February 14th is approaching fast. Looking for a way to celebrate beyond the standard parties, candy and Valentine card exchange? Why not incorporate Valentine crafts and activities into your entire day? Here are some ways to make an entire school day out of Valentine’s Day.
This Valentine’s game requires concentration and teamwork as students pass a tissue paper heart back and forth using only clothespins. As teams rip (i.e. “break”) hearts, they’re disqualified. The last team with an intact heart wins. It’s surprising how quiet a class can get when they’re concentrating this intensely!
This one’s for upper grade levels: collect glass jars from students and recycle them into festive candle holders that kids can give to their parents. With some scissors, tissue paper and corn starch, students can customize their own design. It might need to dry overnight, so plan to do this with enough lead time so that students can bring them home for Valentine’s Day.
Show Some Love
Love Valentine’s Day crafts but don’t have an artistic bone in your body? Don’t worry, this bulletin board project is just a matter of cutting and pasting, making it easy to do and a cinch to clean up. Students trace their hand and then glue down two fingers to create “I love you” in sign language. Glue a heart on top of that and have students write down something they love about a topic of your choosing, such as school, a unit you’re working on, or their own lives.
Find Your Heart Mate
Valentine’s Day math can be more than You + Me = Us. Distribute “broken” hearts to your class, one half with an equation, the other with an answer. This gets students out of their seats to exercise their mathematics skills, so it feels like a game and not a math review.
I <3 Science
Likewise, there are plenty of science-themed Valentine’s activities out there. This pack at Teachers Pay Teachers has five elementary school lessons on everything from force, motion, and air pressure (“Cupid’s Target Practice”) to chemical reactions (“Crystal Hearts”).
Candy Hearts Experiment
A good use for those chalky candy hearts no one actually likes– sacrifice them to science. Gather bottles with various liquids like soda, rubbing alcohol, vinegar and bleach (if your students are incredibly careful) and ask students what they think will happen when they drop the heart candy into each of the liquids. Write down their predictions and put them to the test.
Left/Right Story Game
Have students sit in a circle and hand them several small wrapped prizes. Pick one person to read a Valentine’s Day story. Every time the kids hear “left” in the story, they pass the prize to their left. Same goes for right. Whoever is holding a prize when the story finishes gets to keep that prize. Read the story a few more times, starting with new kids and new prizes or break the story up into sections. This is even more fun if students share Valentine’s Day stories they’ve written themselves. See a sample story from Cul-de-sac-cool here.