Born to Shine!



This past Wednesday was our Valentine party at co-op. This year our family decided to volunteer to plan it. The kids all had sections in their different goal programs through church that asked them to help plan an activity, so it seemed the best way to accomplish it was for us to plan an event as a family so we could work on marking those sections off.

One of the blessings that come from being part of a learning co-op is the opportunity to offer activities and experiences that are hard to facilitate in a home environment and can really only be experienced in a traditional classroom environment…

experiences like having someone other than your mother teach you, group projects, holiday parties, talent shows, yearbooks and Valentine exchanges.

The Valentine party is one of four holiday parties we have each year, with the moms taking turns heading up and planning the different parties.

For this year’s Valentine party the kids and I decided to do something different that the traditional Valentine’s Day festivities. We decided to still have the Valentine exchange and the Valentine box contest but do something TOTALLY different for the “games” portion of the party.

We chose the theme:

“Let Your Love Shine!”

Using the inspiration from a fun experience this past summer, we decided we would have a glow stick dance party in the gym. (It was perfect for a glow in the dark party since the gym is window free.)

We thought this would be something fun and different from the norm, and an activity that would be enjoyed by all ages, from our preschoolers to our highschoolers.

In the weeks leading up to the party we scavenged glow sticks leftover from summer from around the house so that we could calculate how many more we needed to purchase.

To turn each person into a glowing stick man we needed 10 glow sticks/person.

My big kids worked on a playlist for our dance party, making sure to include dance favorites like The Limbo, Cotton Eye Joe, Watch Me Whip, Happy, and the Cuban Shuffle. They also included some classic Disney songs.

On the Monday before the party the kids used Presidents Day (off from school) to make their Valentines and their Valentine boxes. It was fun to see what creative visions they all had for their boxes and how they executed their visions.

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On Wednesday we had the kids line up their Valentine boxes on either side of the gym. Preschool-3rd grade set up their boxes on one side, and 4th grade-highschool set up theirs on the other side. We numbered the boxes and then the kids had the opportunity to vote on their favorite box from each age group.

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The first 3 hours of co-op played out like a typical day. The kids had science, history and art and then broke for lunch. The party took place after lunch when we would normally have music.

At lunch Ozzie handed out cupcakes for his birthday celebration with his co-op friends.

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To prepare for the monumental task of outfitting 30 kids with glow sticks, we cracked all the glow sticks before hand, so that they were glowing, and then taped the stick figures to the walls so that everyone could simply pick a stick figure on the wall and transfer it to their own body. It was a quick and efficient way to get everyone outfitted for the glow in the dark dance party. We also had glow in the dark glasses and headbands for the kids to choose from.

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Once everyone was ready we gathered everyone in the center of the gym for a photo…

First on with the lights on:

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Then one with the lights off:

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Then it was time to dance!

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A peak of what the dance party looked like when I turned on my flash:

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The party ended with our Valentine exchange and prizes for the winning Valentine box designs.

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Oh, how I love this special group of friends…

And boy did our love SHINE this Valentine’s Day!!

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