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Candy-Free Valentine’s Gift Ideas For Kids!

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.


Fun Dinnerware!

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?

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