Let me preface this by saying I LOVE VALENTINE’S DAY.
Yes, I know it’s totally cheeseball, sap city, hearts and fluffies and la-de-dah.
Yes, I know it’s a fake holiday created a hundred years ago to drive card sales during a slow month.
Yes, I know it’s absolutely sickening and sugary-sweet and over the top.
But I don’t care. I love it.
So when my daughter was born, I couldn’t wait to share my love of love with her and her future classmates. I mean, let’s be real here — I was pinning Valentine class treats before she was even conceived. True story.
Here are my three Valentine class treat rules:
- It must be adorable.
- It must be useful.
- It must be cost-effective.
I love a good, useful, fun treat. That’s why I steer away from edibles, but that’s just my personal opinion. I much prefer to send the kiddos home with a toy or item they’ll actually play with or use, and I don’t want to spend an arm and a leg on it (because let’s face it, sometimes they get chucked no matter HOW cute). Bonus points awarded for punny Valentines.
When Rascal was in Mother’s Day Out, I grabbed one of those tubes of small plastic animals like this one. (PRO TIP: They sell them at Michael’s craft store and there’s always a 40% off coupon!) Then I tied a little “I’m WILD about you, Valentine!” tag to each one. Quick and easy! It wasn’t too big or junky, and it’s a toy that won’t get in the way or get tossed like some might. Over a year later, one mom told me her son still played with his plastic cheetah. I call that a Valentine win! A spin on this would be to get small plastic dogs and use a “School would be RUFF without you” tag, or dinosaurs with “You’re DINOmite, Valentine!” tags. You could even go a different route and use the “wild about you” tag and staple it to a baggie of animal crackers. Easy peasy.
When It Doubt, Dollar Spot It Out
The Target Dollar Spot is a treasured resource for busy mamas. The only problem is that when you start seeing Valentine items in those lovely, cheap bins – don’t hesitate. Shop early because they will clear out of the good stuff FAST FAST! This may mean that you buy the class treats on January 3, but then you’ll be well prepared when party time rolls around. Stickers, activity books, pencils, erasers, puzzles … you name it, it’s there. But it’s not there on February 13, so snag it early!
Be Extra … Extra Useful
One year, I contacted Rascal’s teacher and asked if I could provide the bags for the class party. I had discovered a bin of small, reusable plastic shopping totes in the Dollar Spot, and thought it would be a useful, effective class gift. Rascal still uses hers when she plays “grocery store.” I ended up with an extra that I keep in the back of my car, and it’s come in handy more than once!
This year (SPOILER ALERT) I’m sending a blank heart-shaped book with a pencil attached with washi tape, and a tag that reads “You’re the WRITE stuff, Valentine!” I’d include that printable here, but I can’t give away ALL my secrets! I love that the possibilities are endless with a book like this- it’s literally a blank slate for the kiddos to fill with drawings, practice their letters, or even ask mom to help them write a story. Cute, useful, and cost-effective as each pack only set me back $3, the two packs of pencils were $1 each, and the washi tape was $1. Nine dollars for 11 kids, plus a leftover book for Rascal! You can’t beat that.
Don’t Forget the Teachers
Every teacher needs a little love. Any of the gift options in this post work great for Valentine’s Day as well. Last year I got each of Rascal’s teachers a mini Nothing Bundt Cake with the note: “Nothing BUNDT the best for my teachers!”
But Wait – There’s More!
Our sister sites, New Orleans Moms Blog and Red Stick Moms Blog, have some other fun ideas from past years.
Candy Free Options HERE
Valentine Options under $20 HERE
Love Bugs Printable HERE