Have you ever seen those huge glass jars of olives? I’m talking like they hold some ungodly amount of olives, maybe 1 or 2 gallons? Well, we have one of those glass jars (blame the Sons of Italy we are involved in) except it is not full of olives. It is FULL of candy. Yup. After pitching what seemed like endless amounts of Halloween, Easter and Christmas candy from 2016, we apparently restocked our selves up after the infamous “sugar-laden” holidays of 2017. So yeah. That’s my story. In other words, we have enough candy (again, after sifting through and pitching the crappola kinds) to last us yet another year or two. Hence, we don’t like to, nor do we need to, do candy on Valentine’s day for my kiddos.
There are some really cute, and inexpensive, ideas out there that are non-candy themed for your little heartthrobs. I am not naive though, I know it may be easier to grab that tiny cellophane wrapped heart full of rando chocolate from the Dollar Tree versus hunting for something different. Consider this a cheat for you – I AM HERE to provide you with 5 practical ideas!
- Books – there are a ton of Valentine’s day themed books out there – personalize it with a love note and a date so your kiddo can hang onto it forever, and it’s even better. A few of these for your younger sweethearts are: Llama, Llama, I Love You, Happy Valentine’s Day, Mouse!, The Day It Rained Hearts, Hurray, It’s Valentine’s Day, Clifford’s First Valentine’s Day, and Elmo, My Fuzzy Valentine. Older kiddos? How about a blank journal that they can write in? Start it for them with a personalized note.
- Hobby-related items – does your kiddo have a hobby they enjoy? Are they little people and are still trying to experiment with different interests? How about something small that enables them to engage in that interest. I immediately thought of my 6 and 4 yr olds who love to pretend like they are contenders on Chopped or Kids Baking Championship. They are always wanting to help in the kitchen, and while they do many times, there are many times when it’s just easier for me to sneak dinner prep without them knowing (guilty as charged!). I found myself looking up kids safe nylon knives the other day on Amazon and I thought, what a perfect small gift! Safe. Practical. Serves a purpose. What is something that your kiddos are into that will also be appreciated by YOU? Think about that and grab it!
- Flowers – this happens to be a tradition my husband started with my kids when they were just babies. He buys them flowers. He is a dad of girls, so it has always been a special time he treasures, and really is the main thing we do for them on Valentine’s Day. He doesn’t go crazy fancy (think carnations or something simple), but he makes it a special moment for them when he comes home after work. He tells them how special they are and we always get a photo taken of them, with daddy, and their flowers. I truly believe this is a very simple gesture to show little girls how they are cherished and how special they are. Because for some diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but for others, flowers will always be!
- Time – that’s right. Nothing tangible, just time. How about ordering a pizza, watching “Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown,” followed up by popcorn and blankets on the couch. You could even turn this into a family Valentine’s day/evening celebration. I have learned that kids tend to remember the little moments we forget. Not all the expensive and random stuff we give them.
- Random goodies – fun little trinkets that your kids like. Grab a handful, throw them in a bag, and they will stay busy for hours. No matter the ages, kids love random! I’m thinking chapstick, a red knit winter hat, stickers, pen, and pencils. What about fun notes in their lunch box? I love to leave these already, but why not personalize them to Valentine’s Day, or for the entire week of Valentine’s Day (here are some free printables I found). Heck, you could just use them all year long, why not?!
What non-candy ideas do you have for this Valentine’s Day for your little love bugs?