Kids love to love. And these lovable and inexpensive Valentine’s Day ideas for kids are a meaningful way to connect on this special day. Find out beloved ways for the whole family to celebrate, with Valentine activities, craft projects, and yes, a few sweet treats!
This article originally published on January 30th, 2020 and has been updated and republished with a new date.
Valentine’s Day Ideas for Kids
For sure, Valentine’s Day is primarily known for adult date nights and romantic gifts. But nobody wants to leave the kids out of this special day. This year, you’ll love to try a few of these inexpensive Valentine’s Day ideas for kids!
Kids really do get into the Valentine’s Day spirit of love and friendship. Maybe it’s the classroom Valentine’s card exchange at school. Perhaps it’s the warm and fuzzy feeling woven throughout the month. But more likely? It’s the sweet candy and treats! Okay, okay…let’s give children a little more credit.
While the school parties and special desserts are fun, I think that kids just naturally love to LOVE. And Valentine’s Day is a perfect time to express that.
Yes, there’s a time for grown-up Valentine celebrations. But if you’re looking to include children in Valentine’s Day activities, this article offers over 50 easy ways to do so.
These Valentine’s Day ideas for kids include crafts for them to make, treats to serve and a sweet surprise you can give your kiddo to show your love for them!
Inexpensive But Fun Valentine’s Day Ideas for Kids
I’m sharing some fun Valentine’s ideas for kids, in a round-up of fantastic Valentine crafts, treats and sweet gifts. These ideas will give you inexpensive and lovable ways to share the holiday with your kids. And so not to leave out the littles, I’ve included Valentine’s Day ideas for toddlers, too.
There are also some real, memorable ways to create a deeper connection with your kids. This holiday is an excellent reason to begin a step in that direction. Your kids will love that you’ve included them in the best Valentine’s Day celebration!
Valentine’s Card Exchange
Kids LOVE to give Valentine’s Cards. And all the better if they are accompanied by a special gift. These budget-friendly homemade Valentines and gifts can be easily made at home at a low cost.
Llama Cards – If you love cute and unique, these Valentine’s cards are perfect! You can almost guarantee that nobody else in class is going to give these adorable Llama Valentine’s Day Cards from Simple Everyday Mom. She includes a free printable template.
Candy Necklace Cards – Every kid loves getting a sweet treat in the card exchange. These Candy Necklace Valentine’s Printables from Five Marigolds are the cutest Valentine’s cards ever!
Sloth Cards – A quirky card and a bag of chocolate hearts is just what kids love on Valentine’s Day! Try these fun-loving Printable Sloth Valentine Cards from That Sweet Tea Life.
Glow Stick Cards – Ever met a kid who doesn’t love glow sticks? Me neither! Passports and Parenting has a fast printable homemade Valentine’s Day Card with Glow Stick tutorial.
Small Valentine’s Day Gifts on a Budget
Coming off the winter holidays, kids don’t really need anything extravagant. But children will delight in a small, special non-candy treat that shows you’re thinking of them. These are perfect for kids to gift each other in friend or school Valentine exchanges.
Wooden Bookmarks – My kids and I made these DIY Handpainted Bookmark Crafts for the last few years as a Valentine’s Day gift for their classmates. Customize these wooden bookmarks for friends with personalization as a sweet and inexpensive present that’s also practical!
Valentine Bookmark Cards – Slip one of the hand painted wooden bookmarks into a cardstock Valentine. There are five designs to choose from on this PDF for the free Valentine Bookmark Card printables!
Race Cars – These awesome Race Car Valentine’s Day Cards from Where the Smiles Have Been will make a car-loving kid’s heart race! Use the printable and a piece of washi tape with a Hot Wheel vehicle.
Slime – Kids just love slime for sensory play. This inexpensive and great gift is a keeper! Get the DIY Valentine Slime with a free printable from Crayons and Cravings.
More Valentine Gifts to Give with Cards
Squishies – Another option to non-candy Valentine’s Cards, these Squishies-Inspired Cards by Paper Heart Family can be printed at home. Adorn each of the DIY Valentines with inexpensive Squishies Figures, found in bulk.
