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A Mom and a Dad kissing their toddler with a heart shaped balloon. Creative gifts, activities for kids, valentine's day.

Creative Valentine's Day Gift Ideas for Kids of All Ages (No Candy Involved)

There is something beautiful about having a special day to celebrate the loves of your life. Valentine’s Day is special because it provides an opportunity to spoil those that you love differently than if it was their birthday or Christmas. It is a time when I can let those in my life know why my heart is full of love and affection for them and give them a gift that showcases that.

Gift Giving on Valentine's Day

A Mom and a Dad are reading a book to their toddler. Creative gifts, activities for kids, valentine's day.

Giving gifts on Valentine’s Day has been important to my family for years and especially since we have had kids. Birthdays and Christmas have their own wonderful message and reasons for celebrating but for Valentine’s Day, we celebrate the fact that we share a bond of love, and we are not alone in this.

Last year, Americans spent $14.2 billion on Valentine’s Day! Interestingly, of those surveyed, only slightly more than 50% of that budget was for their significant other. The other portions of their budget went to family members, friends, kids, classmates and even pets.

By far the best to surprise with gifts are the kids. Children are particularly excited about gifts and whether it is a baby boy, baby girl or an older toddler, there are opportunities for you to give age-appropriate, personalized gifts that can boost creativity and bring joy to their lives.

Valentine's Day Gift Ideas for Kids

Valentine’s Day brings to mind the classic heart-shaped box of chocolates or sweets that everyone loves so much. As much as kids love chocolate and sweets, we believe that educationally focused and developmental gifts are best for children and chose to include only those types of gifts (parents around the country will also appreciate not having to wrangle sugar-crazed kids a few hours after they open their gifts!)

Valentine’s Day Gifts for 1-year old

A Mom is holding and kissing her baby. Creative gifts, activities for kids, valentine's day.

Being a parent of a 1-year-old is amazing. They are learning to walk and talk and their curiosity and joy are infectious. Their brains are growing at an incredible rate and giving gifts that help stimulate their minds is a wonderful option. What kind of gifts?

  • Musical instruments like pianos, ukuleles and harmonicas are amazing for kids this age as well. Learning to identify sounds and understanding cause and effect (pluck a string, make a noise) helps grow and develop your children’s cognitive capabilities.
  • Stuffed animals! All kids love their stuffed animals and giving a special Valentine themed stuffed animal is always fun.
  • The best part of inflatable toys is that they are soft, bouncy and exciting for kids. Kids are always surprised when a small gift turns into a large gift when you inflate it!

Valentine's Gifts for Girls

A Mom is reading a book to her young girl. Creative gifts, activities for kids, valentine's day.

Girls seem to be particularly fond of Valentine’s Day. Maybe it’s the pink or all the hearts or just the fact that they are more geared towards relationships in general, but girls seem to really embrace Valentine’s Day. Finding the right gift for your girl means a certain level of personalization is appropriate. What kind of gifts can you find for your girls between the ages of 1 and 5? 

  • Just like the younger kids love stuffed animals and sound books, older girls seem to love dolls. There are wonderful companies like Leyadoll and Threading the Love that make personalized dolls, giving you the option to add names and even dates to the dolls before you give them as gifts. 
  • Perhaps your child’s interest is in creativity and art. This is where art supplies and craft accessories make a great gift. For an entirely thorough and expansive list of art supplies, has everything the aspiring artist could ask for. For the avid painter, painting easels and perhaps their first set of acrylics would be a good gift.
  • Cali’s Books has personalized storybooks that are the epidemy of personalized gifts. You can record your own voice reading a story for them. You can also write your own story and record it for them, or you can do it together, reading or crafting your own story and putting it down in their book to enjoy for years to come.

Valentine’s Gifts for Boys 

A Mom is reading a book to her young boy. Creative gifts, activities for kids, valentine's day.

