake them into a pile and start all over again.
This Valentine’s Day, I thought it might be fun to share one of our favorite toys with his buddies.
These cards were really simple and inexpensive to make, and we had a lot of fun putting them together.
It would be a good project for any child who loves these little green men, and a great way to honor the soldier and/or military children in your life.
How to Make Your Own Green Army Men Valentine’s Day Cards
What You’ll Need
- A package of Green Army Men (I found mine at Dollar Tree).
- A basic word processing/photo editing program (like PicMonkey) to design your valentines with.
- A low-heat hot glue gun.
- String (optional).
- Hole punch (optional).
What You’ll Do
- Think about what you’d like your cards to say. Get creative! My husband and I had fun going back and forth with ideas. We finally settled on…
YOU ARMY FAVORITE VALENTINE
I CANTEEN IMAGINE A COOLER VALENTINE
YOU’VE BEEN MARCHING THROUGH MY MIND ALL DAY
YOU PUT MY HEART AT EASE
- Design and print your valentines on cardstock paper.
- Cut them out.
- Punch a pair of holes, and secure the little toy soldier onto the card with a piece of string (you may want to add a drop of hot glue to the back, just in case) – or – skip the string, altogether, and simply glue on green army men.
- Have your little ones give them away to their favorite battle buddies!
Are there any inexpensive favorite toys (or non-toys) that you have been pleasantly surprised by?
Hope you all have a Happy Valentine’s Day!