Are you looking for Valentine’s Day ideas for the classroom that will help you avoid that social-emotional nightmare for kids who are left out of Valentine card exchanges? How about those sugar rushes with all that candy? Celebrating Valentine’s Day in the classroom should be fun, but let’s face it: It can get complicated!
The teachers on the Teach Starter team have been in your shoes and navigated our own share of challenges surrounding the February holiday. That’s why we put together this list of ideas for teachers to keep those classroom parties and celebrations positive.
How do you make sure the holiday is inclusive and prevent bullying behavior? Here are some of our favorite fun Valentine’s Day ideas for teachers that will make the day a good one for every student!
Read on for Valentine’s Day ideas for schools, conversation heart activities and fun ideas you can add to your classroom party plans!
How to Talk About Valentine’s Day in the Classroom
Before we dive into the activities, we know some teachers are hesitant to talk about Valentine’s Day in the classroom. After all, the holiday is typically about romantic love — something that has no place in a classroom.
Is it even appropriate?
The good news is Valentine’s Day doesn’t just have to be focused on romantic love. It can be a great springboard to talk about “loving” your neighbor, friendship and general kindness. Random Acts of Kindness Day is February 17 this year, allowing you to hit two holidays in one.
If your class is exchanging Valentines this year, make sure you prep your class lists and let kids know that this is an opportunity to say something kind about a classmate, ensuring that every child gets a card from classmates and that they’re written with kindness in mind.
Fun Valentine’s Day Ideas
Keep reading for Valentine’s Day ideas using math, art, reading and more!
Explore What Makes You Feel Loved
If you’re searching for a topic for your morning meeting for Valentine’s Day, you could keep things simple — and holiday appropriate — with a discussion of what makes your students feel loved.
Pull out the anchor chart paper, and write down the various things that students say make them feel loved, then post it in the classroom as a reminder.
Count Your Classroom’s Hearts
Do you need an easy way to bring math into your Valentine’s Day classroom celebrations and fill those awkward 5-minute sections of time that pop up during the school day? Challenge your students to a heart counting game! This will be played either individually, in pairs or in small groups.
In five minutes (or a length of your choice), have your students see how many hearts they can find in the classroom and record them on a piece of paper. The student(s) with the most hearts wins!
Keep the competition completely open from finding hearts in books from the classroom library to the hearts displayed on a bulletin board. ANY heart counts!
Build Fine Motor Skills With Heart Lacing Cards
If your students are just a bit too young to try embroidery, they can still use their fine motor skills to complete a heart-lacing card! Using thick colorful paper, punch holes all the way around the heart (this gives it a lacy look!). Have your students thread yarn through each of the holes going all the way around the shape.
When they’ve reached the end, help them to tie a knot! Students can go a step further and write the name of someone they love inside the heart, draw a picture or decorate it with various craft supplies you may have in your classroom.
Practice CVC Words — Valentine Style
Photo courtesy of California kindergarten teacher Alina.
Combine CVC words with Valentine’s Day, and you’ve got yourself a creative, educational craft! California kindergarten teacher Alina had her students spin a digital CVC wheel to see which words they would add to their paper hearts (one by one).
Use our free Classroom Spin Wheel to try this activity in your own classroom!
Make Hearts With Tangrams
Do you have tangrams in your classroom? Pull them out for a hands-on Valentine’s Day activity that can be performed in small groups to promote creative problem solving.
Challenge each group to create hearts using the tangram pieces, arranging the pieces to form hearts of different sizes and styles.
Grow Crystalized Hearts in Science Class
Growing crystals for Valentine’s Day will surely be a hit science experiment with your students, and it’s a fun way to explore solubility, saturation and crystal formation while bringing in the holiday. Plus, this activity will give each student their own pipe cleaner crystal heart to take home and hang somewhere special.
- Pipe Cleaners
- Boiling Water
- Food coloring (optional)
- Dissolve 2-3 tablespoons of borax per 250 mls of water.
- Stir the borax/water solution until most of it is dissolved.
- Add a few drops of food coloring to the solution to create red or pink hearts (optional!).
- Instruct students to shape their pipe cleaners into heart shapes using pencils as a base.
- Attach a piece of string or yarn to each heart, ensuring it’s long enough to hang inside the jars.
- Tie the pre-shaped pipe cleaners on the skewers and balance across the jar opening (this will hold them in place under the solution).
- Leave in place for 12-24 hours.
