Valentine’s Day Tips for Dads and Daughters

Don’t let Valentine’s Day be just one more chance for Dad to feel like a walking, talking (and unappreciated) checkbook. These Dads & Daughters Tips will help fathers and stepfathers to show daughters that they care on Valentine’s Day and beyond.

  • ❥ Remember, a Daughter hungers for healthy involvement and attention from Dad (even if she doesn’t always show it).
  • ❥ A Daughter wants assurance that her Father and/or Stepfather really knows her and cares about her.
  • ❥ A Daughter wants to feel that Dad is proud of her and that he loves and understands her.
  • ❥ A Daughter wants these intangibles far more than she wants a box of candy or any other present or card.
  • ❥ Daughters sometimes feel that Dads only know how to show their love by buying something. So supplement this year’s store-bought Valentine’s card and candy with your unique message of love.
  • ❥ Give her a hand-written note or personal email — in your own words — telling her how proud you are of her, what you admire about her, how much you enjoy your time together, etc.
  • ❥ Give her the greatest gift of all: your time. Listen to what she has to say and what’s important to her.
  • ❥ Spend 1-on-1 time together on Valentine’s Day or the next available weekend. See a movie, take a walk, go out for coffee or ice cream, play catch. There are a million possibilities (for more ideas, see The Dads & Daughters Togetherness Guide: 54 Fun Activities to Help Build a Great Relationship).
  • ❥ Remember that she only gets one chance to have you as her Dad or Stepdad while she’s still a girl.
  • ❥ Out of the thousand things you do every day, make sure you always give attention, thought, time, and affection to your Daughter — and your Son.

Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day with your children! Read the rest of this entry »

6th Annual Handmade Valentine Swap for Western MA Families

Hilltown Families 6th Annual
Community Handmade Valentine Swap

Hilltown Families 6th Annual Community Handmade Valentine Swap! Free to sign up and open to all. Deadline to sign up: Jan 31st. Join us!

It’s that time of the year again! For the past six years Hilltown Families has coordinated a community Handmade Valentine Swap — and we’re doing it again! Making handmade valentines is a great way to push against the commercialization of yet another holiday, while being creative with your family and friends. Sign up below!  It’s free and open to all families in western Massachusetts!

A handmade valentine swap gives local families an opportunity to be creative together while connecting with other families in Western Massachusetts.  Through the swap, participating families mail out handmade valentines to ten assigned addresses, and in return, they receive handmade valentines from ten other participating families.  The cards can be handmade by any combination of child and adult, so if you’re kids aren’t completely up to the task, or if an adult would like to make their own design, there’s flexibility.  All are welcomed!

Deadline to sign up (below) is Friday, January 31st. On Saturday (02/01/14), you will be emailed your assigned names/address of participants to mail your handmade valentines to.  Everyone is kindly requested to mail your valentines off by Feb. 7th.

Here are a few samples of valentines swapped in years past to stir your creative juices:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

If interested in participating, the information below must be filled out and submitted by Friday, January 31st.  If you have multiple children and would like each one to receive their own list of families to swap with, please register each person separately. Click here to sign up!

Music About Love, Kindness & Friendship for Valentine’s Day

Hilltown Families’ Friends Share a Little Love!

Moon hugs and star kisses! Our friend Charity Kahn from Charity and the JAMband in San Franciso wishes us all a Happy Valentine’s Day in this archived episode of the Hilltown Family Variety Show which aired last year for Valentine’s Day on Valley Free Radio:  HFVS Valentine’s Day 2012 Episode with Guest DJ, Charity Kahn.

This year Charity gathered artwork from children all over the country, ranging in ages 1.5-9 years old, and put them together in this video to accompany her song, “Valentine,” off of her album, Family Values, Hilltown Families number one pick featured in our post,  Top 11 Family Music CD Releases from 2012.

Another little love gem from our archives is with our friend Robert (aka Uncle Rock) when he guest DJed the HFVS back in 2007:  Valentine Episode with Guest DJ, Uncle Rock.

And this past fall, our friend Ben from Ben Rudnick & Friends, put together a show that celebrates love: HFVS Love Episode with Guest DJ, Ben Rudnick.  Give a listen and check out music he features off  of his CD Love, also featured in our post, Top 11 Family Music CD Releases from 2012.

5th Annual Handmade Valentine Swap for Western MA Families

Hilltown Families 5th Annual
Community Handmade Valentine Swap

Hilltown Families 5th Annual Community Handmade Valentine Swap! Free to sign up and open to all. Deadline to sign up: Jan 31st.

