Spread love with a heart attack

Give someone a good kind of heart attack this Valentine's Day. It's a simple, fun and effective way to spread love.

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  • If you’re looking for a clever way to show love this Valentine’s Day, consider giving someone a "heart attack." This kind of attack doesn't require emergency assistance, and it will leave the recipient's heart stronger and fuller. Kids will love it. It makes a great family activity. Here's what you need to plan and execute a successful heart attack.

  • 1. A plan

  • Who do you want to attack? Will it be a secret ambush, or a slow reveal? I'm planning on putting one heart per day on my children's bedroom doors on the 13 days leading up to Valentine's Day. Each heart will tell one reason I love each child. Other times I've covered an entire door with hearts, for great effect. Stealthy heart attacks are fun too. Similar to "Secret Santa," you can place hearts on neighbors' or friends' door and then run for it. They'll find the surprise sooner or later.

  • 2. Supplies

  • Supplies for a heart attack are simple. White or colored paper, markers, scissors and tape are the necessities. Small children who aren't yet writing can scribble on hearts or add stickers. You can get creative with different sizes of hearts and fun sayings. To add a personal touch, write specific things you love about the recipient, or things you love to do together. I like to write short funny poems (think "Roses are red, violets are blue ... ").

  • 3. Attack!

  • Now comes the fun part, although this whole process will make you feel happy. Find a door, wall, window or other space and place your hearts. Make sure you use a tape that will not damage the surface you're posting your hearts on. I like masking tape for doors and walls. Painter's tape also works well, especially on windows. Place your hearts where they will be visible to the recipient. If you place just one heart per day, or a few at a time, it might be fun to place the hearts in more obscure locations, then watch as they are found. Both ways are fun and exciting.

  • 4. Revel in your success

  • If you can't watch your recipient's reaction, imagine the look on your loved one's face as they read all the hearts and see the time and effort you put into giving them a special heart attack. If you've recruited children to help give an attack, discuss with them how they think it went, and how they felt about showing love in this way.

  • 5. To increase feelings of love, repeat

  • Heart attacks aren't limited to the month of February. I like to use heart attacks as a way to show love year round, especially if someone I love is feeling down or discouraged. My children love to cut out hearts and decorate them. They're happy to give heart attacks all through February and beyond.

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  • The next time you're looking for an easy way to spread love, try a heart attack. This visual representation of love warms hearts whenever it's used.

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Amy M. Peterson, a former high school English teacher, currently lives in Oregon with her husband and four children. She spends her days writing, reading, exercising and trying to get her family to eat more vegetables.

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