Ruler – The cute and practical You Measure Up Ruler Wrap Valentine gift from Moms and Munchkins is an easy craft. This Valentine combines a hand printed card and inexpensive School Pack of Plastic Rulers.
Bubbles – A toddler-friendly Valentine, this is the perfect gift to hand out at preschool. Even young kids can create this Valentine’s Day craft with little Washi Tape Bubbles from Money Wise Moms to gift to their friends.
Teacher Card – Don’t forget about the teacher! Gift an educator this Teacher Valentine Card from Just is a Four Letter Word. Consider pairing this special message with seed packets or a potted plant.
Handmade Cards for Family
Children usually exchange cards and treats with friends at school. Creating homemade cards for family members is a great way to show off creativity and love. This is especially memorable for little siblings that don’t yet go to school. No need to be perfect, just let the feelings fly!
Cricut Card – Want to be crafty? Let the machine do all the hard work for you! I made these gorgeous Valentine’s Day cards for my kids within a few quick minutes on my Cricut Joy.
Photo Card – Consider making DIY Valentine cards for each other at home. This personalized 3-D Valentine’s Day Photo Card with a lollipop treat from Chaotically Yours is fantastic!
DIY Valentine – Made with simple materials, a construction paper card with a sweet sentiment inside is so meaningful. Give kids a few art supplies and a glue stick, then let them come up with an extra special Valentine.
Draw a picture or paste a photo inside for an added touch. These are the memories to hold in your heart forever. I still cherish the handmade Valentine card that my son made for me so many years ago.
Valentine’s Day Snacks and Sweets
Is the way to their heart through their stomach? From a loving breakfast to a special treat in the lunch box or after school, these snack Valentine’s Day ideas for kids are both cute and enjoyable.
READ MORE: Looking for more Valentine’s Day at home with kids ideas? Host a weekend lunch “party” for the family. These brunch ideas are a sweet addition to the season and a great way to create special memories.
These are a few more Happy Valentine’s Day treats to serve:
- Doughnuts – Always a welcome treat. Bake them at home or pick up a dozen at the bakery.
- Pink Pancakes – Sprinkle chocolate chips into pancake batter that has a few drops of red food coloring. Pour the batter onto the hot grill in the shape of a heart.
- Breakfast Toast – Start Valentine’s Day morning off with these healthy and fun Breakfast Toast Ideas for Valentine’s Day from Perspective Portions.
- Valentine Milk – Add red food coloring to a glass of milk to make a “pink drink”.
- Lovable Fruit Salad – I love this idea of cutting fruit into heart shapes for the ultimate Valentine’s Day fruit salad! Watermelon Heart Salad from A Designer Life.
More Valentine Bites
Snack Bites – A yummy after-school treat of Valentine’s Day Snack Bites from On My Kids Plate, with healthier ingredients that can be altered for taste.
Candy Popcorn – Gather up the family for a fun evening of love-inspired movies like Gnomeo and Juliet, The Princess Bride or Enchanted. Serve this crunchy, salty/sweet treat of Valentine’s Day Popcorn, recipe from 4 Hats and Frugal.
Cakes – A delicious post-Valentine’s dinner dessert and as adorable as they are yummy. Make these Hugs and Kisses XOXO Treats from A Hundred Affections with Valentine cookie cutters.
Brownies – These double-decker brownies with M&Ms can be made especially for your Valentine with pink and red candies studded on the top layer. They’re a great school party treat that can be pre-cut and individually wrapped for each student.
Want more ideas? Check out these Valentine’s Day treats for kids, a round-up of over 50 homemade recipes!
Valentine’s Day Ideas for Kids to Take to School
Think outside of the conversation hearts box. If the teacher or PTA makes a request for an at-school Valentine’s party, these are some of the cute and fun ideas to bring! These are “individual portions” that can be wrapped up and given to each child.
