I admit to adoring Valentine’s Day, while conceding it’s a wholly commercial affair concocted by the Greek gods and Hallmark execs. They’ve conjured up a red and pink hued holiday, meant to spite the uncoupled and bilk us into shelling out for candy and toys.
I’m just not a Valentine Scrooge: I’ve got too many fond memories of exchanging mini Valentines at school. And my husband gifting me a bouquet every February on the 14th. (During the first year of our courtship, I suggested he woo with me flowers delivered to the office. He obliged, attaching a concise-yet-poignant love note: I hope your coworkers are jealous.)
So I want to do Valentine’s Day for my kids. But I don’t want to buy them gifts singularly tied to one day of the year. Like pink heart themed pajamas and cupid slipper sock, or anything that goes on clearance February 15th.
For Valentine’s this year, I searched exclusively for gifts that are love-themed but not Valentine specific. The gifts are still just as enchanting, but with greater charm longevity. Long after the paper hearts come down, these gifts will continue to delight.
1 | Color-on Fabric Capes
Color the cape with washable fabric markers. The ink magically comes out in the wash, and you can color it all over again.
There are a variety of fun themes to choose from. For my kiddos, I selected the superhero and fairytale princess options.
I got the Great Pretender capes for my kids from the Maisonette website. It was the same cost as Amazon, but Maisonette had more options in stock and shipping only took a few days.
2 | Upcycled Fabric Gifts from Hand Me Up
Hand Me Up is a sustainable clothing company that helps parents and save money and the earth. Trade in your kids’ old clothes for a curated capsule of preloved garments in the next size up. Items too stained or worn to pass on are made into bags, pouches, purses, and adorable stuffies like this lanky elephant.
Shop upcycled goods on HandMeUp Replay page now.
3 | Charm Bracelet
Best suited for kids 4 and older. A charm bracelet is such a fun gift. It offers a tangible way to wear your favorite memories.
This Betsey Johnson bracelet is on sale for $29.99 on Macy’s and you can find other styles for kids starting at $9.99.
4 |Bright Red Record Player
This was Mom’s Valentine’s Day gift to herself, but the whole family is loving. It’s a retro-cool way to experience music. As a kid, I was fascinated (gobsmacked) by my parents’ old record player. I loved lining up my toys on there and watching them spin round. Or even sitting down to go for a high-speed whirl.
My kids are just as entranced, staring at vinyl and wondering how the music is magically coming out of the box.
You can find Crosley record players starting from $48.95 on Amazon like this portable retro cool style with 4.3 out of 5 stars. Pricing varies by color; a red one is around $64.
5 | Stuffed Fruit Plushie
It’s a lovey-fidget toy-pillow all in one. My kids love squishmallows, anything plush, and anything with pieces. This fruit stuffed strawberry plushie is the trifecta, and has the added Valentine perk of being red. I haven’t unpackaged my kids’ gifts yet, so I’m sharing this stock photo.
Shop this fruit plushie on Amazon.
6 | Flowering Houseplant
Flowering houseplants, like this bromeliad, is a perfect way to gift a long-lasting floral. You can shop live Bromeliads and other flowering houseplants on Amazon for under $20 with delivery included.
7 | Bubble Fidget Smartphone
This bubble smartphone is perfect for fidget-loving kids and babies and toddlers always after your phone. Shop this squishy fidget phone for $15 at Anthropologie.
8 | Love Bug Onesie
Shop this love-bug onesie by Orangeheat on Maisonette. There’s also a T-shirt version of this love bug design for sizes 3-6M to 12Y. Shop the love bug tee.
9 | Mama’s Boy Heart Cap
There’s clearly no accounting for taste, because my son Henry refuses to wear baseball caps. There’s no convincing him; he just doesn’t like their fit. But if you have a boy who understands the sublimity of baseball caps and lowbrow design then GET. THIS. CAP. It’s $24 at Maisonette. Shop the hat now.
10 | Lightweight Sweatshirt Romper
On sale for 30% off at Primary, this romper has Valentine’s Day flair and comes in a mid-weight fabric designed for wear from winter into spring. In addition to oat, you can get it in pink or navy blue. It comes in sizes 0-3M up to 18-24M.
Sustainable Valentine’s Day Gifts
There are a lot of options, bedecked in red and pink, that work. In terms of framing Valentine’s Day sustainably, I wanted to look at gifts that are relevant for givers and receivers before and after the 14th of February. That’s how I think of sustainable goods: items that can be consumed and enjoyed for a long window of time. For you, sustainable gifting may mean organic, fair-trade gifts wrapped in tea cloth or vintage flour sacks. For me, it’s gifts that my kids will enjoy just as much on Valentine’s Day as they will on Easter and Halloween.