Non-Candy Valentine Ideas for Kids

Too much candy on Valentine's Day? Take a look at these creative alternatives

By Noelle Monaghan / Brenna Gutell February 5, 2023

Getting creative with Valentine's Day cards can be an extra challenge! No matter if it's because your child's school doesn't allow sweets, or maybe you know they will get too many and you want to help reduce the sugary stuff and let's not forget the allergies. In some ways it's actually easier to skip the sweet treats.

I remember my oldest son's first Valentine's Day in kindergarten, he brought home so many sweets it rivaled Halloween. The next few years the amount of candy got so out of hand that the school ended up stepping in to dial it back. Although candy was still allowed they strongly encouraged alternatives, so . . . YES! I was that parents who didn't include candy. This will probably be one of those more memorable things that my boys complain about for years to come, but I'm OK with that - their teeth and their dentist will thank me later.

PhotoNotebook from Getty Images via Canva

Time to get a little creative and think outside of the box:

This is a list of some simple, easy to find, not expensive, and cute ideas for non-candy Valentine gifts to give your children's friends or classmates. In the spirit of Valentine's Day you can stick with the V-day theme and look for hearts, red or pink items but you don't have to.

  • Snacks: bag of pretzel, crackers or . . .  my fav popcorn - Ok these are food, but at least they are healthy, sort of
  • Fun Pencils
  • Cute shaped erasers
  • Temporary Tattoos
  • Wristbands
  • Slap bracelet
  • Bookmarks
  • Crayons
  • DIY fun shaped crayons
  • Sidewalk chalk
  • Fun Stickers
  • Glow sticks
  • Yo-yos
  • Bubbles
  • Hot Wheels / Matchbox cars
  • Fun Glasses
  • Puzzle
  • Book / coloring book
  • Party favor type games, gadgets or toys
  • Play Doh
  • Backpack clip
  • Slime or Silly Putty

Tip: I usually start stalking the Valentine section as soon as it appears, I keep my eye out for bags of inexpensive Valentine themed favors. Truth is I'm always on the lookout for party favors even before the pink & red stuff hits the shelves, know they don't have to be V-day themed. Other options are birthday party favors. Look in the bargain bins at big box or craft stores, visit party stores and dollar type stores and if you plan ahead there are online options. 

Happy Valentine's Day!

Noelle Monaghan is the Publisher of Macaroni KID North Worcester , MA 

Brenna Gutell is the Publisher of Macaroni KID Conejo Valley - Malibu - Calabasas

alleksana from Pexels via Canva

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Updated February 5, 2023

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