Go down the Valentine’s aisle in the grocery store and you will be overwhelmed with the selection of sweets. So. much. candy! When I took my children to pick out their class Valentine’s cards, my eyes widened in amazement at the proliferation of milk chocolate & candy hearts wrapped in colorful packages, branded with their favorite characters. For a mom who limits candy to rare occasions and attempts to find the non-candy options, the candy industry’s influence on this holiday is mind-boggling!
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And it’s tough, because I am so fond of Valentine’s Day! So many great memories of it as a kid: baking cupcakes for my classroom, a boy from school bringing me roses, reading all the Valentine’s notes from friends; it is a truly special holiday (especially this year). My family will still celebrate our L-O-V-E in a big way…just not with so much candy. I have a sneaky suspicion they will get a heaping of the stuff at their school parties, anyway.
So, here are my favorite non-candy Valentine’s treats & gifts:
Stuffed Animals: Or, as my kids call them: Stuffies! I really like these TeeTurtle Reversible Plushies — they are adorable & a hit with teens, too! Funny enough, they have been going viral on TikTok! Like two Stuffies in one: happy on one side, angry when reversed….show your mood without saying a word. Over 1,300 reviews on Amazon with 4.8/5 stars. I like them for my three-year-old son right now because they are helpful with identifying feelings.
Arts & Crafts: Something cool & timely we discovered in the Arts & Crafts category are Kadoodle Mask Design Kits. Two moms announced this new brand last year as a way to give kids something tactile & unplugged to inspire creativity & imagination. Now, they are debuting a Valentine’s-themed box, perfect for Cupid’s favorite day. In addition to essentials –mask, markers, glitter pen, stickers and stamps– the special box sets can also come with child chef hats, aprons and a cookie recipe.
Books: Beautiful, engaging books are one of the best gifts you can give! And they are one of my favorite gifts to give children. Prestel Junior has some fascinating children’s books featuring unique illustrations that introduce kids to cultures & places around the world. Especially useful while we’re all stuck at home, right? A couple new releases that I have my eye on are about Mona Lisa and the Rivers of the World. –Hoping to infuse a little arts & culture in their lives as our travel is restricted these days.
Beauty: Perfect for teens for are wearing a mask all day at school, “maskne” products are a useful option. Help them look amazing & feel fab as ever with Mantra Mask‘s new CBD-infused Maskne Kit — a one-stop-shop for the dreaded “maskne” we’ve all been battling with. Now, keep teens’ & college students’ (or my own!) mask-induced & stress breakouts at bay with two targeted, easy-to-use sheet masks specifically designed to cleanse, purify, and nourish all skin types in just 30 minutes or less.
Sweet –but HEALTHY– Treats: Do your kids love acai bowls like mine do??? –This mama’s mouth waters for them! So sweet & delicious and best of all: guilt-free! Perfect idea for breakfast on Valentine’s morning (it’s on a Sunday this year). Delicious plant-based breakfasts are on the rise with Evive – the innovative Canadian brand that’s just launched in the U.S. to deliver healthy smoothies straight to your door. Their convenient smoothie cubes make it easy to whip up a healthy breakfast smoothie bowl for a tasty superfood solution.