Growing up, my mom was very purposeful in making holidays special for us kids. Of course Christmas and birthdays were special, but my mom made a point of giving us small gifts for Valentine’s Day and Easter as well. So now that I’ve got my own kids, I find it fun to pass along the tradition.
While pretty much every holiday has been hijacked by the candy industry, I really wanted to come up with some alternatives to food gifts for Valentine’s Day. I don’t want my kids to associate food as a reward (something I’ve struggled with my whole life). Plus, candy is gone so quickly, while the things on this list last a lot longer
This is what I came up with for my 2.5 year old!
Cute, right? Here’s the breakdown of C’s Valentine’s Basket with ideas for creating your own:
– Books make great gifts for kids of all ages! I like picking a book that goes along with the specific holiday. It allows us a chance to read a new story while C can learn a little bit about the holiday we are celebrating. I chose “Olivia and the Perfect Valentine” for C ($2.99 shipped). We’ve never read any of the Olivia books, and I’ve heard great things about them. A close second choice was “Clifford’s Valentine’s Day,” but I ultimately chose the Olivia book because we don’t have any already.
– This Skip Hop Zoo Monkey Plate & Bowl Set is so cute and great quality (and there’s a ton of animals to choose from)! They are right around $10 for the set.
I must admit, this was not something I planned on getting for C. But a community member on my city’s Buy Nothing Facebook group offered the set up (for free, as is everything offered in the Buy Nothing groups) and I couldn’t resist! I know C will love it – she’s really into animals 🙂
Arts & Crafts Sets!
– Arts & crafts sets make great candy-free gift ideas. I chose this Melissa & Doug Baby Zoo Animals Stamp Set because C doesn’t have any stamps and she loves animals. Plus I love Melissa & Doug toys! High-quality wooden stamps and, at $6.99, a great price-point!
Heart-Shaped Crayon & Coloring Sheets (Rolled-Up)
Also in the “arts & crafts” category are the heart-shaped crayon (it’s hard to see in the basket) and the rolled-up coloring sheets. C is giving these to her friends for Valentine’s Day.
– The heart-shaped crayon is so easy to make! Simply take the paper off your old, broken crayons. Place the broken crayons in a heart-shaped silicone cupcake mold like this one and bake at 200 degrees, just until they are completely melted. Let them cool, then pop them out! (Note: I didn’t make the one in the photo, I bought it from a local lady. But I have made them before, for the kid’s table at our wedding. I just couldn’t find my mold and it was cheaper for me to buy them pre-made this time)
– As for the coloring sheets, I simply went to Google Images and typed in “free Valentine’s coloring sheets.” There were tons, and I simply printed the ones I liked best, rolled them up and tied them with a bow. Totally free and I know she will enjoy them!
So those are a few candy-free Valentine’s gift ideas for kids. What are your favorite Valentine’s gift ideas?