Valentine’s Day at my kids’ school has been a repeated reminder of what a slacker I am. I take Valentine’s Day much more seriously when my husband is involved though. I’ve had his present sorted for so long so at least I was prepared for him! I got him some personalized gifts (or Personalisiertes Geschenk as they’d say in Germany!), as I know he loves anything personalized! I don’t see why little kids celebrate Valentine’s Day but if my kids want to take part, I’ll give them a helping hand. For the last two years, Arden has come home from school with intricate treasures from her classmates that look like they cost a lot of money to buy and a lot of time to make. This will be the first year I purchase Valentine’s gifts for my kids’ classmates. I mean, what could infants and toddlers possibly need for Valentine’s Day? I feel like I should try and tone down all the lovey dovey vibes as it can feel like a bit too much from those so young, maybe I could get something funny like face socks australia have some pretty good websites that sell them. At this point, spending a lot of time on a gift is fruitless for me because 1) I don’t have the time and 2) I wouldn’t do it even if I did have the time.
With the help of some friends, I came up with a list of the best Valentine’s gifts that are not food, are gender-neutral (the true slacker doesn’t want to have to get separate gifts for boys and girls, now do they?) and do not require a lot of time.
Books. One of the moms in Arden’s infant class gave each child a cardboard Sesame Street book for Valentine’s day. It was gender neutral, probably cost around $2.00, and was a perfect “distractor” to put in the diaper bag for when we went out in public and were looking for ways to entertain our daughter. As an added bonus, it’s educational. This is the Curious George book I bought for my daughter for Valentine’s day. Don’t tell..
Bookmarks. These are free at hardware stores and all you need to purchase is a heart shaped hole punch and ribbon. Specific instructions on how to make these are on Old Town Home.
Crayons. Encourage creativity and are inexpensive. Check out the off brand crayons at the dollar store. Picture taken from the Mother Nature Network. I recommend washable crayons. Lip Balm. With an added note that says “You’re the Balm!” I have a sick sense of humor but wish I could claim this was an original idea. And as we’re in the middle of winter, isn’t this perfect? Here’s an example from Jollymom, where they are offering the printable FREE. Tip: you could do something similar with small container of jelly with a note that says “You’re the Jam!” Heck, you could even pick up free samples of jelly from your local Cracker Barrel. (No, I wasn’t born during the Great Depression…) Animal Figurines. These are good for older kids who aren’t likely to choke on the toys. Had to add that disclaimer, I’m a lawyer. My two year old daughter loves playing farm animals, and these don’t contain sugar that will likely get other parents angry. Best of all, you can buy a huge package of farm toys for like 89 cents. Here’s a cute suggestion from Popsugar: Bouncy Balls. These double as gifts for kids and their parents because they provide at least 10 straight minutes of distraction for the children. You can probably get them in bulk from the dollar store. Here’s a cute idea from PositivelySpendid. A friends suggested the adorable idea of enclosing a note with the ball that says “My Heart Bounces for You.” Love it!
Throwback Boxed Valentine’s Cards. You know, the ones we had in elementary school. Ideal for mini-hipsters. Here is some awesome FREE clip art from Vintage Holiday Crafts:
DIY Valentines that Come in a Kit: These incredible little smackaroos come straight to your front door in a kit with everything you already need. This provides good bonding time with your kids and, best of all, are only $10.95 per package. I love this from Kiwi Crate:
And for the teachers…
Nail Polish: Inexpensive but still shows you thought about them. Who doesn’t like a nice bottle of nail polish? The gift tag is FREE from Gone Like Rainbows:
Soap: These are inexpensive and smell nice. These are also perfect for washing your kids’ mouths out when they sass the teachers! (muahaha). Photo from Fun Holiday Crafts.
Happy Valentine’s Day, Friends! Cheers.