Valentine’s Day activities for elementary students can also double as class community building activities!
February is an extra opportune time of year to continue nurturing positive student relationships. What better time than a month that already has LOVE as a built-in theme?
Here are 5 Valentine’s Day activities for elementary students that can be used to build classroom community all throughout the month of February.
1. COZY UP WITH VALENTINE READ ALOUDS
Any day is a good day for read alouds, and there are plenty of books that are perfectly suited for Valentine’s Day. Here are a couple that provide a springboard for discussions about love and friendship.
- Steven Krolls’ The Biggest Valentine Ever (illustrated by Jenni Bassett) lends itself to building classroom community. After getting into an argument, two students learn the value of teamwork as they join creative forces to create the biggest Valentine ever for their teacher. It can make for a discussion starter about how a classroom family is at its best when they work together.
- While the “biggest” Valentine can have a big positive effect, so can The Littlest Valentine written by Brandi Dougherty and illustrated by Michelle Lisa Todd. This read aloud can be used to discuss the importance of practicing kindness and acts of service to those around us. After reading, have students brainstorm ways they can show acts of kindness to one another.
2. BE MY “PAL”ENTINE FRIENDSHIP BOOKS
Valentine’s Day is widely considered as a time for the romantic kind love, but friendship is certainly a type of love as well. And one that definitely deserves to be celebrated at school!
This Valentine’s Day (or PALentine’s Day!) Friendship Activity Book is a wonderful way to encourage a classroom community of kindness and caring. It contains pages with activities that encourage students to be a good pal and better get to know friends in their class.
You can read all about how to use this PALentines Friendship Book in this blog post. It’s a meaningful activity to have partners work together on in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day.
3. Host a Valentine’s Day party
Class parties for Valentine’s Day (or any day!) are always enjoyed by students. But these parties can be so much more than an excuse to indulge in cupcakes and conversation hearts. Valentine’s Day parties can also bond students together as they create shared memories.
My favorite way to capture those memories is by taking lots of photos at the party. And using photo booth props makes for extra fun photo-taking!
At your party, you might also have rotations with Valentine’s Day activities for your kiddos to do. Put students in small groups where they’re encouraged to have fun and work together! See the next section below for some game ideas that can work well as a party center rotation.
4. Play Valentine’s Day Themed Games
Group games definitely help build classroom community. Out of all the Valentine’s Day activities for elementary students you could try, classroom games provide students the best opportunity to practice teamwork. And sometimes even conflict resolution (depending on how competitive it gets)!
Here are just a few game ideas:
- VALENTINE RELAY RACE
A relay race is easy to adapt for Valentine’s Day and it’s a low cost, low prep activity. What’s not to love?
Students can use plastic spoons to transport anything from Valentine’s candy to jello hearts from one student to another without dropping it! If they do, it’s back to the start of the line they go.
Or, have students draw a paper heart from a bowl which lists an action they must take. For example, they could skip to the end of the line and back to their team before the next person can go.
- MINUTE TO WIN IT VALENTINE GAMES
Minute to Win It games are super fast paced and can be played in teams. They are a great community-builder in that they get students cheering for each other. In case it saves you any search time, Together as a Family has some cute Minute to Win It ideas!
- VALENTINE’S DAY THEMED JENGA
Jenga is a fun way to combine community building AND math skills.
It works great as a Valentine’s Day party rotation, and/or as a math center throughout the entire month of February!
5. Have students make Valentine’s Day gifts for their loved ones
The simple shared act of giving is another great way to build class community. Have students create gifts together, for those beyond their class family.
As students work alongside one another to create their gifts, encourage them to have conversations about the special people in their lives. This helps students get to know more about each other’s lives outside of school. And the more they get to know one another, the more they can develop empathy and understanding. Which of course is key to nurturing positive relationships in the classroom.
Need some new Valentine’s Day gift ideas? Parents and families love photo cards like these! Their child’s picture combined with a heartfelt written message helps to make these a special keepsake.
If you’d like more details for these kinds of Valentine’s Day gifts that your students can make, check out this blog post.
6. Class Mailbox for February
Have a special class mailbox for the month of February! Students can write and “send” encouraging letters to each other all month long.
This works great as a writing center. Provide special stationary or writing paper, Valentine stickers, envelopes, etc. to make their notes extra special.
7. Decorate with a Valentine’s Day Banner
Your classroom is your class family’s “home away from home.” Make that environment feel extra love-filled & cozy with a flag banner to display.
These banners are also more than just decoration! The flags allow students to consider ways they can show love to the special people in their lives.
The “E” section is an opportunity for students to focus on ways to continue to build positive relationships at school.
As you know, Valentine’s Day is more than just a day for sweets and treats. It’s a time for celebrating the love within your classroom walls! Hopefully one or more of these Valentine’s Day activities for elementary students helps you continue to build a loving class community.