I love candy as much as the next Sweet-a-Holic. But as a mom, I can be kind of conservative in how much sweetness I let my girls have. I'm not super restrictive or anything. But sometimes the Holiday Season (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Valentine's Day) can be so inundated with candy it's overwhelming. I mean we get loads of candy, from trick-or-treating, stockings, and more. Throw in there that Bug's birthday is the beginning of January, and you can imagine how big my secret stash of candy is.
(I told you I was a Sweet-a-Holic. You didn't think I threw it away did you?)
In all seriousness, I try to find healthy alternatives whenever I can. If the class is having a holiday party, I offer to bring in pretzels, vegetables or fruit. And I've been feeling more encouraged on holidays like Halloween or Valentine's Day to find a non-candy alternative "treat."
I know on Valentine's Day you can just grab a box from the supermarket and fill out the names. I know this because I do it every year. But when my sister handed me a bunch of left over heart-themed pencils from a work project, the creative gears started turning, and with very little effort I came up with a fun, non-candy and unique Valentine's Day treat for Bug's preschool class Valentine's Day swap.
Since I'm all about sharing (especially when it's a project so easy that a craft-illiterate person like myself can pull it off), I decided to post it here on the blog!
- Decorative Pencils
- Construction Paper or Craft Foam Paper
- X-Acto Knife
- Sharpie Marker
1) Cut heart shapes out of your paper. I did it freehand. If you are more craft literate than me, you can use a paper punch, a stencil or whatever it is you crafty people use in these situations.
2) Write your message. I used the Sharpie Marker to do this. Since I made the hearts small, I just did Love, Bug. If you make them bigger, you can put the recipients name, a personal note, an artistic rendering of St. Valentine, or whatever it is you crafty people do in these situations.
3) Using the X-Acto knife (very carefully, people. Very carefully), cut a small slit slightly wider than the pencil radius. I did it on an angle as far from the edge as possible so that putting the pencil through was less likely to tear it.
4) Gently, push the pencil through the slit.
Voila! You have your Valentines!
Now wasn't that creative, fun and easy?
Not to mention you could pull this off very, very inexpensively (especially if, like me, you always have a pack of construction paper and the other materials lying around).
I love that these are usable gifts. I'll be honest that I don't really hang on to the small paper cards my kids receive from classmates. But a pencil is something they'll use for homework or drawing on a regular basis.
Happy (almost) Valentine's Day!
What is your favorite non-candy Valentine's Day treat?