It’s that time of the year again! For the past several years Hilltown Families has coordinated a community Handmade Valentine Swap — and we’re doing it again! Sign up below!  It’s free and open to all families!

A handmade Valentine swap gives local families an opportunity to be creative together while connecting with other families in Western Massachusetts.  Through the swap, participating families mail out handmade Valentines to ten assigned addresses, and in return, they receive handmade Valentines from ten other participating families.  The cards can be handmade by any combination of child and adult, so if you’re kids aren’t completely up to the task, or if an adult would like to make their own design, there’s flexibility.  All are welcomed!

Deadline to sign up (below) is Thursday, January 31st. On Friday (02/01/13)  you will be emailed your assigned names/address of participants to mail your handmade Valentines to.  Everyone is kindly requested to mail your Valentines off by Feb. 7th.

Here are a few samples of Valentines swapped in years past to stir your creative juices.  Click on the thumbnail image to see a larger image:

If interested in participating, the following information must be filled out and submitted by Thursday, January 31st.  If you have multiple children and would like each one to receive their own list of families to swap with, please register each person separately.

SIGN UP:












Be sure to click on the submit button above!  You should receive a personal confirmation within 24 hours.  If you do not receive a confirmation within 24 hours, email us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com to inquire.

4th Annual Handmade Valentine Swap for Western MA Families

Hilltown Families 4th Annual
Handmade Valentine Swap

Handmade Valentine Card Swap

Hilltown Families 4th Annual Handmade Valentine Swap. Deadline to sign up: January 30th. Open to all Western MA families.

It’s that time of the year again! For the past several years Hilltown Families has coordinated a community Handmade Valentine Swap — and we’re doing it again! Sign up below!  It’s free and open to all families!

A handmade Valentine swap gives local families an opportunity to be creative together while connecting with other families in Western Massachusetts.  Through the swap, participating families mail out handmade Valentines to ten assigned addresses, and in return, they receive cards from ten other participating families.  The cards can be handmade by any combination of child and adult, so if you’re kids aren’t completely up to the task, or if an adult would like to make their own design, there’s flexibility.

Deadline to sign up (below) is Monday, January 30th. On Tuesday (01/31/12)  you will be emailed your assigned names/address of participants to mail your handmade Valentines to.  Everyone is kindly requested to mail your Valentines off by Feb. 7th.

Here are a few samples of Valentines swapped in years past to stir your creative juices.  Click on the thumbnail image to see a larger one:

If interested in participating, the following information must be filled out and submitted by Monday, January 30th.  If you have multiple children and would like each one to receive their own list of families to swap with, please make a note in the comment field.










Valentine’s Day Links

Valentine’s Day Tips for Dads and Daughters

Dads & Daughters Valentine’s Day Tips
By Joe Kelly

Dad and Daughter Sledding in Northampton, MA

Spend 1-on-1 time with your daughter. Take her sledding, to the museum, visit the library... (photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Don’t let Valentine’s Day be just one more chance for Dad to feel like a walking, talking (and unappreciated) checkbook. These Dads & Daughters Tips will help fathers and stepfathers to show daughters that they care on Valentine’s Day and beyond.

  1. Remember, a Daughter hungers for healthy involvement and attention from Dad (even if she doesn’t always show it).
  2. A Daughter wants assurance that her Father and/or Stepfather really knows her and cares about her.
  3. A Daughter wants to feel that Dad is proud of her and that he loves and understands her.
  4. A Daughter wants these intangibles far more than she wants a box of candy or any other present or card.
  5. Daughters sometimes feel that Dads only know how to show their love by buying something. So supplement this year’s store-bought Valentine’s card and candy with your unique message of love.
  6. Give her a hand-written note or personal email — in your own words — telling her how proud you are of her, what you admire about her, how much you enjoy your time together, etc.
  7. Give her the greatest gift of all: your time. Listen to what she has to say and what’s important to her.
  8. Spend 1-on-1 time together on Valentine’s Day or the next available weekend. See a movie, take a walk, go out for coffee or ice cream, play catch. There are a million possibilities (for more ideas, see The Dads & Daughters® Togetherness Guide: 54 Fun Activities to Help Build a Great Relationship).
  9. Remember that she only gets one chance to have you as her Dad or Stepdad while she’s still a girl.
  10. Out of the thousand things you do every day, make sure you always give attention, thought, time, and affection to your Daughter — and your Son.

Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day with your children! Read the rest of this entry »

Swedish Paper Hearts For Valentine’s Day

Hilltown Families Valentine Social: A Look Back

(c) Hilltown Families - Making Swedish Paper Hearts

Weaving Swedish Paper Hearts (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

With classroom rosters in hand, several hilltown families set to work on making Valentines during a Hilltown Families Valentine Making Social on Sunday, Feb. 11, 2007. Families from Ashfield, Chesterfield, Cummington, Plainfield, and West Chesterfield gathered together with red and pink construction paper, glitter glue, white doilies and an assortment of stickers to set forth on the venture of making Valentines for friends, family and classmates.

Making 20 Valentines can seem daunting. Making nearly 50 seems unreasonable. But when you have two children in school, that’s what the tally can add up to. Never mind having more than two children attending the same school! Some might say, “That’s what Hallmark’s for,” but we’re talking about hilltown families – motivated, creative and expressive folks who take on the task of Valentines with excitement and enthusiasm, letting the glitter fly!

Preceding the cutting, glueing and glittering, children were shown a five-minute video which demonstrated how construction paper was made. Narrated by Fred Rogers, children took a video tour through a construction paper factory, illustrating how red construction paper is made - from log to shrink wrapped product. This video tour can be found as an extra feature on the DVD Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood: What Do You Do with the Mad That You Feel?

As the Valentine social progressed, and the kids finished their little love-notes, running off to play, the parents settled into their own projects and conversations. Over discussions on education, winter sports and safety, parents made heart-shaped mobiles, steamers of doilies and Swedish Paper Hearts. And when the kids tummies started to rumble, muffins donated by Bread Euphoria were served with tea and fruit.

WEAVING SWEDISH PAPER HEARTS

Weaving Swedish Paper Hearts can seem difficult at first, but once a rhythm is discovered, it is a pleasant activity to unwind with while relaxing with friends and community.  These paper hearts were traditionally made as ornaments filled with goodies that went on the Christmas Tree, but they also  make a wonderful Valentine’s craft. Learn how to make Swedish Paper Hearts for your loved ones.

(Originally posted: 2/13/07)

Handmade Valentine Swap for Western MA Families

Hilltown Families 3rd Annual
Handmade Valentine Swap

Handmade Valentine Card Swap

Hilltown Families 3rd Annual Handmade Valentine Swap. Deadline to sign up: January 30th. Open to all Western MA families.

The past couple of years Hilltown Families has coordinated a community Handmade Valentine Swap — and we’re doing it again! Sign up below.

A handmade Valentine swap gives local families an opportunity to be creative together while connecting with other families in Western Massachusetts.  Through the swap, participating families mail out handmade Valentines to ten assigned addresses, and in return, they receive cards from ten other participating families.  The cards can be handmade by any combination of child and adult, so if you’re kids aren’t completely up to the task, or if an adult would like to make their own design, there’s flexibility.

Deadline to sign up (below) is Sunday, January 30th. On Monday (01/31/11)  you will be emailed your assigned names/address of participants to mail your handmade Valentines to.  Everyone is kindly requested to mail your Valentines off by Feb. 7th.

Here are a few Valentines swapped last year to stir your creative juices.  Click on the thumbnail image to see a larger one:

If interested in participating, the following information must be filled out and submitted by Sunday, January 30th:








Handmade Valentine Swap

Handmade Valentine Swap for Western MA Families

Handmade Valentine Card Swap

Hilltown Families Valentine Card Swap, 2009 (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Last year I organized a handmade Valentine swap with friends and members of the Hilltown Families Listserv, and we had so much fun that we’re doing it again!

A handmade Valentine swap gives local families an opportunity to be creative together while connecting with other families in Western Massachusetts.  Through the swap, participating families mail out handmade Valentine cards to ten assigned addresses, and in return, they receive cards from ten other participating families.  The cards can be handmade by any combination of child and adult, so if you’re kids aren’t completely up to the task, or if an adult would like to make their own design, there’s flexibility.

Deadline to sign up is next Saturday, January 30st by midnight with the info below. On Monday (02/01/10) I will email your assigned names/address of participants you would send your handmade cards to.  You would be kindly requested to send your Valentines off by Feb. 7th.

