February 10, 2017 10:30 by april
Looking for a new and different way you and your students can celebrate Valentine’s Day in the classroom? We’re sharing six Valentine’s Day activities for kids that go beyond making traditional valentines.
- Study the Heart Muscle – Valentine’s Day is all about hearts, but one heart that doesn’t normally get talked about on Valentine’s Day is the heart muscle. Instead of eating heart-shaped candies or making a heart craft, use Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to teach children how their heart and circulatory system works. Read “Creating an Intentional Classroom Environment” for an example lesson on how you can incorporate the real heart into your Valentine’s Day.
- Be Your Own Valentine – Instead of making valentines for others, have children make ones for themselves. Ask them to write about what makes them unique or what they like about themselves. Are they kind to others? Do they have a great smile? Are they a great reader? By encouraging children to write a valentine note to themselves, you can help boost their self-confidence and self-esteem.
- Investigate the Color Red – Red is the predominant color of Valentine’s Day, but what makes red so special? Talk about how red is a primary color and symbolizes different things. This is also a great opportunity to bring out the color paddles and color mixing glasses to see what colors red makes when mixed with other colors. Another idea is to have red-themed snacks for Valentine’s Day—strawberries, red apples, red grapes, and cranberries are all healthy options. You can also make red pancakes for a fun snack.
- Discover How Chocolate Is Made – Chocolate is another common staple of Valentine’s Day, but do you know how it is actually made? One of your Valentine’s Day activities for elementary students can be for them to watch a video on how chocolate (or their favorite chocolate candy) is made. Another great idea is to have them research fun facts about chocolate and share their findings with the rest of the class.
- Study the Different Parts of a Flower – Giving and/or receiving flowers is also a major part of Valentine’s Day. Do your students know what parts make up a flower? Bring in some flowers for children to see and touch, and talk about the different parts of the flowers. Our Cross-Section Flower Model demonstrates the parts of a tulip, including the stamen, pistil, sepal, stem, leaf, and roots. You can also use Shimmer Shapes Flowers as a multisensory activity, so children can build flowers as they learn about them.
- Learn Who Delivers the Mail – How do Valentine’s Day cards and packages get delivered? In a world full of emails and text messages, children (and adults) can easily forget that their mail has to go through the post office or another mail service. Consider going on a field trip to a post office or having a mail carrier come speak to your students as part of your Valentine’s Day activities for preschoolers. You may want to mail each child a Valentine’s Day card to their home address to help them get the full experience.
Make Mailboxes for Your Classroom
Many teachers have their students make a little mailbox or bag to hold their valentines, but consider making mailboxes a more permanent part of your classroom with the activity below.
What to Do:
- Talk about the importance of friendship and how people write letters and send cards to their friends to keep in touch.
- Let the children pick boxes and decorate them as mailboxes.
- Attach a card with each child’s name to the side of his or her box.
- Have each child pick out a playing card with a number on it. This will be each child’s box number.
- Set up the mailboxes on shelves and open up a writing center (if you don’t already have one) so children can write to one another. Ask parents to donate materials for the writing center.
- Make sure the children address their letters to one another appropriately.
- Encourage the children to deliver their letters to the appropriate boxes. Another option would be to make a mailbag and let a different child be the postal carrier each day/week.
This activity is based on an activity included in The GIANT Encyclopedia of Monthly Activities.
Read some of our other holiday blog posts for additional Valentine’s Day activities!