Celebrate kindness, love and friendship in your classroom this Valentine’s Day
Most learners look forward to Valentine’s Day. It is also a great time for teachers to celebrate kindness, love and friendship, and to revisit the importance of working together in the classroom. Here are ten easy-to-prepare ideas to test in the primary school classroom this Valentine’s Day.
1. Start with yourself
Have you ever thought of writing yourself a love letter on Valentine’s Day? A video on YouTube by Soul Pancake ‘Write a love letter to yourself’ suggests doing just that. As a teacher, you could practice all the elements of a friendly letter. Mention the things you like about yourself. You’ll be so surprised at what you come up with! Sign your letter and keep it until Valentine’s Day next year.
2. Valentine’s Day Affirmations group activity
Let your learners perform a group activity that will make them and someone else feel happy. Place the class into groups and give each person in the group a piece of A4 blank paper and a pen. The groups should sit in circles and have a book to press on as well as a pen. After they have written their name at the bottom of their page, let them pass their paper to the learner on their right-hand side. That person writes an encouraging thought about the person whose name appears at the bottom of the page. They write what they like about them. This is all done anonymously. Each person then folds the paper forward so that the next person cannot read what was written and passes the paper to the right again. This continues until all the group members have written something. This is a wonderful way to build up learners’ morale in your class.
3. Make anonymous Valentine’s Day cards
Write down all the learners names on a separate piece of paper and place them in a bowl. Each learner must choose a name and make an anonymous card for the person whose name they have selected. Encourage the writing of simple poems on the card using couplets. In a couplet, write a statement and then add another line that rhymes beneath it. For example:
Roses are red, and violets are blue
Here is a card from… can you guess who?
For younger students you could write a few statements on the board as writing prompts.
- Chocolate is so very yummy...
- On Valentine’s Day I want to say...
- I am a little Valentine, red and white...
- Happy Valentine\s Day to a special girl/boy...
4. Create tiny animal Valentine cards
For younger learners, a fun Valentine’s Day activity is to think of the kinds of actions that insects or small animals make. For example: frogs jump, bees buzz, ants run, birds fly, cats purr. The learners could make tiny cards where they draw an animal and make a sentence in coloured writing that ties in with Valentine’s Day.
- My heart purrs when I think of you. (draw a cat)
- You make my heart jump. (draw a frog)
- My heart is buzzing. Bee my Valentine. (draw a bee)
- My heart runs after you. (draw an ant)
5. Make Valentine’s bracelets
For this activity, you need strips of white paper 1.5 cm wide X 21 cm in length. Hand these out to the class and let each person decorate the strip beautifully with hearts and bows or however they want to. They place these in a bowl. At the end of the activity, each person chooses one bracelet and wears it. Let the learners use glue or sticky tape to join the sides when they wear them. Otherwise a staple could do the trick!
6. Read the class some sweet, short Valentine’s Day stories
A great idea is to read some heart-warming short stories to the class. A website called ‘Apples for the teacher’ has some short Valentine's Day Short Stories for children that you could read to the class for a few minutes. These will bring a smile to your learners’ faces.
7. Design some positive message hearts
These are great to dot around the classroom. Have an array of pink and red hearts or even white hearts that the learners can colour in. Let them write lovely, short positive messages in them. For example:
- Your smile brightens everyone’s day
- Just smile!
- You are awesome just the way you are
- You are a special person
- Believe in yourself - you are amazing!
You could take this a step further and make a paper chain of kind remarks for Valentine’s Day and hang this up as a classroom decoration.
8. Play the ‘Mend the heart’ game
A few Valentine’s day games are always fun. Divide the class into groups of four or five learners. Cut up large hearts into smaller pieces and give each group a packet of the pieces. The idea is for the group to work together to mend the broken heart. This activity is a race to see who can mend their heart first.
9. Heart buddies’ oral activity
Cut some hearts into two pieces, ensuring each heart is cut up differently. Jumble them up and let each person take one piece. The aim of the game is that learners must find the missing part of their heart. When they find their ‘hear buddy’ they learn at least three new, positive things about that person. Let the learners share with the class what they learned about their heart buddy.
10. A heartfelt message from you
A great way to end off the day is for you to write a short, sweet note to each person in your class telling them something you really like about them and mentioning how you enjoy having them in your class. You could hand these out just before hometime. This is a great way to build a feeling of community and belonging in your class.