- Remove the pipe cleaner crystal shapes and let them dry.
Have your students write down their observations throughout the process, documenting the changes that occur over time.
Write Fun Letters With Funny Valentine’s Cards
Will you be doing a Valentine’s Day card exchange in the classroom this year? Turn the card exchange into a writing activity by creating your own cards with this monstrously fun I’ve Got My Eyes On You Valentine’s Day Card Template or the printable You’re Out of This World Valentine’s Day Card template.
Having students make cards for classmates and practice writing fun letters is a good way to ensure every child gets a Valentine, and providing the templates in class helps to ensure even students whose parents cannot afford to purchase cards are included in the festivities.
To make the exchange more equitable and avoid hurt feelings, consider having students choose one name out of a hat. This will be the person they write their card out to, cutting down on all the time that would be spent on making individual cards for everyone.
Provide Valentines for Everyone
Don’t have time to create cards? You can still incorporate this activity into the classroom using pre-made templates.
Socioeconomics of your students may be mixed, and while there may be students whose families can afford to go all out on valentines for everyone in the class (you know that parent buying the full-size boxes of candy for the class?), many families may find the cost of purchasing cards for the holiday to be a burden.
Solve the problem by printing out a variety of cards for your classroom exchange and setting aside time to make this an in-class activity. This creates an even playing field for students as no one comes into the class with “fancy” cards and leaves their classmates out — however well-intended their gesture may be.
Explore some of our favorite printable cards:
Play Subitizing Numbers Heart Games
Share the Love — Create a Gratitude Wall
Start Valentine’s Day with a grateful heart. Use the day as inspiration for your students to pour their hearts out with gratitude-filled hearts for their classmates. Why not ask your students to think about something they’re grateful for that another student has done?
- “I loved it when Sarah helped me with reading last week!”
- “Alex invited me to play with him and his friends at recess.”
- “Liam said I did a great job on my book project.”
Explore the Human Heart
With so many brightly colored candies, decorations and cards depicting an artistic heart shape, you might have some students who are eager or ready to learn about an actual human heart! This six-minute introductory video will help students understand the basic functions of a heart and open them up to the world of anatomy and physiology.
Older students may also enjoy this video by Crash Course with Hank Green!
Reveal a Hundreds Chart Mystery Picture
Or use our holiday hundred charts to reveal a mystery picture! Students will use the coloring guide at the top of each page to color in the hundreds chart. By completing this activity, students can identify numbers within 100 and start counting at any number less than 100.
Play Guess the Number
In the week leading up to Valentine’s Day, have your students guess how many candies or chocolates are in a jar! Place the jar on your desk or in the front of the room and have a designated space for each student to cast their guess (such as on small strips of paper to place inside a box). The student (or students!) with the closest guess can win a small prize!
If there are no known food allergies in your classroom, share the jar of sweets with your students on Valentine’s Day!
Set Up a Compliment Box
Who doesn’t love being complimented? An unexpected compliment can make even the cloudiest days seem sunny, and setting up a compliment box in the classroom for Valentine’s Day can take the place of card exchanges this year.
Why not put together a Compliments Box with our Compliment Box Decorations and Compliment Cards? Your students will have the opportunity to anonymously give their friends a smile with a kind word. Read them at the end of the day, and see their faces shine!
Photo courtesy of graduate teacher Miss Hocking
Continue the warm and fuzzy feelings throughout the year by giving this compliments box a permanent home in the classroom.
Show the Classroom Love
With our free handprint templates or encouraging your students to trace and cut out their own hands, compile all the handprints into a giant heart shape to create a Valentine’s bulletin board display or classroom decoration.
To create an even more detailed display, have each student decorate their hand, add their name or write something they love about their class before placing it on the board. In the center of the hands heart, add the letters, “We Love Our Class.”
Check out these Valentine-themed bulletin board display ideas from teachers like you!
Tell Your Librarian You Love Them
Have you heard that February 14th is also Library Lovers’ Day? That’s right! Use the day as an opportunity to show your school librarian how much they mean to you! Our Why We Love the Library Heart Template is a heartfelt Valentine’s Day activity that will encourage students to talk about what they love about their school library.
Explore a Valentine’s Sensory Bin in Primary
Young students love sensory bins, so why not make one that’s Valentine’s themed? In a plastic bin, compile rice, conversation hearts, marbles, sprinkles, pompoms and any other objects you might have around the classroom or can find at your local dollar store.
