With each holiday that’s come up during the pandemic, we have had to find creative ways to adapt. Whether it’s been virtual kindergarten graduations or Polar Express hot chocolate parties over Zoom, teachers have been trying their best to still make special memories for their students despite being limited to distance learning.
It’s been almost a year since school as we know it changed, and Valentine’s Day is one of the last major holidays to find a digital workaround for. Luckily, there are a ton of possibilities for digital Valentines. Google Slides, PowerPoint, Flipgrid, Jamboard, etc. could all be utilized for students to create virtual Valentines for their classmates.
As someone who’s a little bit of an old soul though, I personally still love the concept of non-digital, tangible Valentines. They were always a fun part of Valentine’s Day as a kid. I still remember going to Target with my mom and getting to pick out the box of paper Valentines with a favorite cartoon character on the front. I’d write my classmates’ names on each one (and choose specific cards for specific friends, because I thought they would like this or that). Kids have had to miss out on a lot in general this past year, and just like many teachers, I feel that it’d be ideal for them to get to safely exchange “real” Valentines with their friends.
I know that all schools and districts have different rules, and that not all will allow physical Valentines to be exchanged this year. But no matter what you plan to do, I have a template for a digital letter template that can be used to communicate any procedure to students and parents.
Just type your own instructions/details for students’ families right onto the slide. Here is a sample letter in case that helps!
If your school allows parents to pick up materials, you could arrange a Valentine drop off time with your students’ families. To allow time for the Valentines to “quarantine” you might choose to do the drop off at the beginning of February. Then you can sort all the Valentines into large paper grocery bags, gift bags, or whatever kind of mailbox you want to use for each student.
And as seen in the letter above, a good time-saving tip is to ask families to put the Valentines in ABC order by student name, or request that they put no names on the Valentines. This will make your job of sorting go much faster!
Another idea is to attach a tag to the outside of the bag that’s holding all of the student’s Valentines. Here’s one that I made…just a little something to make them smile!
After families pick up their child’s Valentines, they could quarantine the bag before having their child open it up if they wish. Either way, I’m sure that their child will be so excited to have a mailbox full of Valentines from their classmates that they can actually hold in their hands. Depending on what type of mailbox you give them, they could also decorate it at home.
It still won’t be completely the same as Valentine’s Day in the actual classroom of course. But every year, the main point of Valentine’s day is to show love. And love is exactly what you are sending to your kids, no matter how Valentines are being exchanged this year.