Has your child been asked to contribute candy to a Valentine’s Day party? We can turn this into an positive opportunity. Let’s think of this as taking a treat—a treat of any kind—rather than approaching negatively as NOT taking candy. You can just quietly send a fun treat that happens not to be food.
Kids love crayons. Give them out in the original shape, or you could make a craft of it and use a candy mold to shape melted crayons into hearts. Our Soy Rocks Party Box gives you 64 colorful crayons to give out.
Make lip gloss. It’s easy and exciting for kids to make lip balm in many flavors and colors. Don’t call it “gloss” and you might get boys interested as well.
A ball is a small gift that won’t cost you a lot but will get used a lot.
A common non-candy gift for children is a fun pencil. They come in great variety (including our tree-free pencils), they are easy to decorate and personalize, and kids will use them.
We often find situations where kids might want to give small gifts, and we don’t want to create more plastic clutter of throwaway gifts. We want to give eco-friendly gifts that children will actually use. That is why we created a loot bag section in our Green Celebrations department. We have a couple of tiny toys that would be perfect for Valentine’s Day gifts: mini wooden kaleidoscopes and wooden pop tops.
An older child can use cotton embroidery floss to create friendship bracelets. To make it a Valentine, add a small tag with a message.
For a special friend, a red wooden yo-yo is great gift that will be played with for a long time.
The Recurring Candy Issue
Yes, it’s nice to take a positive approach. I can be tiring to think, “Great. Another holiday, another opportunity to explain why we don’t give out candy.” Sure, we don’t have to focus on explaining. We can just nudge expectations away from sugary treats to other treats.
The issue will continue to come up, though. If you want to deal with Valentine’s Day, Halloween, and all of the candy holidays all at once, if you are tired of navigating the candy and food issues, help your school or district develop policies that will make it easier not just to manage allergies but to meet nutrition goals.
A lot of schools have no-food or no-candy policies for celebrations. This makes it a lot easier for schools to manage food allergies and sensitivities. Sell them on the benefits for the school, and they might be willing to work with you.
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