One of the things our group has done is to have each child bring a box for valentines. Many of the children make a box, but others have bought them, or even brought just a pretty bag or decorated pencil box that they already have at home. You can make some really cool boxes with little to no out of pocket expenses using supplies you have around the house.
These are the boxes my crew made this year.
Alex made an alien using a box, construction paper googly eyes, pom poms, and pipe cleaners. (Last year Alex didn't make a box because he thought he was too old for valentines, but then he didn't get any candy either, so he decided to make one this year. Nick (13) didn't make box.)
Anthony made a pirate ship using a box, construction paper, and brown paint (I spent $2.37 on the paint since we were almost out of brown)
Christian made The Flying Dutchman out of a box, paper towel roll, and construction paper.
Lily made a minion. We used a shoe box, 2 rolls of gold duct tape ($4) (they didn't have yellow and she thought the gold was prettier than yellow anyway), painter's tape, electrical tape, pipe cleaner, and construction paper.
Valentines can be made or bought for as little as .98 a box. If you buy them the day after Valentine's day for next year, you can get them half price :) My children think it is so fun passing out their cards!
Our group has done potluck lunch, pizza lunch that everyone has chipped in for, or just had everyone bring a sack lunch from home. I think the potluck is probably my favorite but this year they decided everyone should just bring a sack lunch. I got the children Lunchables and Capri Suns, and made enough cupcakes for all of the children coming to the party. I just did white cake mix and colored the icing pink, nothing fancy.
Some game ideas we have played in the past include Bingo and a cake walk. This year we played a fun simple game called Cupid's Arrow. A table was set up with a red table cloth. Each child was given a straw and 3 q tips. They put the q tip in the straw and tried to blow the q tip into a heart shaped cake pan. They each got a Hershey Kiss for playing. They loved the game!
Emmie didn't play but she liked helping to clean up the q tips that missed the pan.
The game was their favorite part of the party, besides of course looking at all of their cards and eating some candy!