10 Non-Candy Valentines That Are Happily Kid-Approved
Valentine's Day is around the corner. Have you given thought to your child's classroom valentines? Not to fret—there's a world of ideas beyond the lollipop. All you need is a spark of creativity and a little ingenuity to come up with a small, giftable idea that can be made by the batch. This year, consider a valentine that can be enjoyed by everyone in your child's preschool, kindergarten, or elementary classroom.
Your best bet? Go with something that avoids the question of allergies or dietary restrictions, and instead offer a non-candy alternative. A valentine that encourages hands-on play, creative thinking, and artful vision will be enjoyed for days on end (rather than a short-lasting moment). There's something for every personality in the class: For the pint-size Picasso, seek to inspire with miniature easels paired with a few colorful chalk sticks. For the competitive player, a tumbling tower game or racing bug toys will appease his active mindset. For the class clown, a punny card stamped with sayings like "you're cool" or "stuck on you" (for an ice cream cone or cactus motif, respectively) will always tickle his funny bone. For the fashionista in the making, gift her a fluffy flower pin made from the softest fabric. Extra credit if the valentine even works as a way to say "thank you" to your teacher. (After all, they deserve a show of love and appreciation too.)
Valentine's Day is a holiday to show love for everyone, and these ideas certainly get the A+ grade.
Finger-painting, pasta pictures, molding with clay—kids are naturally creative. Inspire a class of aspiring artists with these miniature chalkboard valentines: they're coated with chalk paint, then tied with a few chalk sticks and a printable tag: "you color my world."
Love Bug Valentines
Cute as a, well, bug! Kids will flip over these adorable toys, which wind up and scurry across a surface. Pair them with our printable leafy cards, and this valentine is guaranteed to be a hit in school.
Sharing the love is always a thoughtful sentiment, and with nothing to do but paint these wooden tokens (though you can add a ribbon for hanging, if desired) they make an easy way to do just that. Have them at the ready, and let your child play Cupid by tucking them into their friends' cubbies, desks, or lunch boxes.
She loves a pretty accessory, so why not share them with all of her friends? These fabric boutonnières come together in three steps so you can pin one on everybody in school. Use our printable template to cut petal shapes out of cotton-shirting material, and sew them onto felt backing.
Ombre Tumbling Tower Games
You know the rules, and so do the kids: Last player to stack a wooden block without causing the whole tower to collapse wins. Paint the individual blocks for a colorful set, and package them with a punny phrase like "I'm falling for you!" Many game sets come in miniature size—small enough to fit in a child's pocket!—priced at a few dollars each.
Twisted Friendship Bracelets
Two is better than one, and that proves to be true in friendships and friendship bracelets. Here, you start with six strands each of two colors of embroidery floss and the technique is so speedy, you can weave one for everyone in her school. For pretty packaging, tuck a bracelet into its own folded heart envelope.
Homemade Play Dough
"Dough it yourself" and then pack this homemade clay into airtight containers inside a handy case, add a few cookie cutters, and let the games begin.