Are you stressed because you’re low on time (and cash)? I bet you don’t even want to spend another moment planning an elaborate event. Psst, I don’t blame you. That’s why I created this list of classroom Valentine’s ideas!
I get you! February is the month when burnout starts to sink in. Your personal life becomes non-existent (if it’s not been there already), and you live on coffee without sleep.
But not for you! That’s why you’re here. You’re ready to take back control and find the joy in teaching.
Here are five easy classroom Valentine’s ideas for elementary!
I promise you’ll feel empowered knowing you’re in control. Your kids will remain engaged in learning. The best part- there won’t be any tears from you or your students.
Idea #1: DIY Goodie Bags
I love doing these Valentine’s Day bags every year! Students only need the printables, scissors, glue, and a lunch bag (substitute with a gallon plastic bag).
First, these labels are editable. I type my students’ names on the label. Then, I print the template on colored paper. After that, students select which color they want. Finally, they assemble their pieces and create their goodie bag.
I love using these bags for several different reasons. First, all my students’ names are clearly displayed so students can quickly deliver their cards without guessing whose bag is whose?
Also, I know you can cut the heart shape by folding the paper, but sometimes it doesn’t come out right (especially with little ones). Have you ever seen a seven-year-old throw a fit because their heart looks like an ice cream cone? I have!
Idea #2: Class Coupons
If I can avoid a public supermarket, I will. The thing I dread most is going to buy commercial Valentine’s Day cards because not all my students find them valuable. The melted crayon is a cute idea too, but I’d rather not make a mess in my kitchen.
So, my favorite gift idea is to give students a coupon for a classroom incentive. These coupons are editable so that you can create a coupon for any incentive. All you need to do is type the incentive, and it populates into all the other cards.
I love these Valentine’s Day coupons because they are valuable to my students, I can edit them from the comfort of my own home, and I don’t have to make a mess!
Idea #3: Math Games
I love a good game. My favorite games are the murder mystery games, but since we can’t play those in school, I like math games instead. These are fun because we use them during our Valentine’s Day celebration. They both make a great center for students to play.
The first math game is a digital math game. To start, students work to solve the math facts. Then, they press a button to answer each problem. If students guess incorrectly, they have to go back to the slide to try again. Similarly, if they guess correct, they get to help the monster grow a kind heart.
These games are highly interactive. They include animations and audio to keep students engaged. These games are sold in bundles or individually. Check them out here in my TPT shop.
Perhaps you don’t have the technology for these games, or you want a paper version too! I created these math games for students too. These are some of my favorites because I mix these game cards with the nonseasonal game cards we’re working on.
So, let’s say we’re working on time and money, I mix these math facts in with the time and money deck. Then, we use the game boards and STEM task cards to make them relevant to our celebration. It’s a win-win!
Idea #4: Valentine’s STEAM Card
If you’re looking for something artistic, this Valentine’s STEAM activity is perfect. Students exercise their creativity, small motor skills, and problem-solving skills thus becoming extraordinarily smart!
All students need are paper, crayons, scissors, and glue.
I’ve included instructions for teachers on how to do this, but it’s really quite simple. Students create and cut out a heart using rotational symmetry. Then, they trace it in a circle to create a flower on a card. My students created these during our STEM Club and took them home to their special adults.
I’ve included reading passages about the history of Valentine’s Day and writing pages for planning and reflection. The reading is geared for students in 2 – 3, but you can read the passage to younger students.
Idea #5: Valentine’s Day STEM Challenges
Remember how I mentioned we like to do centers during our Valentine’s Day celebration? These STEM challenges are great activities for that. We take about 10 – 15 minutes in each center.
Students stack the cups, and use a straw and Q-tip to knock the cups down with “Cupid’s Arrow.” They add the value they knocked over and take turns until the time is up. It’s so fun and easy to do.
Candy Heart Sling Shot
The next challenge is a Candy Heart Sling Shot. Students are given craft sticks, rubber bands, binder clips, and candy hearts. You can also try a balloon and a bottomless cup.
Students try to launch a candy heart as far as possible. For little ones, you can have them test premade slingshots and compare the distance of each candy heart. Another idea is to have examples available so they can attempt to create their own slingshot.
Heart Towers are our third STEM challenge. Students exercise their fine motor skills and apply some math by measuring the candy heart towers. This one is so easy, and students get focused on trying to create tall towers. You can try this STEM Challenge for free here.
Candy Heart Experiments
Our next STEM activity is more of a science experiment. Candy Hearts Experiment is basically experimenting with states of matter. Students make predictions before testing their hearts. Gather four different types of liquids and observe what happens when candy hearts are dropped into the liquid. You’ll see they dissolve quicker in some liquids than in others. Although this one isn’t as quick paced as the other STEM challenges, I always find that my little ones are always surprised by these.
Eiffel Tower Challenge
At last, we have an Eiffel Tower Challenge. Students use newspapers and tape to create Eiffel Towers. I love all these challenges because it gives students opportunities to learn new vocabulary and build prior knowledge needed to comprehend non-fiction texts.
These classroom Valentine’s ideas are perfect for teachers who are short on prep time and don’t want to waste planning surfing the web trying to piece it all together. Which of these activities will you be trying this Valentine’s Day?
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