Skip the Valentine’s Day Candy, Please!

So, Valentine’s Day is this weekend. And if your child is part of the PK-5 set, chances are that there will be a class “celebration” on Friday.

Can I make a plea?

Skip the Valentine’s Day candy, please!

In fact, take all the food and treats out of the party while you are at it.

What? An elementary teacher who wants to SKIP the fun parts of Valentine’s Day? Why yes, yes I do. And for good reasons, too.

See, I have kids with allergies in my classroom. Like seriously bad ones. And I can’t control what candy your child is bringing into my classroom. I also can’t go with you to the grocery store or watch you whip up your signature brownies. I can’t make sure that there is absolutely zero cross contamination between the potentially deadly allergen(s) and the food you are sharing with my students.

happy valentine's!I’m sure your heart is in the right place, and you’ve gotten the virtually allergen free hard candies or re-read each label in your scrubbed clean kitchen. But I just can’t take that chance.

I also have kids who don’t have the money to spend on candy for the class. And I have a few more who are super artistic and wanted to create personalized cards for each child. As these students watch their friends open the Valentine’s mailboxes, will these carefully crafted cards get passed over in favor of one that features a Tootsie Pop? I’d like to think that this won’t happen, but the call of sugar sometimes trumps all. So, to spare the feelings of these precious children, can we all agree (as adults) that we can purchase candy-less cards this year?

Now, on to the more selfish reasons for my quest to cancel candy.

Let me just paint you a picture: kids unwrapping sweet after sweet; sprinkle covered cupcakes being shoved into mouths; colorful sugar cookies crumbling onto my carpet. The desks are covered in sticky, sticky goop. Wrappers are scattered everywhere. And guess who gets to clean it up?

ME! Because I refuse to let our custodian deal with this level of disaster.

After every class party, everything is absolutely torn apart. My whole room smells like a can of Duncan Hines frosting exploded. A ton of glittery sugar crystals have magically been sprinkled over the top of everything.

happy valentine's! (2)So, once the kids leave, I will spend the time I normally devote to grading your child’s work to Lysol wiping all of the surfaces and desperately picking crud out of the nubby carpet.

Don’t expect that math test to be home until the end of next week.

Also, have you witnessed a couple dozen prepubescent children on a crazy sugar rush?

I have, and it ain’t pretty.

First, they are excited. Like REALLY excited. They dance and sing and generally annoy all the classroom beside and below us.

Then, they go NUTS. Like crazy. they want to invent new rules for old games. They want to pull out all of the construction paper, glue, and glitter to create masterpieces.

Last comes the inevitable crash. By the last 20 or so minutes, the kids are absolute grouches. They make Oscar seem like a super positive character. All I hear are arguments, petty disagreements, and general grumbling. Seriously, I am more than happy to send you these kids when the bell rings.

So, given the serious concerns (allergies, cash limitations, creativity overruled by candy) and the somewhat more personal issues teachers might experience, let’s skip the candy (and cake and cookies) this Valentine’s Day!

Instead, how about we create some artwork or read a fun story or craft something or play silly music and dance around. There are literally thousands of ideas on Pinterest, and I’ll be pinning them all this week.

I would love for you all to share your best candy-free class party ideas in the comments here, on Facebook, on Twitter, or on Pinterest.

~Meg

 

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8 thoughts on “Skip the Valentine’s Day Candy, Please!

    1. Something small is ok, but it can really get out of hand. I’ve had parents make individual, personalized baggies for every child. A pencil, seasonal eraser, or other non-edible is a perfect way to spread the love, while keeping the sugar to a minimum:)

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  1. While I’m not a parent, I have been a nanny for kids with allergies and it is heartbreaking to see them have to spend the day at home on Halloween, the last day before Christmas or Valentine’s Day because of parents bringing food in for class parties. They knew they were being left out and to them it is personal. It’s hard for them to understand at that age why they can do what their class is doing. When I have children I will completely understand and agree with the teacher if they say no food or candy in the classrooms.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It can really get out of hand. I have a serious, but not currently deadly, dairy allergy. On holidays or celebrations, my parents always packed an extra “safe” snack for me to eat.
      Do I love sweets and cake and candy? Of course! But it’s hard to manage 20+ kids and their dietary needs in a small space.
      Thanks for being so supportive!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. My son’s daycare was a nut free zone and you could only bring in pre-made treats that had the ingredients listed on the labels. It was a rule they set with all the parents and to my knowledge no one complained. As a parent, I am going to look to the teacher to tell me what she/he wants and expects for their class parties. His current pre-K class does NOT allow parents to bring in food for parties. The teachers take care of little treats so they know exactly what they are putting into them. And they never really have a big party. They just work it into whatever topic they are discussing that week.

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