It may be known as a chocolate and candy holiday, but coming up with some fun ways to celebrate that are candy free can help keep your students active and alert – and free from afternoon sugar crashes, too. You don’t have to ban candy outright, but by coming up with healthier alternatives you can cut down on the amount consumed in the classroom – while still giving the kids something to celebrate.
Give Candy Free Valentines
Don’t add to the candy crush in your classroom – opt for non-edible valentines instead. From printed pencils with hearts and a valentine message to colorful erasers or novelty stickers, you can provide your kids with valentine’s they’ll love without opting for sugar.
Make Valentine’s Boxes
Use tissue or other small boxes to create individual mailboxes for Valentines. Offering plenty of red construction paper, glitter, doilies and other decorative items allows you to create a fun and seasonal craft activity that doesn’t focus on candy. Make the boxes a few days before you need them to spread out the celebration and ensure that they are dry and ready for the big day. An added bonus, your kids will find it easy to keep track of their valentines when they can be housed in one place, making it easy for you to send everything home on the big day.
Create Cards for a Cause
Your kids will likely swap candy and Valentines cards featuring their favorite characters, but holding a card creation session to benefit a local nursing home can build a sense of community and reduce the amount of sugar distributed in the class. If you have a relationship with a local elder care facility or charity, then have your kids do a card making crafting session. They’ll love making something special and the nursing home residents will appreciate being remembered, too.
Less Art, More Science
Inject a little STEM into your celebration by creating pink goop or gak as part of your science program. If you have any upcoming experiments or studies that could benefit from a dose of red coloring or glitter, you can sneak some science into your celebration on the big day.
No matter which activity you choose, shifting the focus from candy to celebrating the actual day can help you avoid sugar related behavior issues in the classroom. Candy may be an unavoidable part of the holiday, but you can cut the amount consumed in school by opting for non-edible activities and gifts on the big day.