Although I know this removes the whole romantic aspect of the holiday, in this party planner’s mind, Valentine’s Day sticks out to me as a school-based holiday. In my entire 18-year history of party planning, the only Valentine’s Day parties I’ve thrown (or attended!) have been school functions. I don’t know if that’s something other people experience as well, or if it’s just me. I know this holiday is supposed to be about couples and love, but what I think about are classrooms decorated in paper hearts, mailboxes for valentines at each desk, and kids munching on conversation hearts. So with that in mind, here are some fun and simple classroom Valentine’s Day party ideas -- especially for you poor hassled room parents and overworked teachers!
Check out my decor blog for additional ideas, but I’ve always thought that the best Valentine’s decorations came from kids. A day or two before the party, hand out paper doilies, stickers, markers, construction paper, glue sticks, and scissors. Have the kids design their own hearts. Collect all the hearts and do a double hole punch in the top of each one. String the hearts on a pretty ribbon or piece of yarn to create a long streamer that you can hang across the front of the room. Dangle any extras for the window sills or door jam. Tape extras to the bulletin board, windows, or white board. Have a few of your artistic kids decorate the whiteboard or chalkboard with fun hearts, flowers, and cupid drawings. Or, if you have the ability, print up photos of each child and place in the middle of a heart doily, tape to an empty wall or bulletin board with the phrase, “My Funny Valentine.”
Conversation Heart Bingo: If a little candy is allowed, then this is a the perfect game to play. It’s a bit of a reversal on regular bingo, since each player makes their own board using little conversation hearts. See our full explanation and template here on our main site.
Who Stole My Heart?: You’ll need a heart of some sort (stuffed, paper, or candy) and a blindfold. Place a chair at the front of the room facing the class. Choose one player to sit in the chair. Blindfold them and place the heart in their lap. Once everyone is settled, the team leader chooses a second player to “steal” the heart. That player sneaks up as quietly as they can, steals the heart, and makes their way back to their seat. The player may want to make noises in other parts of the room before sitting back down to disguise where they actually sit. Once the thief has settled, the blindfold is removed and the seated player tries to guess who the thief is.
My Broken Heart: Take construction paper (or you can use large pre-cut hearts; just make sure they have a bit of weight to them) and make a bunch of cut-out hearts in pink, white and red. You’ll want one heart for every two students. Take each heart (one at a time) and cut them in half in interesting ways (zig-zag, puzzle piece shaped, on an angle, with bumps, etc.). Place all the halves into a big hat, bowl, or bag, and have each student pick one half of a heart. Once everyone has a heart, say “Go!” and have everyone try and find their missing half. Once they have found their half they should sit on the floor back to back. From here you can go into the next game...
Locked in Love: Have partners sit back-to-back on the ground. Have them reach around and link arms, elbow to elbow. On “Go!” have each pair try and stand up together as a team. It takes a bit of trial and error to figure out exactly how to exert enough pressure upon each other to stand at the same time, but once the partners get the feel of it, they should be able to stand up and sit down again over and over.
Cupid Shuffle: Get out the boom box and play The Cupid Shuffle! The dance moves are super easy and can be learned on YouTube. Once you have the basic steps, you can go to town and have fun with funking it up.
Cupid-ize Me!: Take photos (class photos work well) and print them up ahead of time. Cut out the heads (it’s great if they can be slightly oversized) and give each student a cupid body to color and decorate (see our downloadable template). Have the students glue the heads onto their decorated bodies. Hang all the cupids around the room, or display them on a bulletin board.
A Beautiful Heart: Blindfold everyone. Hand them a piece of paper one marker and one crayon. On “Go!” have everyone draw a heart (while blindfolded) with their marker, then once they are done drawing the heart, have them pick up the crayon and color in their heart. Once they have finished coloring in their heart, have them pick up the pen and sign their work. Remove the blindfolds and display the art!
Conversation Heart Embellishments: You’ll need to prep the candy ahead of time. Take conversations hearts, lay them out flat on a piece of cardboard, and spray a liberal coating of shellac (found at the hardware store in the paint section) on the candies. Let them dry, then turn them over and spray the back. The candies are now ready to be glued onto headbands, pin backs, barrettes, picture frames, mirrors, etc.
Cupid’s Quiver: Take a toilet paper tube and use an apple juice lid as a stopper on one end of the tube to close the bottom (or use tin foil, tissue paper, or tape to close the end). Decorate the tube with paper, tape and stickers. Glue on a string to serve as the strap. For the arrows, use Pixie Sticks with heart stickers for the point and feathers at the end.
“Bead” Mine Suncatcher: Slip pretty red, pink, and white beads onto a 12-inch pipe cleaner. Twist ends of the pipe cleaner together and shape into a heart. Repeat, making 3 hearts (if you wish you can make each heart slightly smaller than the other). Use string or yarn to tie the hearts together in a dangling row. Tie a loop from the center of the top heart to display.
I really can’t think of a better way to break up the monotony of a cold February day, than with a little Valentine’s Day classroom party. Whether you do a full-out party, or just one or two activities, it’s bound to add a bit of light heartedness to a rather gloomy month! And let’s face it, you can never have too much love!