As I go through the mound of sugary sweets that Little Bear inherited over the course of Valentine’s Day week, I am filled with anxiety.  I try so hard to teach my daughter moderation in all things, especially sweets. And this time of year makes this task extremely difficult.

Now, I am all for deserts and sweet treats.  It is the long lost food group in my opinion.  However, I don’t sit and eat cakes, candies, and other various sweets all day or even every day.  You can have all these things – in moderation.  But when you give a child a sack full of chocolates, suckers, sour candies, and little packages of flavored sugar (literally, sugar that looks like a kool-aid pack), how do you explain that you don’t need to eat a piece with every meal?  Little Bear is a very good eater: fish, vegetables, steak, you name it, I can usually get her to eat it.  But even she thinks that since there were “gifts” of candy, she is supposed to have one after breakfast, lunch and dinner.  This makes my job as a mother very hard.  I know not every family in the world shares our way of parenting or beliefs on food.  It is astonishing, though, that so many parents choose to give candy as “gifts” on special holidays.

I am not trying to chastise.  But you have heard the old saying “it takes a village to raise a child.”  And with childhood obesity on the rise in the United States, what are we teaching our children about health?  This is why I always try to find a candy alternative for Valentine’s day.  Not only is a non-candy Valentine healthier, they usually last longer fun wise.

This year, Little Bear had two different groups to make Valentines for: dance class and school.  We chose to make two different types of Valentine’s.non-candy Valentine_bracelet

These are the Valentines we made for Little’s dance class.

To make these I purchased:

2, 8ct packages of Valentine glow-in-the-dark bracelets (got these at Wal-mart for less that $2 a pack)

1, 20 ct pack of pretzel cellophane bags (find them with the cake decorating supplies)

The labels I just printed from my home computer on white cardstock and drew a hot pink heart on them.  Then Little Bear signed her name at the end.

To assemble, I just put one bracelet in a bag with a little heart confetti.  I had fun heart-shaped paper punch that I used to make a hole in the tag.  I used the silver twist tie that came with the cellophane bags and attached the tag to the bag.

Bracelet ValentineI’m not sure who liked these Valentines more, all the little ballerinas or myself.  I hope the class moms were pleased as well that they did not have to take home, yet another piece of candy.


Little Bear’s school Valentines were just as simple and super cheap.  Since there are 21 students in her class, I didn’t want this one to break the bank.  This is what we came up with…

school valentineCute, right!  I just love it when Valentines use a play on words.  It just makes things so much fun!  And the pencil comes in handy for school.

fun + function = WIN!

It took 2, 12 count packages of Valentine themed pencils to make these.  That’s it.  That is all I bought.  I think each pack was 98 cents.  Amazing, huh?  I was supper proud of these.  And Little Bear thought they were funny.

deconstructed pencil valentineHere’s a deconstructed view so show where and how I made the holes that hold the pencil.  The paper is a good quality cardstock that I had already.  You want something with good weight because it has to hold up to the weight of the pencil.  And, again, I used a heart-shaped paper punch to make the holes.

pencil non-candy valentine  To complete these, Little Bear signed her name at the bottom of each Valentine.

PicsArt_non-candy Valentine

All in all, these two Valentines where quick, easy and CHEAP.

I hope I have inspired you to think outside the wrapper and create your own non-candy Valentine next year.  Or, shoot, use my design!  Do you have any ideas?  Let’s share with each other.  Post a pic of your creations.





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