30 Ideas for Valentine’s Day Classroom Treats That Don’t Involve Candy

As the Valentine holiday approaches, our children frolic down aisles at the store to choose the perfect treats to gift one another. After thirty-two years of consuming every sugary treat imaginable, my toddler son has taught me to accept change. High amounts of sugar are tough on his digestive system, so our recently adjusted eating habits require little to no sugar. This is extremely difficult to do during holiday celebrations. As difficult as the struggle may seem in the confinement of our own home on some days, a simple social media search reveals that we are not alone! So many children have special diets for a variety of reasons, many of which must avoid sugar.

To try and help include all children within a holiday celebration, I polled friends and our contributors to compile a list of gift variations to make it a sweet Valentine’s Day without sugar. 

For the Classmates

Most stores (Target, Walmart, Hobby Lobby, etc) now have non-candy shelves full of items within the seasonal department in bulk of 8-12 items per package for class parties. Party supply stores are also a great place to visit. 

  • temporary tattoos
  • pencils
  • erasers
  • stickers
  • silly straws
  • bubbles
  • finger puppets
  • plastic bracelets, necklaces, and rings
  • silly sunglasses
  • Play-Doh
  • crayons
  • coloring books
  • whoopy cushions 
  • slinkies
  • little cars
  • tiny plastic animals
  • stamps
  • bouncy balls
  • super hero masks/trinkets

For Your Own Children

Many parents love to celebrate with a few gifts to our own children. Add some of the following items in that gift basket to avoid a sugar overload. 

  • jammies
  • silly socks
  • jewelry
  • movie tickets for a “date night” with Mom & Dad 
  • coloring books and marker sets
  • lip gloss and nail polish for a “makeover” party with Mom
  • bubble bath
  • band-aids
  • puzzles
  • family games
  • stuffed animals
  • movies & popcorn
  • fruits & veggies cut out with a tiny heart-shaped cookie cutter
  • cash (purchasing their own items at the store is a great learning skill)

Homemade Valentine Ideas

Venture to take it a step further? Grab those art supplies and dare to get a messy with your kiddos, from toddlers to teens! Here are a few ideas to design and create some homemade Valentine gifts. 

  • Play-doh – “I think you are a-DOH-able!” 
  • Legos – “I’ll never LEGO of a friend like you.” 
  • Temporary Tattoos – “You left a mark on my heart, Valentine.” 
  • Crayons – “You color my world.” 
  • Pencils – “I think you are just write.” 
  • Bubbles – “Your friendship blows me away.” 
  • Miniature Slinkies – “You make my heart spring.” 
  • Little Cars – “I wheelie like you.” 
  • Bouncy Balls – “I hope you have a ball this Valentine’s.” 
  • Small Sports Balls – “You are a [touchdown/kick/hit] in my playbook.” 
  • Stickers – “Let’s STICK together.”
  • Whoopy Cushion – “WHOOPY! It’s Valentine’s Day!” 
  • Colored Sand – “I love how you think outside the sand box.” 
  • Mustaches – “I mustache you to be my Valentine.” 
  • Little Airplanes – “I think you’re pretty fly.”
  • Watercolors – “You make me happy, when skies are grey.” 
  • Glowsticks – “I light up around you, Valentine.”
  • Stamps – “Your friendship is stamped on my heart.” 
  • Bookmarks – “You’re #1 in my book!” 
  • Pet Rock Kit (rock, googly eyes, & a crayon to draw the mouth) – “You ROCK, Valentine!” 
  • Mazes – “You are a-MAZE-ing!”
  • Little Animals – “I’m wild about you.” 
  • Little Rubber Duckies – “I’m a lucky duck to have you as a friend.” 
  • Silly Straws – “Have a sip-a-dee-do-dah Valentine’s Day!” 
  • Silly Sunglasses – “You’re the super star of my show.” 
  • Puzzles – “I love you to pieces.” 
  • Any Super Hero Trinkets – “I think you’re SUPER!” 
  • Paper Airplane Supplies in a bag – “You make my heart soar.” 
  • Goldfish – “I’m oh-FISH-ally yours.”
  • Apples – “You’re the apple of my eye.” 
  • Bananas – “I’m totally bananas about you.” 
  • Orange/Cuties – “You’re a cutie.” 
  • Natural Popcorn Kernels – “So glad you popped into my life.” 

For Your Teacher

Just for fun, here’s a list of creative ideas to give your teacher.

  • coffee shop gift card – “I like you A Latte.” 
  • salon gift card – “Thanks for helping me polish up my skills.” 
  • box of green tea – “You’re my cup of TEA-cher.” 
  • felt tip markers in a mason jar – “You’re the WRITE teacher for me!” 
  • sharpies in a coffee mug – “Looking sharp, Valentine.” 
  • highlighters – “You are the highlight of my school day.” 
  • lip gloss or chapstick – “My teacher is the BALM.” 
  • heart shaped cookie cutter – “It takes a big heart to help shape little minds.” 
  • nice bottle of lotion or foaming hand sanitizer – “Hands down! You’re the best teacher around!” 
  • nail polish – “Teachers like you paint bright futures.” 
  • bouquet of flowers – “Thanks for helping me grow this year.” 
  • a box full of their favorite items (combine any of the items listed above, or create your own variation) – “Thanks for putting your heart into teaching!” 


What are some of your favorite sugar-free Valentine ideas? 

Erin Hughes
Born & raised on a cattle farm just west of Salina, Erin has grown to love the city life that Wichita has to offer. She & her husband, Nathan, are raising their family on the east side: Blakely (Dec 2013), Rowen (Apr 2015), & Lincoln (Jun 2017). Erin formerly taught elementary for 6 years. When the chaos of 2 under 2 happened so quickly (oops!), she decided to leave teaching for now, and work-from-home as the premier photographer of Erin Kata Photography. When the calendar allows breaks from the multitude of children's activities, photo sessions, editing & teaching workshops, you will more than likely find Erin & the fam somewhere outdoors: dancing in the rain, playing in sunshine, and even tromping through the snow!