8 Classroom Valentine’s Day gift Ideas
8 Alternative Classroom Valentine’s Day Gift for Children
Valentine’s Day is a special time of year, and it’s a wonderful opportunity for your kids to show their classmates how much they care. There is always a bit of excitement in the classroom as kids prepare their Valentine’s boxes in anticipation of their classmates’ gifts.
But every year, kids are bringing home store-bought cards and candy that quickly lose their special appeal. How often do kids save the cards, only to look back on them and not remember who gave it to them? And with any snack or candy, you must worry about classroom rules and allergies.
Instead of sticking to store-bought cards and candy, why not try something a little more unique and DIY? Enlist your child and create Valentine’s that will leave a lasting impression. Here are eight ideas for non-traditional DIY classroom valentines that are sure to put a smile on their classmates’ faces.
8 Alternatives to Store-Bought Valentines:
- Hand-made Cards
- Candies in a Decorative Box
- Laser cut Tic-Tac-Toe Game
- Printed Stickers
- Laser-cut Puzzles
- Printed or Engraved Activities
- Flower Growing Kit
- Laser Cut Bookmarks
One way to keep it traditional and fun with your child is to create hand-made cards. This might seem like a daunting task if your child’s class has 30+ kids, but using a template and a craft cutter can help reduce the time it takes to make them. Give your child some paper doilies and markers and have them add their personal touches and autograph.
Pop-up cards are always fun and memorable card to receive. If you have a craft cutter like a Cricut or Silhouette, you can make complicated cards with ease.
This Valentine’s Fish Popup Card is sure to get some giggles.
This simple Valentine Heart Pop Up Card is easy to customize.
This tri-fold Valentine Heart Card can be easily scaled down to make small, beautiful cards for many children.
For more inspiration and templates, be sure to check out these Valentine’s Day card SVGs.
Candies in a Decorative Box
Kids love candy on Valentine’s Day. If your child wants to give candy or chocolates to his or her classmates, try gifting them in a cute handmade gift box to add that extra special touch.
This Valentine’s Box is the perfect size to stuff with Hershey’s Kisses and will make a lovely keepsake.
The Envelope Lid Box is perfect for small candies and favors.
Try cutting paper gabled boxes from Creative Fabrica Crafts to share your holiday treats, like this Butterflies Gable Box.
Laser Cut Tic-Tac-Toe Game
This Valentine’s Tic Tac Toe – Heart and Cupid’s Arrow laser cut game will bring classmates together for a fun activity. Make them small to fit in a pouch and the kids can carry them in their backpacks to play with on the go. Or buy small drawstring bags and draw a grid on each one and fill with laser cut game pieces to save on materials.
Forgo the store-bought cards and replace them with stickers! You can print your own at home using photos. This Alien in Heart Shaped Spaceship, Sci-fi Valentines would make a cute sticker that can be enjoyed by everyone in the class.
Although any of the clip art sets on Creative Fabrica would make excellent stickers, this Cute Anime Animal Drink Boba Tea Clip Art set would make adorable stickers for kids to put on their water bottles or planners. Just be sure to let them know not to stick them onto school property.
Laser Cut Puzzles
Have your child write a message to their classmates and engrave their writing onto a wooden puzzle. No time to design your own? This laser cut Valentine’s Day Puzzle Box includes both the puzzle and storage box.
This laser cut Valentine’s Day Heart Puzzle is blank, so adding your child’s message or drawing will complete the valentine and create a fun challenge for your child’s classmates to decipher.
Printer or Engraved Activities
Coloring pages can be engraved on to wood or other materials to be colored in by the recipient. Try printing out activities like word searches to add an educational twist to their valentines.
This Valentine’s Day Maze Pages activity set can be engraved in clear acrylic for repeated attempts with a dry-erase marker, or printed on paper and made into a small booklet for on the go fun.
This Valentine’s Day Word Search comes with 100 printable pages; print some or all of them; it’s a bundle that may last your child through all of grade school Valentine’s Days.
Flower Growing Kit
One of my favorite favors I made for my child’s class were flower growing kits. It’s a simple low-cost gift that can help teach the life cycle of a flower and give children something to nurture and help grow.
