Valentine’s Day is most often associated with sweet treats, but sugar isn’t necessarily required for fun—it’s a great time for kids to get creative while expressing appreciation and love. Your PTO can get in on the action by organizing an opportunity for students to make valentine gifts for teachers, their parents, and even each other. Decide on a craft or gift and arrange with your school to use the cafeteria for a couple of hours on a day or evening before Feb. 14. Or use these ideas for room parents to organize in their classrooms.

Valentine Ornaments

Kids can cut a heart-shaped ornament and decorate with craft supplies or a simple printed poem. If they finish quickly, allow them to make several.
Materials needed: Colored cardboard or cardstock; simple craft supplies (stickers and small items); glue; markers; paper.

Heart Wreath

Have kids cut hearts of different shapes, sizes, and colors. Then help them glue the hearts to a paper plate with the middle cut out, or arrange the hearts so they can be glued together.
Materials needed: Paper plates, cardboard (or cardstock or construction paper), scissors, glue

Heart Tree

This sweet "love" tree makes a great teacher valentine gift. Print this this colorful, customizable paper tree and hearts. Have children write messages of appreciation to their teacher on the hearts and glue them to the tree trunk. (Alternatively, kids can print messages for their parents for a homemade gift.)
Materials needed: Printable paper tree and hearts; markers; glue.

Love Notes

There's nothing sweeter than teacher valentines written by their students. Using our printable Valentine's Day “I love...” notes, ask students to write notes about their teacher on the back that adults can collect in a pretty jar or box. Each sheet has eight tags, plus space to type in a teacher's name.
Materials needed: Decorative box or jar; printed notes; markers or pens.

Mint Tags

Attaching a cute love note tag to a mint plant is a simple valentine gift for teachers or parents. Print tags that say “You were MINT to be my teacher” and “We were MINT for each other” and let kids color or decorate if they wish.
Materials needed: Small mint plants (or candies); printable tags and ribbons (to attach tags); markers, crayons, or pens for writing messages or coloring the tags.

Holiday Frames

Use cardboard or cardstock to make frames. Encourage kids to express their creativity by decorating the frames and drawing a picture to include.
Materials needed: Cardboard or card stock; craft supplies; glue; paper; markers or crayons.

Valentine T-Shirts

Kids will have great fun while creating a lasting memory of the holiday by making a T-shirt. Since fabric markers or permanent ink is required, adults should help kids design their shirts.
Materials needed: T-shirts in various sizes; fabric markers and/or holiday stamps with fabric or permanent ink.

Sock Bar

Students can pamper hard-working staff (or worn out parents) with colorful, fuzzy socks. The Clark Mills PTO in Manalapan, N.J., created a sock bar by rolling each pair of socks and placing it in an ice cream cup. Each gift was wrapped in cellophane and had a gift tag saying, "You knock our socks off!" The PTO stuck with the theme for its Happy Feet raffle, in which it gave away a massage gift certificate.
Materials needed: Fuzzy socks; paper ice cream cups; cellophane wrap and ribbon; gift tags; cupcake tower or boxes to display the gifts in tiers.

Painted Flower Pots

Purchase small flower pots and seeds and encourage kids to decorate the pots in a Valentine theme.
Materials needed: Small flower pots, seeds, paints, markers, and other decorations.

Love Posters

Using class lists, print out kids’ names. Encourage each student to pick a classmate’s name and list 10 or more fun facts and nice comments about the person. Have the children glue or tape the comments to a piece of poster board and decorate it.
Materials needed: Lists of kids’ names; poster board (can be cut if a smaller poster is preferred); craft supplies (heart stickers, etc.), glue/tape, markers/pens.

Originally posted in 2015 and updated regularly.