This is a no-pressure post, parents. We don’t ever want Valentine’s Day gifts to feel like an obligation, one more stressor for your winter schedule — so if your palms are getting sweaty, click on over to something that will make you happy instead. We’re hoping this list will help those who get stumped every year when it’s time for their kids to hand out those Valentine’s Day cards to the class. And for those of you who relish this task every year, maybe we’ve come up with an idea or two you hadn’t thought of.
Of course, you can definitely go with the tried and true V-day gift options: heart-shaped candies and store-bought cards. Kids love them! But if you’re hoping to avoid handing out candy, or if you just find it more entertaining for yourself and your child to be more original, there are so many creative options out there.
While you’re at it, pick up a little something for yourself this Valentine’s Day, too, why don’t you?
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Almost Healthy: Welch’s Fruit Snacks
Yes, they’re candy. Yes, dentists hate them. But you can maybe feel a little bit better about the hint of fruit that these delicious gummies provide.
For the Future Paleontologists: Dino-Mite Valentines
Jennifer at Life in the Green House was inspired by her toddler’s love of dinosaurs to make these adorable cards, complete with tiny dino toys. You can use a printable like she did, or tie the figurines onto any store-bought card.
Cuteness Multiplied: Sloth Stamps
Honestly, who wants hearts on everything when you could have smiling sloths?
Hearts Can Be Cool, Too: Geo Print Heart Erasers
A little graphic design goes a long way toward making us rethink this shape.
Melt These Hearts: Melted Crayon Hearts
This is perfect when you’ve got a box of broken crayons lying around like we do. Pick up a silicone candy or ice mold and follow blogger Princess Pinky Girl’s instructions on how to melt those crayons to multicolored perfection.
Backpack Bling: Flip Sequin Keychains
Now that everyone’s hanging baubles all over their backpacks, keychains have become the it toy among a lot of elementary school kids we know. These flip sequins are great for fidgeting, too.
The Splurge: Dylan’s Candy Bar Dipped Oreos
These chocolate-covered Oreos are so gorgeous, we couldn’t resist including them, even if they might be above your price range for class Valentines. It’s also pretty easy to make your own, if you’re so inspired.
Eye-Catching Fun: Googly Eyes Coloring Books
With all due apologies for the pun, these little guys are an excellent diversion for when the kids come down from their sugar high.
Because Llamas Are the New Unicorns: Llama Pens
The manufacturer seems uncertain about whether these are llamas or alpacas, but we love them either way.
Game On: Tic-Tac-Toe Cards
With these printable Tic-Tac-Toe Valentine’s games, the DIY Mommy has provided us with a card, a game, and a vehicle in which you can deliver cute pens or washable markers, depending on who’s receiving them.
For the Ambitious Romantics: DIY Jar Lanterns
You’ve got a few days still to make these, if you want to try using something smaller than mason jars (votives or small jam jars would work) for the whole class. The bigger version, using a mason jar and battery-powered lights, would make a great gift for the teacher. Crayola sells a kit that includes construction paper and washable glitter paint. You provide the tape, sponge and ribbon.
Watch Them Grow: Seed Paper Flowers
Your kids may be too young to give flowers to their friends, but somehow flower seeds seem completely appropriate.
Ink Their Feelings: Tattly Temporary Tattoos
We love how these tat messages are positive but not too mushy, and they’re created by artists in Brooklyn. Cut out the individual tattoos and you can distribute them in cards.
Rolling in Puns: Play-Doh Cards
Over at the Nerd’s Wife, you can download printable cards that include a circle cut out designed for a little play-dough Valentine’s jar. It’s just the thing to save kids’ teeth (if not their parents’ carpets!).
Be the Fruit Mom: Cutie Clementines
Just think how much the other kids’ parents will love you if you replace those chocolates with healthy oranges. Pop ‘em in little sandwich bags with a card and you’re a hero.
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