If interested in participating, email the following information to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com by midnight 01/30/10:

  • Name of child/family:
  • Mailing address:

Read the rest of this entry »

Mount Holyoke College: Early Valentines Exhibit

Will You Be Mine? An Exhibition of Early Valentines
An Exhibit, Ground Floor of Dwight Hall
at Mount Holyoke College
February 3 – February 22, 2009

Each year, the Mount Holyoke Archives and Special Collections at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, MA, display valentines from the collection in honor of Esther Howland, a Mount Holyoke alumna credited with having established the commercial valentine industry in the United States. Howland graduated from the Seminary in 1847 and, inspired by an ornate English valentine, began creating her own elaborate renditions of the greeting card. The exhibit contains a selection of original valentines made by her New England Valentine Co., as well as some by George TC. Whitney, the designer who bought Howland’s increasingly popular company in the early 1880′s. Other valentines were gven to the collection in the personal papers of former faculty members Mildred Allen and Ruth Lawson. They show stylistic shifts within the valentine industry as it endured paper shortages, postcard crazes and a growing nostalgia for the Victorian-style cards that characterized the golden age of valentine production in both Western Europe and the United States.

This exhibit runs from 02/03/09-02/22/09.  Dwight Hall is open Mon-Thurs from 8am-Midnight, Fri-Sun from 10am-10pm. Click here to see images of Valentines from this exhibit.

SEND A VINTAGE GREETING

Another Vintage Valentines Exhibit is at the West Virginia University Libraries which can be viewed on-line here. View a collection of over 40 valentines, including greeting cards, 3-D cards, and postcards. “While browsing click on the thumbnail images to view the larger, full resolution, images of the Vintage Valentines day cards. From the full size image you may send a greeting and message via email.

Suggested Events 02/09/08 – 02/15/08

LOCAL WOMEN TAKE WINTER TO THE MAT WITH FUN FAMILY EVENTS!

Cup & Top turns 2!I don’t know about you, but for me the hardest time of the year to be living in New England is the next six weeks (which is right up there with black fly season!). Since the first snow fall in early November, winter has been a cold, dark and sometime deary companion. Fortunately there are many mothers and women in our community who are enriching our winter days with a wealth of opportunities to get out and about with our families this weekend:

  • Helen Kahn from Cup & Top is having a birthday party and everyone is invited! Cup & Top is turning two and she’s throwing a shin dig with music, art, cake and more.
  • If you’re looking to get outdoors, Lauren Abend is hosting the Path of the Otter nature program for kids right here in the hilltowns!
  • And Marla BB, from Hilltown Wilderness Adventures, is offering another outdoor opportunity with dog sled rides for families, also here in the hilltowns! It was a big hit last week.
  • Eva Christoph from the Art Bridge will be hosting their second Saturday potluck performance in Shelburne. Get creative and move your body!
  • Nan Parati from Elmer’s is throwing a concert and serving up some great Cajun food. in Ashfield. Get out and celebrate Mardi Gras!
  • Tony(a) Lemos will be offering a culture through art workshop at the Children’s Art Museum in Shelbrune Falls (co-sponsored by Hilltown Families), followed by a kids multi-language concert. Get a cultural dose of Russian and Spanish fun!
  • Laurie Broussard & Laura Cayer from the Pop Rockets will be jamming it up at the Children’s Museum in Holyoke with their band for the museum family fun night. These ladies are so fun!

Wow! What a great list of fun events and powerhouse women! Have a wonderful weekend!

SUBMIT AN EVENT

If you have a family-friendly event or educational program happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, or would like to submit your event to the Hilltown Families calendar of Suggested Events, email Sienna at swildfield@juno.com, or post your event on our community bulletin board. Comments are warmly welcomed!

Local forecast | Get directions | Free Museum Passes | School Closings & Delays

Events Happening in the Hilltowns
The following key represents the sum cost of one adult and one child:
(>$) Under $10; ($) Between $10-$19; ($$) Between $20-$44; ($$$) Over $45

Saturday – 02/09

8am – FAMILY RADIO – (Air Waves) While traveling around town, tune-in to WXOJ 103.3 FM in Northampton, MA, from 8-10am to hear fabulous family-friendly music on Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child . [All ages] (Free)

8am & 9:15am – KIDS BASKETBALL – (Worthington) Throughout the winter months, the Worthington Recreation Department is offering co-ed basketball program for kids at the town hall. Grades 1-2 begin at 8am. Grades 3-4 begin at 9:15am. No registration is necessary. 413.238.5500 [Ages 6-9] (Free)

10am – 6pm – BIRTHDAY PARTY – (Florence) Cup & Top is turning 2! Come celebrate their reaching the toddler stage with a day full of free events. At 10am, Northampton’s Elena Ciampa and Russ Neiman will perform spanish & latin music for the kids! From 1pm – 3pm: Rhymes with Orange cartoonist Hilary Price book signing! And from 4pm – 6pm: Art Opening for Cummington Artist Leni Fried with live music by Cummington’s Radio Free Earth! They will also unveil their whimsical mural that Leni painted for the cafe playspace! [Families] (Free)

