These Valentine’s Day candy pops are quick and easy to make and require just a few ingredients, but they leave plenty of room for creativity. Younger kids may only make blobs and scribbles for their pops, whereas older kids can pipe hearts and more complicated designs. Either version is cute and delicious. Your children will have a blast making these, almost all by themselves!

You’ll need:*

candy melts (red, white and/or pink)
Valentine’s Day sprinkles or small candies
disposable decorating bags
rubber bands
scissors
baking tray
wax paper
lollipop sticks

*Find the candy melts, sprinkles, decorating bags and lollipop sticks in the baking aisle of any major craft store.

Directions:

1. Prepare the trays: Line baking tray(s) with sheets of wax paper. Pour some sprinkles or candies in bowls to have ready.

2. Melt the candy melts: Fill a disposable decorating bag with about ½ cup of candy melts. Microwave the bag at 50 percent power for 90 seconds. Massage the bag and continue to microwave in 30 second, then 15 second, intervals until completely melted, massaging at each interval. Do not overheat! Remove from the microwave, and close the opening tightly with a rubber band so the melts don’t ooze out the top when piping.

3. Make the candy pops: Snip ½-inch from the tip of the bag. Pipe a small dot the size of a dime on the wax paper. Lay the lollipop stick on top. This will help secure the lollipop stick to the back of the heart. Then, pipe and fill a heart on top of the lollipop stick with the melted candy melts. Immediately add sprinkles or candies. Candy melts harden quickly, so work with one heart pop at a time. Fill the tray and let set at room temperature very well, about one hour.

Insider Tips:

— Create a template to help older kids pipe hearts. Draw a heart with black marker on a piece of paper, and slide under the wax paper.

— Candy melts cool quickly, but they may be hot when first taken out of the microwave. Use caution when handling and let cool slightly before giving to children.

— You may melt two to three bags of candy melts at the same time in the microwave to prevent squabbles over who gets to go first.

Meaghan Mountford has been a professional cookie decorator for over a decade. She crafts cookies, marshmallows and other creative treats for her blog, The Decorated Cookie, and she is the Edible Crafts editor at the popular website, CraftGossip.com. Author of the new book Sugarlicious and also Cookie Sensations, she lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband and daughter.

A special thanks to Red Tricycle writer Nicki Richesin for submitting this awesome Valentine’s Day kids craft.