“Is the party going to be all day?” “When do we pass out our Valentines?” “My mom has to bring in my Valentine mailbox because it’s three feet tall.” These kids get crazy. And getting them to focus on anything other than the thought of possibly having a secret admirer can be difficult. These Valentine’s Day activities for school have saved my sanity by harnessing all that excitement into engaging activities that bring it all back to reading and writing.
All of these Valentine’s Day activities are great for keeping your students engaged in the days leading up to Valentine’s. Some can even be used during the party!
Valentine’s Day Activities for School You Can Use on (or Before) Party Day
The party with the Human Cheeto Sprinkler was by far the most unforgettable class party of my entire teaching career.
I had that class that year. You know the one I’m talking about. The one with the constant chatter any second that lacks structured engagement. The one that has you finding dirty notes on the ground after class. Yes, dirty notes. In third grade. The one that has you saying a prayer that a fight doesn’t break out in the classroom on the days you’re out sick. Yeah, that class.
Come party day, I knew I needed structured activities. I wanted them to after fun because, wild as they were, they were my little crazies and I loved them. I just needed to keep them engaged throughout the entire party.
Things went incredibly well. Parents came, we made a craft, ate our treats, handed out our Valentines in shifts, and played Synonym & Antonym BINGO. We all had fun and nobody argued or got out of hand.
Then it ended.
As I was signing a student out for his parents, Lucas’s excitement from the day overwhelmed him and he erupted. Something small flew from his direction and hit me right in the forehead. I looked up and there he was. Spinning around in a circle waving the open Cheetos bag he brought to share with the class up and down, tossing a wave of Cheetos in its wake.
The Human Cheeto Sprinkler.
While I may not have made it through the entire day without any issues, I had at least made it through the party. And most of the parents already left. All but one, actually. And that saint of a woman immediately took to entertaining the rest of the class while Lucas and I had a little chat about his choices.
And now we all have a fun little memory to laugh about for years to come.
Now, here are the activities I used to keep them entertained during the party. You could also absolutely use them at any point leading up to the party as well.
Valentine’s Day Synonym and Antonym BINGO
You can turn literally any BINGO game into a Valentine-themed game by using Hershey’s Kisses or other candies as your “markers”. So, dust off that old reading strategy BINGO game you have in the cabinet and start playing. This makes for a great game during the party and has your students reviewing strategies and concepts.
I always need to review context clues, so I find ways to spiral it throughout the year. This Valentine’s Day Synonym and Antonym BINGO game gets the kids excited to review synonyms & antonyms by using Valentine’s themed words. And I dressed it up a little with some cute Valentine’s robot erasers I found at Target.
Procedural Text Valentine’s Day Craft!
Kids love origami and Pinterest is full of How-Tos for making Valentine’s Crafts, so you’ll have plenty of options for this. I found a procedural text for creating heart-shaped bookmarks online that I love by DIY Candy. I did need to do a bit of copying and pasting to create the format that I wanted to present to the students, though.
Use the procedural text to gather your materials and make your own bookmarks/crafts while discussing how each part of the text helps you understand the procedure. The students end up with a super cute new craft and have fun reading along the way!
Steal My Heart Valentine’s Day Game
This Valentine’s Day game is super easy to create and gets your kids up and moving around the room. You’ll want to establish some ground rules and expectations since the kids will be up and out of their seats.
You Will Need:
- A bunch of construction paper to make at least five die-cut hearts for each of your students
- Tape (You’ll probably want to have a few rolls around the room.)
- Printer paper
- A document camera/smartboard (or other way to display the answer key)
- The Valentine’s Day Riddles FREEBIE below.
How to Prepare this Valentine’s Day Game:
- Download the Valentine’s Day Riddles FREEBIE below.
- Type or write each riddle you plan on a piece of paper and place them around the room. You want the writing to be large enough for the students to read it from a distance.
- Use a die cut to cut out a bunch of hearts on construction paper. You want to have enough for each student to have at least five hearts. You can choose to pass out more than five to each student if you want, but be sure everyone gets the same amount of hearts.
How to Play the Game:
- Pass out the die-cut hearts to the students, making sure everyone has an even amount. Tell the students to write their name on each of their hearts.
- Display the answers on the document camera or smartboard.
- Tell the students that they want these riddles to “steal their hearts.”
- The way to have a riddle steal your heart is by solving it. Try to match the answers on the board with the correct riddle. When you think you’ve found a match, write the number of the answer from the board on a heart and tape it with the matching riddle.
- The first person to have all of their hearts stolen is the winner.
Get the FREE Valentine’s Day Riddles Here:
Valentine’s Day Activities for School to Keep Your Third Graders Focused and Engaged Leading Up to the Party
I bet your kids are excited about the class Valentine’s Day party. But, all the fun doesn’t have to be limited to party day. Roll that excitement on into your ELA block with these Valentine’s Day ELA activities.
Valentine’s Day Task Cards and Boom Cards
I love reviewing context clues with digital task cards year-round and adding a Valentine’s Day theme makes them even more fun. These Valentine’s Day Context Clues Task Cards with Digital Options include built-in oral admin. How cool is that? Talk about engaging.
Valentine’s Day Writing Prompts
These Valentine’s Day writing prompts are a great way to start the day. They help get the kids settled and thinking before the bell rings and announcements end. They’re also a great thing to throw in your writing station.
Had I used them at the end of the famous Cheeto-themed Valentine’s Day party, I could’ve avoided disaster.
Grab these FREE Valentine’s Day writing prompts here:
Valentine’s Day Poetry
Roses are red, Violets are blue, Your students want to write poetry for their Valentines, too!
Valentine’s Day and poems go hand in hand. If you’re looking to add a little structure, use a specific type of poetry, like sensory poems. You could have the kids write a sensory poem about Valentine’s Day in general or even about their favorite candy.
Celebrate Book Love
Have your students choose a book that they love and write about why they love it inside a heart. This can go as in-depth as you want. I like to have them include quotes, character descriptions, connections, and themes. Once they complete their writing, they are invited to add a heart background and decorations
Put these up on display to give the kids great ideas for what to read next. Parents also love seeing all the book recommendations when they come for the class Valentine’s party.
This may be the easiest one to implement. All it takes is some construction paper, a pencil, and some markers/crayons. The Teacher Studio has also created a bulletin board set if you’d like to have it all ready to go for you.
Practice Self Love with this Valentine’s Day Writing Activity
I absolutely love this writing activity that I found on Jessica’s site, What I Have Learned Teaching. It’s a great way to promote self-love and positive self-talk with our students. She has them finish the sentences, “I love that I can…” “I love that I am…” and “I love that I have…”
Fun Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for Students That Won’t Break the Bank
Searching for Valentine’s Day gift ideas for your students? Check out these cheap and/or free ideas!
“You Blow Me Away, Valentine” FREE Printable from The Girl Creative
How adorable are these?! Diana, the creative girl behind The Girl Creative, has detailed instructions and a FREE printable on her site to help you create these beauties for your students.
FREE Valentine’s Day Bookmarks! from Koala-ty Paper Shop
This FREE set of Valentine’s Day Bookmarks comes with 12 different designs offered in both color and black & white. Here are a couple of my favorites.