To make your own, follow these instructions, and then top with an origami, tissue, or paper flower on green pipe cleaner. Or to add that candy element, cut a paper flower like these Spring 3D Flowers and poke a lollipop stick through the center to add to your pot.
Supplies You’ll Need:
- Peat Pots-These can be found in the gardening section at any big box store or online. The 3-inch peat pots are a good choice for this project. Or 2.3-inch pots found on Amazon come with a lid that will add to this project. The biodegradable peat pots can be directly transferred to the ground or into a larger pot when the plant is ready, reducing the risk of root shock to the plant.
- Peat Pellets-The pellets will be used in lieu of messy soil. They are perfect to include in this Valentine because they are dry and won’t cause a mess in the classroom. Again, these can be found online or in a big box store’s gardening section.
- Seed Packets- The best choice of seed packet will depend on your climate and choice. Depending on the number of children in the class, you may need one to two seed packets. If you want easy to grow flowers for children, try sunflowers, marigolds, nasturtiums, or sweet peas. If an edible garden is more to your liking, than try seeds like basil, lettuce, smaller tomato varieties, chives or other herbs, snap peas, or peppers. Each Valentine will need 3-5 seeds.
- Seed Envelopes or other small baggy: There are many options to separate and store the seeds for the valentines. These lovely seed envelopes on Amazon come with a design on the front that will match a Valentine’s Day theme, but if you have your own stamps, or would like your child to write their own message and name, these blank kraft envelopes are a good choice.
- Printed Instructions-Since you will only be buying 1-2 packets of seeds for the entire class, you’ll need to print planting and growing instructions for each valentine. If you can print stickers, this would be a good addition to the seed envelopes. Remember to put the type of plant, the growing directions, and whatever information from the seed packet they may need in order to grow the plant properly-or a web address or scannable QR code that leads them to online directions would also be a good choice.
- Pipe Cleaner-Needed for the pot embellishments.
- Origami or Square-cut paper (or tissue paper)-Part of the embellishments
- Tissue Paper-For wrapping.
- Ribbon or Twine-For wrapping.
- Optional Lollipops-If candy is still desired, skip the embellishments and use lollipops as the decorative element to this Valentine.
- Type out instructions for seed and plant care. This can be printed multiple times on a sheet of paper to be cut out, or you can create cute stickers with your craft cutter’s print and cut options to apply to your seed envelope.
- Separate seeds into seed envelopes. If you do not have seed envelopes, you can make your own by folding paper and using tape to close it, securing the seeds inside. Open your seed packet carefully and drop a few seeds into each envelope. If the seed is larger, like a sunflower, one or two seeds should suffice. Then seal each envelope with a bit of tape or a sticker. If you created a sticker with your grow instructions, make sure to add it to the envelope on a part that won’t be ripped open.
- Assemble the kit. In the peat pot, place one peat pellet, the filled seed envelope, and the grow instructions. If you bought the peat pots with a lid, cover with the plastic lid after everything is inside.
- Make a flower. You’ll make a single flower to include in each valentine’s. If your child is older, this is an engaging project to learn how to fold origami flowers with your squares of paper. If you have a younger child, use tissue paper and piper cleaner to make easy, low-stress flowers with your child.
- Put the assembled pot in the center of a square of tissue paper or wrapping paper. Wrap up the pot by bringing the edges up and over the peat pot and pinch the excess together. Tie with ribbon or string, and in the center, add your flower or lollipop. Make sure the ribbon is tight to hold the flower in place.
Laser Cut Bookmarks
- Making wooden bookmarks for a child’s Valentine’s Day gift is a sturdy choice that can be used over and over. Engrave your child’s handwritten message on it, or decorate it with a favorite book theme or quote. You can also engrave ruler markings so that the bookmark can double as a measuring tool for class.
- This free ruler generator will create an engravable ruler to your specifications. Just make sure to double-check it’s accuracy before creating multiples.
In all these activities, get your child involved in designing, creating, and assembling each Valentine. This will create wonderful memories of handmade gifts from the heart. Although there is nothing wrong with store-bought cards and candies, making these gifts together will foster fond memories and nostalgia and create lasting Valentine’s that other children will also remember.