Go a step further and provide mini plastic shovels and/or tweezers so students can practice their fine motor skills and pick out specific items without using their fingers.
Create a Love Yourself Love-Heart Chain
Sometimes it can be more difficult to think about what we love about ourselves, but this social and emotional learning idea is a good way to bring the “love” concept of Valentine’s Day into the classroom in a kid-appropriate way.
Ask your students to write what they love about themselves and their abilities and create these beautifully positive Love-Heart chains to display in the classroom!
Solve a Valentine’s Word Scramble
Who doesn’t love a good word scramble? Especially when it is paired with a set of riddles! This free word scramble activity is perfect for fast finishers. This is a great way to have your students work on vocabulary and spelling all at the same time!
To extend students’ learning, why not have them choose one of the words and write a fun acrostic poem?
Draw Heart-Shaped Items
Students will have to think outside the box with this fun art activity that is perfect if you’re throwing a classroom Valentine’s Day party.
With a blank piece of paper and a drawing item, see how many objects or animals your kids can create out of a heart shape. The heart can be right side up, upside down, however your students can create it into something other than a classic heart. Go a step further and make it a fun competition! The student who can draw the most items wins.
Write Valentine’s Acrostic Poems
Use our free acrostic template for students to complete based on the word “love.” For fast finishers, challenge them to write an acrostic poem using the word “Valentine” or “kind” or “heart” in their notebooks.
Learn Fun Facts About Valentine’s Day
Did you know that Mr. Richard Cadbury was the first person to create chocolates specifically for Valentine’s Day? Or that chocolate dates back to the Mayans and the Aztecs?
Watch this fact-filled video, and ask your students to create a fact page all about the day! Use either our free Facts About…Template or 10 Fun Facts Template to showcase what they learned about the holiday.
Or why not have your students read how other cultures celebrate Valentine’s Day and answer a set of comprehension questions when they are done?
Looking for more videos? Watch PBS Learning Media’s video about the Valentine’s Day holiday.
Fun Conversation Heart Activities
Conversation hearts have been a Valentine’s Day staple since 1866, and while the messages on these delicious treats might have changed over the last century and a half, their popularity definitely hasn’t. For most of us, it’s just not Valentine’s Day without them.
So why not bring these fun treats into the classroom for your students to enjoy with paper conversation hearts and a host of fun activities for math, ELA and more?
Here are six easy activities using conversation hearts that we think your students would love to do in the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day!
Put Conversation Hearts in Alphabetical Order
Putting words in alphabetical order can be tricky for many of our students, so why not have them practice using these fun treats? Print off a set of our Conversation Hearts on cardstock and cut them out. Then throw them in your reading center for the perfect center activity!
Explore Rhyming Words
Rhyming words are an important foundational language skill for students to understand. This activity is an easy and fun way to help your students notice and work with sounds within words.
Have them choose a conversation heart randomly and list as many rhyming words for the word or phrase that appears on their heart.
You don’t have to be able to read to enjoy conversation hearts! Use them with your Pre-K and Kindergarten students to explore patterns.
Have your students create different patterns with their conversation hearts, such as ABAB, AABAAB, or AABBAA, using the colors. Once they are done, have them switch places with a partner and try to continue their pattern!
Use Conversation Hearts for Sentence Writing
Do you have reluctant writers in your classroom? This activity is sure to get them writing! Have your students choose a conversation heart randomly and write a silly sentence that includes the word or phrase that they chose. For your intermediate students, specify which type of sentence they must write — simple, compound, or complex! For an added layer of fun, why not give them a die, and tell them odd numbers are compound sentences and even numbers are complex sentences? Have students roll with each heart to determine which type of sentence they write.
Only have a few minutes left of class? Randomly draw a conversation heart and write an elaborate sentence as a whole class. Keep a running record of the word count for each of your sentences, and make it a class competition. Your students will be begging to play in no time!
We also have some fantastic teaching resources that will help explain and reinforce the different types of sentences to your students.
Are your preschool students still learning their colors? Or maybe your primary students are working on graphing? Then you will definitely want to make note of this activity!
Have your students sort a set of conversation hearts by color. Then, depending on their ability level, have them create a tally chart and graph using their data. As an extension, have your students write a math word problem for their graph for a partner to solve. Use one of our graphing templates to make this activity a breeze!
Write Candy Heart Poetry
Challenge your upper elementary writes to use their candy hearts to make a poem!