If your child’s school is allergy-friendly, you’re probably looking for Valentine’s ideas that aren’t food/candy. I’ve rounded up some for you today!
I spent about an hour at my local store the other day, reading labels on just about every package of candy or food that was in the Valentine’s Day section. I found only a handful of items that would be safe for someone that can’t have wheat, gluten, and dairy. Even items that don’t usually contain those ingredients are off-limits due to being manufactured on shared equipment. If you are looking for foods or candies that don’t contain or have contact with nuts or peanuts, which are to be avoided for most classrooms, your selection is even smaller.
Whether your child has food allergies or you are thinking of their classmates, choosing Valentine’s gifts that don’t involve food are a great choice!
Dentists everywhere will thank you too!
I’ll never forget my first Valentine’s Day as a Mom of a school-age kid. My oldest son, Jake, was in a pre-school class of 4 year-olds. I let him pick out some Valentine cards at the store. If I remember correctly, they were Thomas the Tank Engine cards, since that was his obsession at the time. He spent an afternoon carefully printing his name on each Valentine, sealing them stuck with a sticker, then brought them to school. It was a fun experience, and brought back lots of memories of doing the same when I was a child.
When he came home from school on Valentine’s Day with his bag of cards from the other kids, I was shocked to find that he was the only kid that had brought cards only. I had no idea that just giving cards was no longer what was common. Instead, every Valentine card he received either had a whole bag of candy or a specially decorated homemade cookie. I’ll admit, I was a bit embarrassed! I felt like such a cheap-o!
On all the years since, my kids have picked out store-bought Valentine’s that come with tattoos or lollipops. Since I have boys, they really aren’t wanting to give gifts that are full of hearts and “girly”, nor do they want the cards to say anything about “love”. Hey, I get it, I do!
This year we are making our own Valentine’s cards with small toys as gifts – and the best part – no worries about any of the kids not being able to enjoy the gifts due to food allergies!
Here are 25 non-food ideas for your Valentine’s cards:
Bouncy balls, finger lights, glow sticks, blocks, rub-on tattoos, stickers, pencils, erasers, bookmarks, small books, slinkies, lip whistles, foam airplanes, yo-yos, hand clappers, sticky hands, mini-skateboards, parachute guys, mini mazes, rulers, small plastic animals, crayons, magnifying glasses and stamps are all super fun ideas for classroom Valentine’s gifts! You can buy most of these items in bulk at your local party store or from Amazon and then bag them yourself.
You can add a fun tag that you print out or just hand-write. Or you can even add a store-bought set of Valentine’s cards and just attach the toy. The glow sticks are great as light sabers, attached to Star Wars cards. My boys really enjoyed giving those one year.
My boys are giving out these “Have a Ball on Valentine’s Day” cards this year. I bought 100 bouncy balls in bulk, so we have plenty for both of their classes! I’m pretty sure I’ll be finding bouncy balls in my house and garage for a long time too! These little clear resealable bags are perfect to hold each bouncy ball in. I made a simple printout that I copied on red cardstock, cut out, and stapled to the little bags. For ease, you might want to have your kids sign all the little cards first.
Another fun idea I came up with this year is to give out these fun “sticky hands”. I bought the sticky hands on Amazon. Again, I made up some labels with a few sayings I came up with, printed them off on cardstock, and stapled onto the tops of the bags. I used the clear plastic bags they came in so you could see them, but they would be so cute in these red little paper bags too! Some other cute sayings to use with the sticky hands would be “I’m stuck on you” or “Give me 5”.
Other ideas from around the web:
- Paratroopers free printable
- Valentine’s Day word scramble printable
- Yoda Valentines with glow sticks free printable
This informative post was sponsored by Udi’s Gluten Free as part of my ongoing partnership with them. The opinions and text are all mine.