February is here and we all know what that means. Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. While most moms look forward to this day as a way to love on their precious little ones, some of us dread it.
Don’t get me wrong, I love spoiling my boys just as much as anyone. I’ll take any opportunity to give them a little extra love. But for my family, Valentine’s Day looks a bit different than it does for others.
As you all know, Valentine’s Day means a card and candy exchange at school. On the surface, that’s not a bad thing. However, it’s a nightmare for moms like me who have a child with life-threatening food allergies. We’re usually lucky if my son comes home with even one piece of candy in his bag that he can actually eat.
Valentine’s Day, just like Halloween, can be a nightmare.
But the good thing is that there are plenty of non-candy Valentines’ gifts out there! In fact, there are many companies that manufacture Valentine’s cards for school exchange that include non-candy items. Walmart actually sells quite a few of them (check out their Valentine’s Day aisles near the front of the store).
The tricky part is getting the other parents in my son’s class to agree to send in non-candy items. That’s why it’s important we help support each other as much as possible. Spread the word amongst your mom friends about just how easy it is to ensure EVERY child has a great Valentine’s Day experience.
In order to help you with this, I’ve put together a list of alternative ideas for your child’s classroom Valentine’s exchange.
Here are some super easy non-candy Valentine alternatives:
- Fun erasers
- Small toys like mini dinosaurs, spinning tops, mini bubbles, bouncy balls, etc.
- Small boxes of crayons (the ones with just four crayons in the box)
- Simple bracelets or rings or necklaces for girls (Hello, Dollar Tree!)
- Mini tubs of slime or play dough
There really are a lot of great options out there! Stores like Walmart, Dollar Tree, Dollar General and Target are great for non-candy items.
Some of you may be wondering about allergy-free candy. There are actually options for that. However, while some candy may be nut-free, it won’t necessarily be safe for a child with an allergy to red dye. And, believe it or not, there are a lot of children with allergies to different color food dyes. So, if you want to be 100% inclusive, it’s best to go with a non-candy alternative.