Valentine’s Day marks our last classroom party of the school year! Woohoo! At my school, parents organize and run the parties. Over the years, I’ve had some AMAZING ideas and some under-planned parties, but thankfully I’ve never had a terrible party! (I hope I didn’t just jinx myself.) I’ve learned from fellow teachers that not everyone is so lucky. Who knew? Some of you even have to plan your own parties?! That’s crazy. So I thought I’d share some of my favorite Valentine’s Day party activities and snacks from over the past few years.
First off is coming up with a plan. I ask parents to plan a few games, a craft (or 2), a snack and a book. We always end the party with snack followed by a book. Why? Because it calms the kids down and gets some semblance of normalcy at the end of the day. From there you can decide if your class will be better working in rotations for the games/crafts or if you’d prefer everyone does the same thing. I’ve done both ways successfully so it really depends on your group and how much help you have. By the way…always plan your party for the end of the day. Always.
By far the best Valentine Party games I’ve had at a party were one minute challenge activities. Most of the activities were perfect for kinders, but a few I wouldn’t do again. (Use a straw to move a candy heart from plate to plate = saliva filled disgustingness. Gross.) Below are the challenges that worked best with my students.
Stacking Candy Hearts:
You’ll need candy hearts, paper plates (I per child) and a timer. Time students to see who has the highest stack of candy hearts in one minute. Try it a few times to see if their strategy changes! Finish Early? See how many hearts the kids can “stand” up on their sides in one minute.
Spoon Heart Relay:
You’ll need spoons, 2 cups per “team”, candy hearts, and a timer. Students take turns using a spoon to transfer candy hearts from one cup to the other. Time students for one minute to see how many hearts they can get into the empty cup. Finish Early? Pass out popsicle sticks and see how many hearts they can balance on a popsicle stick for one minute.
You’ll need paper or plastic cups and a timer. (If you can’t find valentine themed cups, any style will do!) Time students for a minute and see who can build/stack the highest tower. You may want to give them more time or choose not to time them at all. Kids LOVE building with cups!
For this one, all you need is a balloon. The object is for kids to keep the balloon in the air as long as possible without letting it touch the ground or any furniture! You can time them for a minute and increase the time based on how they do!
Keep it simple! Craft kits from Oriental Trading or a craft store work great! Now that I am a mom, I totally understand the appeal of handprint and footprint crafts. However, I will likely NEVER try a painted footprint craft in my classroom. And to be honest, painting 5-year old hands is not my favorite. No judgment from me if you put out Valentine’s Day themed coloring pages! There are some absolutely adorable heart shaped animal crafts floating around out there. Check out my Valentine’s Day Pinterest Board for ideas (Pinterest link to the right).
I’m certain you can scour Pinterest to find adorable heart themed snacks and spend a lot of time (and possibly money) making them. That’s just not me. I’m more of an Amazon Prime mom than a Pinterest mom and I’m here to tell you that’s perfectly fine! I opt for store bought cookies (less worry about allergies) or the trusty Pillsbury break apart Valentine themed cookies. Strawberries and raspberries are great valentine treats since they are pink and healthy! Pretzels are almost heart-shaped, so that’s another great option. Keep it simple! My students don’t get snack at school very often so any snack is special. I do not need to spend a ton of time preparing the perfect snacks to impress them. When should they eat snack? Either first thing or last (before a story). Then they have motivation to finish eating to do the other activities or go home!
Need some cute Valentine’s to send to your students or to have on hand for students to pass out? These adorable animal-themed valentine cards are adorable!
Good luck with your parties! Click the picture below for an exclusive FREE set of Valentines to use with your students!
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