Celebrating Valentine’s Day in the classroom should be fun, but let’s face it: It can get complicated! 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 and that sugar rush to boot?
The teachers on the Teach Starter team have been in your shoes and navigated our own share of challenges surrounding the February holiday. It’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!
Short on time? Skip straight to Valentine’s Day printables and activities.
Fun Valentine’s Day Ideas
Set the Tone
Valentine’s Day is typically about romantic love — something that really has no place in a classroom. Instead, use Valentine’s Day as a 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 will be 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 not only that every child gets a card from classmates but that they’re written with kindness in mind.
Provide Valentines for Everyone
The 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 and 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:
Teach Starter Teacher Tip: Making this an in-class activity can also help you ensure every student receives something from their classmates and that messages are kind.
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?
Or offer up an acrostic poem template for students to complete based on the word “love” (Download your own acrostic template for free!).
Create “Stained Glass”
Make your Valentine’s Day classroom activities double as classroom decor with “stained glass” hearts that you can display on the windows of the classroom to add a bit of color to the day.
How to make stained glass hearts:
Use the front page of our I Love You to Pieces Card to create colorful confetti hearts.
- Print off the card template and cut out the center of the heart.
- Using clear contact paper, stick a piece on the backside of the heart so that the sticky side is in the middle of the heart on the front side.
- Students stick small pieces of tissue paper all over the inside.
- Stick the confetti hearts to your window for a beautiful stained glass effect.
Decorative Pennant Banner – Love Hearts
Decorate your classroom for Valentine’s Day with these shades of red and pink heart pennants.
Love Hearts – Letters and Numbers Pennant Banner
Create classroom banners and displays for Valentine’s Day with this set of letter, number, and punctuation mark heart pennants.
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 ‘Facts About…’ Template or 10 Fun Facts Template to showcase what they learned about the holiday.
"Facts About..." Template
Get a sense of separating fact from opinion in texts with this graphic organizer.
10 Fun Facts Writing Template
Use this template to distinguish between fact and opinion when studying informational or biographical texts.
Or why not have your students read how other cultures around the world celebrate Valentine’s Day and answer a set of comprehension questions when they are done?
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?
Here are five easy activities using conversation hearts that we think your students would love to do in the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day!
1. 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!
2. 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!
4. 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. Then have them 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.
Editing for Incomplete Sentences Worksheet
Read a short text passage, underline and rewrite all incomplete sentences in this 2-page worksheet.
Complete or Incomplete? - Worksheet
Practice identifying incomplete and complete sentences.
Declarative, Interrogative, and Exclamatory Sentence Match-up Cards
A set of match-up cards to use when teaching younger students about the types of sentences.
5. Color Sort & Graph
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!
Picture Graph Templates
A set of blank picture graph templates for students to represent data.
Blank Graph Template
A blank template for constructing graphs.
Square Dot Paper
Sheets of square dot paper templates.
Add a Valentine’s Day twist to your math lessons!
Practice subitizing with a heart numbers game, review multiplication facts, or cover addition facts for the holiday with a heart template.
Or use our holiday hundred charts to reveal a mystery picture!
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!”
Ask each student to write one thing they’re grateful for on a heart from our Share the Love – Gratitude Love Heart template and display them on your wall with our Start Each Day With a Grateful Heart – Gratitude Quote Poster.
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!
Make a Card
A list of Valentine’s Day activities for elementary schoolers just wouldn’t be complete without including a card activity! Or, how about three card activities?
These card templates make creating Valentine’s cards a breeze! All you need is either colored paper and/or one of our downloadable templates! You might want to send a few home as options for parents who may not be able to afford to buy cards for the whole class.
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.
Make a Valentine’s Day Bag
Why not have your students make a cute Valentine’s Bag to collect valentines from their classmates this year? They are easy to make and so cute to look at!
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!
We used the Self Portrait Worksheet and the love hearts from the second page of our Why We Love The Library Heart Template!
Read a “Lovely” Story
Reading a sweet story is the perfect afternoon activity for your students on Valentine’s Day. Here are a few favorites from our teacher team
- Groundhug Day by Anne Marie Pace — Caring animal friends scheme to make sure Groundhog can make it to Moose’s Valentine’s Day party. Hit two February holidays at once with this title!
- Click, Clack, Moo I Love You! by Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin— Duck’s vision for his Valentine’s Day celebration includes streamers, hearts, glitter, and a good time for all. An unexpected guest helps it come together.
- This is NOT a Valentine by Carter Higgins — Can a valentine be a valentine if it isn’t flowery and pink? Let this ode to friendship help you and your students decide.