Love is in the air! And these days, thanks to Pinterest, even in a lunchbox. To celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, send your little sweetheart to school with a sentimental surprise. Check out our list of favorites, from free printables to fun lunch accessories that you can use long after the holiday is over.
A Bento Full of Love
Blogger Wendolina built a loveable bento for her son Wyatt’s Valentine’s day lunch. On the menu: popcorn with pink sprinkles, a few heart candies, an apple with a heart-shaped chunk cutout and a heart-shaped piece of fruit leather, heart-shaped strawberries and heart-shaped sandwiches. Check it out in full at wendolina.com.
Heart-Shaped Food Picks
Been meaning to get your toe wet in the bento world? Consider these food picks your floaties. Stick them in sandwiches, cheese cubes or fruit for a low-maintenance makeover. And at $3.50 for a set of 30, it’s no big deal if a couple don’t make their way back home. Buy them from WHSupplies at etsy.com.
Fruit Rollup Fortune Cookies
We want to high-five the genius who thought of this. Instructions are nice and clear, and it looks like it only takes a few minutes to make, too — a small price to pay for a creative sweet treat that your kiddo is sure to fall for. Grab the how-to at sheknows.com.
photo: She Knows
GoGo Squeez Wrappers
Leave it to GoGo Squeez to make lunchtime fun. Print out any of the free, deliciously punny designs (each matches a different GoGo Squeez flavor), cut and wrap around a pouch to give to your “main squeez.” Bonus: Each comes in a black-and-white version to color if you’re feeling extra crafty or want to involve baby sister or brother. Get the printables at liveplayfully.gogosqueez.com.
photo: GoGo SqueeZ
Owl Pillow Box
And here we thought that pillow boxes were just for weddings. Pinterest is chock-full of kid-friendly designs, including this Valentine’s Day owl made by Kiki and Company. Print the free template as an extra-special way to surprise your little love with special treats or homemade goodies. If owls aren’t your kid’s thing, this alligator or fox is equally irresistible. See them all at overthebigmoon.com.
photo: Kiki and Company / Over the Big Moon
iPod Chocolate Bar Wrapper
Older kids who are too cool for cute are sure to drool over this iPod treat. Print and fold the free download and wrap around a chocolate bar for a tasteful way to let them know they’re loved. The only other material you need on hand is thread or floss, but you could easily forego the heart-shaped earbuds. Snag the download from the adorable blog artby angeli.blogspot.com.
photo: Art by Angeli
Valentine’s Day Jokes
If your kid is more into LOLs than XOXOs, these free printable jokes are perfect. They’re also a last-minute mom’s best friend — just print, cut and throw in the lunchbox and you’re done. Our personal favorite: What do you call a very small Valentine? A Valentiny! Download other ha-has at overthebigmoon.com.
photo: Over the Big Moon
Sucre Shop Utensils
Even jazzing up small, overlooked items—like utensils—makes a big difference come lunchtime. Order this set of 20 as spoons, forks, or a mix of both, or opt for the more subtle double heart mini spoons or hipster-worthy arrow forks or spoons. Keep your wallet close; this website is pretty dangerous. Buy them for $12/set of 20 at sucreshop.com.
photo: Sucre Shop
What kind of surprise will you put in your kiddo’s lunchbox? Spill the details in the Comments!
— Selena Kohng