Boys love being recognized and receiving gifts as much as girls do. Valentine’s day is a special time when you can show them that they are loved, cared for, and appreciated. What kind of gifts are good for boys between the ages of 1-5?

  • Boys love to build things (and often destroy what they’ve built soon after). Encouraging this desire to construct helps their minds and their creativity grow. Picasso Tiles have some of the best magnetic blocks available and Melissa and Doug also have fantastic wooden block sets that help boys bring their imaginations to life.
  • Boys always seem to want to be outdoors, digging in the mud and developing their     outdoor skills. To encourage this adventurous part of their spirit, gifts like Outdoor Exploration Kits give them plenty of opportunities to flex their outdoor muscles.
  • As kids, one of the best gifts you could get was clothing that had your name on it. Hats, shirts, pants and even gloves that are personalized give children a heightened sense of belonging and of feeling special. Contrado has amazing options for kid’s custom clothing if you want to get personalized clothing for your boys.

How to Pick a Valentine's Day Gift for Kids

A baby is reaching out for a book. Creative gifts, activities for kids, valentine's day.

Not all gifts are created equal and obviously, no two children are the same. To truly deliver an impactful gift, it is important to consider these factors when deciding what gifts to give on Valentine’s Day.

  • Age: There is a significant difference between the gifts you would choose for a 16-month-old and a child that has just turned 5. Different stages of development demand different types of gifts.
  • Interests: This is perhaps the most important of factors because by choosing a gift that aligns with their interests, you are showing them that you know who they are and care about what they are interested in.
  • Durability and Safety: Buying gifts that are safe and durable provides peace of mind as a parent and is cost-effective, reducing the need to replace broken gifts.
  • Personalization: Everyone’s favorite word is their own name. This is true of adults but is especially true with kids. Personalized toys and gifts give them a sense of being extra special (which of course they are) because this gift is theirs and theirs alone.
  • Creativity: Gifts should help kids flourish and take that inherent creativity and help develop it, bringing it out of them and helping them display their inner creative genius to the world.
  • Avoid Violent or Inappropriate Toys: Unnecessarily violent toys and toys that are meant for older children should be avoided. Children will be exposed to these things enough as they get older and buying age-appropriate gifts that encourage kindness and love is a great way to set a solid foundation for them as they grow up.    

Why Give Valentine's Day Gifts to Kids

A girl is reading a book and a boy is holding a love shaped balloon. Creative gifts, activities for kids, valentine's day.

Valentine’s Day may seem like a day for only significant others or spouses but as a family, we see it as another way to celebrate the deep affection and undying love we have for the special people in our lives. Giving gifts on this day allows us to:

  • Show our love and affection for those people and relationships that make life amazing.
  • Giving gifts helps us create memories that can last a lifetime, enriching those relationships.
  • Modelling kindness and giving to children help them understand the value that those types of actions have for those we love and ourselves.
  • A gift is meant to mark a special occasion and by giving a gift to others, we make Valentine’s Day a special moment they can look forward to.
  • Gift-giving has as much to do with creativity and imagination as it does love. Kids can learn to use their imagination and creativity to find the best possible gift for their loved ones, making the gifts even more special!

Valentine’s Day: A Time of Giving and Joy

There are numerous reasons to want to give gifts on Valentine’s Day. Whether you are hoping to help develop their creativity, make them feel loved and appreciated, encourage their adventurous side or any other reason, remember that the most important thing is to be present and tell them how you feel. Kids spell love T-I-M-E and although they love gifts, they love their families even more. Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

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Cali's Books, founder, about us, why I love books, children's books

Hi! I'm Cali, Founder of Cali's Books

“I’ve loved books since childhood and wanted to transmit this enthusiasm to my children”

I'm a mom of two young children who trained as an engineer and worked in investment banking and at Disney. A French of Caribbean origin (Martinique to be precise!), I grew up in Paris. Los Angeles is now the place I call home!

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