10am – Noon – VALENTINE’S DAY – (Holyoke) Join artist Marjorie Latham for a creative, hands-on workshop on the art of crafting valentines at the Wistariahurst Museum. 413.322.5660 [Families] (>$)

10am – CHOCOLATE HISTORY – (Deerfield) Take the kids to learn about the history and making of chocolate at the Historic Deerfield Museum for their American Heritage Chocolate Celebration. Get a jump on your Valentine’s Day festivities while you join fellow “chocoholics” for a day filled with chocolate treats and historical facts. A special focus this year will be on American Heritage Chocolate, a re-creation of colonial American chocolate produced by the Historic Division of Mars, Inc. [Families] (Borrow a museum pass from your local library, $)

10am – Noon – NATURE EXPLORATIONS – (Easthampton) Tracking at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. Identifying and following an animal track can teach us a lot about the animals that live in our area and their behavior. The forest is full of signs of wildlife. We will learn to read these tracks and signs, which provide both mysteries and some answers. Dress appropriately for the weather, since we will be walking in the forest. Registration is required, unless otherwise noted. 413.584.3009 [Ages 5-12] ($)

10am-1pm – NATURE PROGRAM – (Ashfield) The Path of the Otter, the series of three Saturday earth awareness and nature exploration classes begins. Click HERE for program details. [Ages 5-7] ($$$)

11am-7pm – WINTER FEST – (Amherst) Indoor and outdoor activities for children, families and adults at the Cherry Hill Golf course. It’s a go snow or no snow. They will have plenty of non-snow related activities for everyone. All activities are included with your admission fee. Click here for more info. [Families] ($)

11am – 8pm – FAMILY FREE DAY AT MASS MOCA – (North Adams) A festive family affair with projects for the kids, demos, films, tours, ice cream, and more. 413.MoCA.111

Noon – 4pm – MUSHING – (Goshen) Bring the family to DAR State Park for a fun hands-on afternoon demonstration. Dog sled rides will be offered. There is also ice skating on the lake, so bring your ice skates. Dress for the weather. For more information call Hilltown Wilderness Adventures at 413.296.0187. [Families] ($)

2pm – STORYTELLING – (Holyoke) Rivers, Mountains & Legends: An Afternoon of Storytelling. The Wistariahurst Museum welcomes long-time storytellers Dan Shanahan, Megan Moore and Carla Bee in the telling of stories that celebrate the earth and all of its creatures! All three are founding members of Boston’s Stone Soup Poets and Drumlin, which is a collaborative arts ensemble. 413.322.5660 [Families] ($)

4pm-6:50pm – ICE SKATING – (Amherst) There will be a public skate at the Mullins Center Ice Rink. Skate rentals available. 413.545.3990 [Families] ($)

4pm – 7pm – FAMILY FUN NIGHT & KIDS CONCERT – (Holyoke) The Children’s Museum at Holyoke will be hosting their 2nd annual “For the Love of the Museum” affair. There will be crafts, food, live music with live music by the Pop Rockets, A2Z Yo-yo team and kids self-defense demo, and more. 413.625.8275 [Families] ($)

6pm – PERFORMANCE POTLUCK – (Shelburne) Art Bridge will be hosting their first Saturday Performance Potluck. Bring a dish to share and come enjoy music, dancing, performance and art. 413.625.8275 [Families] (Donation, $)

7pm – PERFORMANCE – (Amherst) Cirque Sublime will be at the Mullins Center on the UMass Campus. Click here for more information. [Families] ($$)

7:30pm – MARDI GRAS CONCERT – (Ashfield) Eilen Jewell concert at Ashfield’s Town Hall with cajun food by Elmer’s. Click here to read more. Costume optional. [Families] ($$)

Read the rest of this entry »

Valentine Contra Dance Fundraiser in Ashfield

(c) Hilltown Families - Valentine Contra Dance

A Heart-felt Dance Party

by Victoria Worth
for Hilltown Families

The songs are still humming in my head, and when I look down, my feet are still moving to a recent rhythm. Long after Saturday night’s Valentine’s Family Contra Dance has ended, the joyous gathering lingers on in my mind. At the Town Hall, good food filled our tummies downstairs, and when dinner was over, we joined a crowd of children and adults already moving to the beat of the music.

Read the rest of this entry »

Valentine’s Day ’07

VALENTINE’S DAY 2007

Happenings in the hilltowns and beyond for Valentine’s Day. Discover upcoming events and links for your family that are Valentine-ish, including dances, crafts, chocolate and more…

Read the rest of this entry »

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