Valentine’s cards attached to lollipops, students sitting in a circle with their Valentine boxes they made from home ready to be filled with goodies from you and their friends. And of course, the funny things only students can say throughout the day make Valentines memorable!
The joy of Valentine’s Day in the classroom and the innocence of children waiting to get their special cards from their friends always warms my heart. We get to guide all that Valentine fun, planning the activities, and possibly organize a party with or without families.
Although, the party may only last a short time, the important skills of making connections with their classmates, giving to others, and developing friendship skills can all be great Social Emotional Skills that they can take with them throughout life.
On this special day it can be a supplement to the Social emotional curriculum you have already been teaching.
Perhaps you complete the FEELING Check In each morning and discuss how they are feeling as a whole group so they can learn and share strategies that help them when they are frustrated, sad, or mad. Students who are able to recognize their feelings have the building blocks to self-regulate. They can then continue to learn strategies and internalize the strategies to put into practice when they are feeling upset.
Below are 9 Valentine Activities that Promote Social Emotional Learning and Educational Fun.
If you include a Feeling Check In, Valentine’s Day can be a great way to introduce new feelings on your feeling board. They may feel excited, loved, or even nervous to hand out their cards since it may be a new experience for them.
- Pass Ms.’s Heart to Music
During or before the party you can introduce Ms’s Heart or any other class mascot you may have to play the game with. Play some fun music of your choice and pass Ms.’s Heart. When the music stops the student holding Ms’s Heart has to choose a friend to give a compliment. Modeling what a compliment is and sharing a few examples is helpful to list on the board. Then encourage students to think of their own. After they give a compliment, the student holding Ms. Heart can choose a candy heart to eat and they can read the kind or funny sayings on them.
2 . Ms’s Heart’s Feeling Game!
Roll a Feeling with these feeling hearts.
A student rolls the dice and whichever feeling picture it lands on, the class makes feeling faces and body language to show that emotion.
If the student lands on the I Feel they share their own feeling. Feelings include shy, surprised, mad, sad, happy, loved and sleepy. You can download the FREEBIE HERE!
You can cut them out, laminate them and put them on a large dice or wrap a box with Valentine’s paper and add on the laminated hearts.
I use the Dry Erase Blocks by Mind Sparks so you could print them and stick them on those as well.
3. Students Pass out Valentines
Have students pass out their own Valentines! This can encourage students to share gratitude.
You can model saying thank you as student’s give you a Valentine. Even if other things are unable to be done, students handing out their own Valentine cards can be one of the most beneficial for students because it provides an inclusive experience in the environment. Students can enjoy the fulfilling feeling they gain from giving and receiving.
4. Feeling Detective’s Board Game
This game gives students a chance to identify their feeling first as they move around the board. Then they can practice recognizing the feelings on the cards. Blank cards are incorporated if you would like to take pictures of students making different faces to put on the cards to make it a personalized version.
At the end of the game students again can share their feeling and you can discuss how the feelings may be different depending on how the game ended. For some they may be disappointed or even mad or frustrated.
5. Valentine’s Game Board with a literacy focus.
This includes smaller game boards for small group work as well as blank hearts to adapt and add any words, letters, or even numbers for Math that you may want.
6. Math Candy Heart Graphing
This can be fun in small groups. Students can graph their candy hearts by color and see which one has the most. I have included a FREEBIE for you HERE!
7. Valentine Monster Toss for active fun can also promote social emotional skills by learning to take turns and to work on self-regulation as they are waiting or if the ball doesn’t go in they can practice regulating their emotions through deep breathing, visualizing the item going in next time, and other strategies to help with frustration.
*This post contains affiliate links. Little Detective’s Discovery School is a participant in the Oriental Trading Program, an affiliate advertising program. Oriental trading offers a small commission on products sold through affiliate links. Each of your purchases via Oriental Trading affiliate links helps earn a small percentage which helps to pay for yearly site fees. There is no additional cost to you.
8. Choose a Book on Feelings
Books are so much fun to read. So along with Valentine stories incorporating a book about a feeling can be beneficial. Students can share times when they have felt the feeling in one of the books you choose.
9. Math Heart Patterns
For this activity, you will need some hands on Valentine hearts so students can complete the small group or center based fun. I have used the small hearts below from the Dollar Tree. You can have the students practice the skills you have taught such as sorting by color, creating patterns, and counting how many there are.
You can also provide a blank paper graph and students can graph the colored hearts that have more or less.