Goody Bag – These take-to-school treats would be sweet in a lunch box or for a classroom Valentine’s Day party. Penguin Valentine Goody Bag ideas from Margin Making Mom include a recipe for a Chex snack mix.
Fruit Cup Characters – Oh-so-cute for inside the lunch box or for kids to hand out to classmates, these Love Bug Valentine’s Fruit Cups from Crayons and Cravings. Easy to put together with pipe cleaners, pom poms and googly eyes! Fruit cups are also a healthier alternative to desserts on Valentine’s Day.
Fortune Cookies – Creative and delicious, these Homemade Valentine Fortune Cookies from The Good Hearted Woman hide a sweet Valentine’s Day message inside the fold.
Lollipops – How silly are these handcrafted lollipops?! The kids at school will squeal if gifted a quirky Valentine Monster Lollipop from Kimspired DIY.
More Valentine Treats to Share with Friends
Candy Hearts – A little drop of sweetness! Valentine Gum Drops from Thrifty Jinxy are made easier than you think with Jell-O, applesauce and gelatin. Bag up a few in various sizes and flavors for each kid.
Cookie Pops – Because things on a stick just taste better, these Valentine’s Day OREO Pops from Urban Bliss Life are going to be a highlight! There’s an Oreo cookie hiding underneath the white chocolate and sprinkles.
Heart Lollipops – Pair these easy-to-make Valentine Heart Lollipops from Thrifty Jinxy with a simple card for a treat the kids will love. Made with a simple heart-shaped mold and Jolly Rancher hard candies!
Looking for more ideas? Try these 50+ Cake Pops and Cookie Truffle Recipes.
Perform a Loving Act
Just like kids love to give presents at Christmas, they also enjoy giving of their affections on Valentine’s Day as well. This is a great time to show your kids different ways of loving!
These hands-on activities are a tangible way to show kindness to others. Kids can show their love for all people with service, including volunteering to help others. Start with your church or ask in your local community for ways that your children can help.
Help kids to think outside of their circle of friends as to whom they could share these gifts. Perhaps they would enjoy putting a Valentine’s surprise at the front door of a neighbor’s house. Or go to a senior community and gift these to the elderly.
These are great Valentine’s Day ideas for kids that won’t break the bank and are sure to put a smile on someone’s face!
Birdseed Feeders – Here’s a super cute loving act that kids would enjoy – making these Valentine’s Day Birdfeeders from Wine and Glue to hang in a tree. Bet the birdies would love it!
Saltine Toffee – Prepare a big batch of this yummy Valentine’s Day Toffee from Julie Blanner. Stack pieces on a heart-shaped paper plate to gift to neighbors!
Plants – Think outside the candy box. This pretty Succulent Valentine’s Day Gift from Family Spice is an ideal gift for a volunteer or teacher. And it’s beauty will last all year!
Sugar Cookies – So elegant looking, these delicious Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookies from Art From My Table are sure to put a smile on someone’s face!
A Lovable Handmade Gift
These precious handmade gift Valentine’s Day ideas for kids are perfect for making or giving. The following fun Valentine’s Day crafts require fire motor skills and are ideal projects for older kids to do on their own.
Felt Craft – Older kids can make this sweet Felt Pocket Kitty from Swoodson Says for younger siblings as a darling Valentine’s Day gift.
Bath Bomb – Bath bombs are the rage with kids from toddler to teen. These Conversation Heart Valentine Bath Bombs from Shrimp Salad Circus are awesome and fun to make at home.
Heart Art – Nature lover in your life? This stunning Nature Heart Collage from Craft Invaders can be created and gifted for Valentine’s. Hang year-round for a unique art piece in the home.
Wear Your Heart on Your Sleeve
Let kids wear their heart on their sleeve – literally! Primary is my favorite place for kid’s clothing (use code AFF20PCT for 20% off your first order). How cute are these Heart Pajamas?
Check out the entire Primary Heart Shop for all the Valentine’s Day inspired outfits.
