Valentine’s Day is often a big deal at school, and it’s fun to find creative ways to celebrate the occasion as a class. Because some students may not always feel accepted or appreciated, it’s a good idea to design classroom activities that help all students feel included, accepted, and validated. Instead of a dozen roses, here are 12 classroom activity ideas that you can use in your classroom:
Have each student create a heart with their name on it. Post these hearts on a classroom wall, and then have students write positive notes on each other’s hearts. This might include what they love about each classmate. To make sure that everyone is included and receives messages, you may wish to assign students heart partners. Students can write on the hearts or paste sticky notes on them.
If you do a card exchange in your classroom, consider having students design their own cards using programs like Canva, Google Drawings, or Microsoft PowerPoint. These cards can be sent digitally or printed off. By having each student create their own card, no student will need to feel left out because they cannot afford to buy commercial cards.
Pair up with another teacher and have students design cards to send to their partner classroom. Students could design a card as a classroom and send one big card, or you could pair up individual students.
As a class, design a wall display to share favorite books. Each student can create a heart or book to add to the display. This is a great way to use a Valentine’s Day theme to have students recommend books to each other.
Most students like the challenge of a puzzle, so creating a Valentine’s-themed challenge can be a fun way to celebrate the day while also encouraging students to use their critical thinking skills. These can be in the form of breakout boxes, escape rooms, scavenger hunts, or puzzle challenges. You can search online for various resources, like the Room Escape Maker, Google Sites templates, and building escape rooms with Google Forms, or you can choose from free digital escape rooms from Ditch That Textbook. Another simple option is to use Flippity’s Virtual Breakout template.
One fun approach to Valentine’s Day is to send Valentine’s cards as someone else. Students might pretend to be characters in a story and send notes to another character. In history class, they could become a historical figure or someone who was at a historic event. By sending cards from these perspectives, students will need to think at high levels to create from another perspective. These cards could be created either physically or virtually. Virtual cards could even be shared using a discussion forum in a learning management system. You could also have the class include these in a digital class book using Book Creator.
Students sometimes have a hard time recognizing the gifts they have. One activity to help build up self-esteem is to have students reflect on what makes them special and unique. You could have them create a big heart or a page from a class book where they list their positive attributes. If students struggle to compliment themselves, you could create teams where students help each other with the list of positive attributes. One fun twist on this activity is to create them without a name and have classmates guess the person who owns the heart.
Have each student design a jar to represent themselves. Then, have students put Valentine’s notes in each other’s jars. If you want to do this virtually, you could create a digital slideshow, with one slide for each student. Classmates could then add virtual sticky notes to each other’s slides. To make it easier for students, you could have blank sticky notes in the margins of the slides for them to fill out and then transfer over to the slide.
You could have students draw names of a classmate to be their secret Valentine. Each day, you could have students complete an activity where they send a positive note to their secret partner. This could work nicely in tandem with the Jar of Hearts activity. On Valentine’s Day, students try to guess who their secret Valentine is.
This is a great way to continue developing positive school-to-home relationships, and it’s a great way to help students connect with their families. Of course, some students may not have strong relationships with their family members, so it’s important to be aware of students who struggle with this. For those students, you could give them an alternate choice of sending a note to a favorite teacher or friend.
Fill a jar with candy hearts and have students try to guess how many hearts are inside.
Use a topic related to Valentine’s Day as a writing prompt. You could even use it as an opportunity to write a Valentine’s Day story as a class. One creative approach to this is to write a chain story, where each student contributes the next line until all students have added something. This could be done in written format or even shared aloud by going around the room. It can also be adapted to small groups, with each group sharing back their story.
Extend Your Learning
- 7 Valentine’s Day Classroom Activities (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
- 28 Easy Valentine’s Day Activities for Elementary Students (Teaching Expertise)
- 20 Valentine’s Day Activities for Kids – Make It a STEAM Holiday (Proud to be Primary)
- 20+ Fun Valentine’s Day Ideas for Teachers That Your Class Will Love (Teach Starter)