Sweet Valentine's Day Ideas for Kids
Who doesn’t like receiving those cute little Valentine’s Day cards?? Kids these days still have a blast exchanging them. What’s not-so-great is all the colorful candy that goes along with it.
I know what you’re thinking: “It’s part of being a kid. Kids need to be able to participate. You only live once.” Hear me out. While I too am nostalgic for those little Valentine’s exchanges, I’m older and wiser now about what I choose to put in my kids’ bodies. They certainly will consume these treats at school when the other kids give it to them. They know it's junk food and have the information to make that choice. I’m no dummy and I won't fight about it. Ultimately, though, I can choose what they will hand out to friends on this special day. Just as people feel it's necessary to provide treats, I think it’s also perfectly fine to promote health.
Most candies contain obvious offenders like refined sugar and/or HFCS (high fructose corn syrup), which are inflammatory to the body and cause blood sugar to skyrocket. Excess sugar causes irritability, brain fog, weight gain and cravings for more (read my earlier post about sugar). In addition, most candy includes artificial colorants in the form of dyes that are harmful to the body, Red 40 being among the worst. Valentine’s Day candies are almost always red or pink! Artificial food dyes are linked to behavioral issues, excitability, ADHD and even cancer. Dr. Mercola wrote a great article about this if you want to learn more. Click here. I notice my kids, especially my youngest, comes unglued (unable to focus and listen, super hyper) when he consumes Red 40. He's like a totally different kid and it's scary. Anyway, why fall into the candy trap just because it's Valentine's Day? There are other ways to show your sweet side.
With some guidance, my kids chose to hand out these cute little Star Wars themed valentines to their classmates this year. I’m no Martha Stewart and, probably like you, have no abundance of time to create something unique for 40+ kids. However, they are homemade with the help of this awesome printable, which makes them special. What I like best is they include a glow stick rather than another piece of candy. Sure, we can argue the pitfalls of glowsticks, but in terms of sugary candy vs. a toy, I’ll take it. Since my kids are young, I created and printed labels and stuck them to plain envelopes (they enjoyed decorating a few each day) so they wouldn’t have to write their names twice per card. How kind of me. :D
Get these and a newer Star Wars version at:
With the help of good ol’ Pinterest, I compiled a list of websites with candy-free options. Check out my Pinterest boards! I tried to find the original sources for each idea since they deserve credit for their amazing work and graciousness to share. Check out the end of the list for a bonus link. Enjoy! <3
10 Non-Candy Valentines for Kids
1. Check out these cute pencil flags from Life With Fingerprints!
2. Playdough valentines are creative and fun.
Get the template here:
3. If you want to give a healthier treat, these organic applesauce squeeze pouches are a great option!
Find the idea at:
4. I love this idea to include something useful for the older ones!
See more at:
5. For some colorful fun, hit up a dollar store and snag some crayon boxes for this neat idea.
Read about it at:
6. Another great one with just a bag of dollar store toys.
Get the idea at:
7. These are great too! Love the lip balm idea.
Score the template at:
8. A different idea using glowsticks. Simple and effective.
Learn how to make these at:
9. If you're looking for something else apple-related, these templates are cute too!
Discover the ideas at:
10. I just love these straw labels! These would also be cute for birthday party favors.
Get this and even more ideas at:
11. Cute little Valentine's with erasers! You can even get the template to download and print on the site.
Photo credit whatmomslove.com
Find them at:
12. This cute I Spy game is great for your younger ones!
Photo credit: livelaughrowe
13. This one costs money, but it is a super cute game if you're having a party.
Photo Credit: distinctivs.com
14. Another one you can buy from Etsy. This seller has super cute things!!
Photo credit: INKYRoseDesign
15. For a small fee, this dino card is adorable!
Bonus link for teacher gift ideas!
See them all here:
Hope these make your Valentines' hearts sing!