ShopDisney has some adorable Disney themed Valentine’s Day tees. There are also sweet love-themed accessories that can be worn all-year round, like a pair of cute socks or this WALL-E and E.V.E. Heart Necklace (perfect for tween and teen girls!).
Have some craft time available? Put together a creative Valentine’s Day shirt for the kids. My children love wearing their handcrafted creations, made with love by Mom!
Use a Cricut and simple iron-on vinyl to create this adorable Valentine’s Day Cricut T-Shirt Design.
If you have a sewing machine and basic skills, this charming Valentine’s Day Heart Tee can be completed in just a few hours. See the Hidden Mickey? It’s ideal for Disney fans!
Not in the craft-making mood? Etsy is the go-to place for handcrafted Valentine’s Day gifts for kids. Both of these handmade gifts from Etsy cost around $20 each.
Valentine’s Homemade Crafts
Take the time to sit down and create something together with your kids this Valentines Day season. Most of these craft ideas will only take an hour, but your kids will love the time spent with them.
DIY Valentine Slime – Okay, so I haven’t gotten into the make-your-own slime thing, but I know that kids LOVE it! This Valentine’s Day Slime from The Farm Girl Gabs is so fun and glittery, what a kid’s dream come true.
Paper Heart Decoration – There are lots of other crafty things you can do with the kids during Valentine’s. This Paper Heart Wreath tutorial from Hello, Wonderful is adorable (and what kid doesn’t love to wield the stapler!) Best part? Totally mess-free!!
Doily Cards – Another mess-free project, this one specifically for little ones with a parent’s help. Try making these Mess-free Toddler Valentine’s Day Card Craft from Glitter Inc.
Unicorn Headband – Just like nearly every little girl on the planet, my daughter is obsessed with unicorns! How much she would love making this Unicorn Headband Craft from Creative Green Living?!
More Crafts for Make for Valentines
Yarn Hearts – Valentine Yarn Heart Ornaments from Some the Wiser are easy enough for preschoolers to make with help. Create a few in various sizes and string them up in a loving decoration that’s appropriate year-round!
Mouse Kisses – Kids can put together these cute (and delicious) Valentine’s Day Hershey’s Kisses Mice from Color Me Crafty to decorate a table or hand out to their friends.
Origami Hearts – Older kids who enjoy paper crafting will enjoy making these Origami Paper Hearts from Needlepointers. Create a bunch of them and string them up to hang on the wall.
Paper Garland – Decorate the house in advance of Valentine’s Day using inexpensive paper. Create a XOXO Paper Garland for Valentine’s Day decorations, using this easy tutorial from Decor Hint.
Looking for a few more sweet ideas? You might like this post about Cheap Ideas for Valentine’s Day!
Read a Loving Story Together
My littlest kids especially love to snuggle with mom and dad to read stories. Those are special memories for sure! Choose a Valentine’s themed title or just one that encourages loving people every day.
Picture Book – A Valentine’s Day themed book (like our favorite, Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch) is a great bedtime read-aloud for young elementary. My kids love this one so much, we read it all year long.
Board Book – Don’t leave out the little ones! Choose a story that will appease toddlers and preschoolers. My baby daughter thinks that this book, Disney Baby I Love You This Much! is the best.
Journal – Tweens and teens may love having a journal for writing down their thoughts (since actually expressing them outload might prove to be too challenging!) This From the Heart Notebook is a welcome gift for those kids who enjoy journaling.
Give Your Child the Gift of YOU
Instead of just building up to the single “day of affection”, try stretching out the love all month. The most important gift you can give your kids is your time and attention. These are a few ideas on how to make that happen, starting now.
The Gifty Girl has a collection of loving expressions to do in the 14 days leading up to Valentine’s Day.
Ever read about the The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts? There are additional books in this series that help you to love children and teens more deeply.
I can’t think of a better Valentine’s gift from a parent to a child than your time, your attention and a deeper and more connected love! Try reading The 5 Love Languages of Children: The Secret to Loving Children Effectively
Parenting teenagers can be tough! Try the The 5 Love Languages of Teenagers: The Secret to Loving Teens Effectively