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Activities & Lessons

10 Valentine's Day Classroom Activities

7 Min Read
Valentine Activities

Valentine’s Day is one of the most exciting holidays for young students. Why? The cards and crafts, of course! Find more ways to celebrate love and friendship this Valentine's Day with the following fun and festive activities. 

Fun Valentine's Day Activities for Elementary Students

An annual card exchange is always a blast—and can be a good way for students to practice writing—but students (and teachers!) like variety too. If you’re looking ways to celebrate on February 14, here are seven Valentine's Day classroom activities for elementary school students. (Also, check out these Valentine's Day activities for middle and high school students.)

1. Have a month-long kindness challenge. 

With Valentine’s Day on February 14th and National Random Acts of Kindness Day on February 17th, this month is the perfect time to have a kindness challenge! Start each day in February with a random act of kindness. Before beginning the challenge, brainstorm with your class a list of kind acts that you can do at school. The random acts of kindness can be as small as complimenting a classmate or be can a larger ask, like making a thank you card for a school faculty or staff member. Narrow down the kindness tasks to 15–20 tasks. Put the acts of kindness on a choice board where students can choose which act to do each day. This way, students can also keep track of which acts of kindness they’ve completed. At the end of the month, host a kindness celebration where students can share what their favorite part of the challenge was and share kind words with each other. Other possible random acts of kindness to include in your challenge are: 

  • Pick up litter on the school grounds. 
  • Play with someone new during recess.
  • Create a poster with a positive affirmation to post in the school halls.

2. Exchange notes of kindness.

Continue sharing the love and spreading kindness by encouraging students to write kind words about one another. Put all your students’ names in a jar and have each student pick one. Ask everyone to write a few kind words about the classmate they chose. Students can recognize a quality that they admire about their classmate or something special that their classmate does, for example "I appreciate how generous you are" or "I like how you open the doors for others." Then have students exchange notes. You can later display the notes in your classroom! You can even turn this into a larger Valentine’s Day activity for school where children in the early grades practice writing in complete sentences and older learners practice structuring paragraphs.

3. Have a door-decorating contest.

Invite teachers and students to decorate their classroom doors. After the decorating, students can observe their peers’ creations and choose a winner based on both content and aesthetics. Kids will love the opportunity to be creative and express themselves. For example, you can have students write what they love about learning or love about their classmates on paper hearts.

4. Read some Valentine’s Day books.

Reading a Valentine’s Day picture book may seem simple, but this is the perfect holiday to celebrate a love of reading. A few of our favorite books for Valentine’s Day include:

Vday Hmh Picturebooks

5. Make a heart collage.

Have students gather materials with different textures and cut or form hearts of various sizes. They can glue them to paper for an easy artistic creation. This can be a fun independent art activity, or you can divide students into groups so they can practice being creative in collaboration with their peers.

6. Craft up some Valen-slime.

Not into the ooey-gooey romantic side of Valentine’s Day? Make it gooey in a different way with some Valen-slime! Concoct a seasonal, sparkly slime with household items, like glue and contact lens solution. Have students participate in different parts of the slime creation in a whole-group setting by calling students up to help with the process. Or place students in small groups and have them make their own slime. Follow these directions to craft up some Valen-slime.

Valen-Slime supplies:

  • Bowl
  • ¼ cup of water
  • 6 ounces of red or pink glitter glue
  • Red or pink glitter
  • 1 or 1 ½ tablespoon of contact solution (the solution needs to contain boric acid and sodium borate)

How to make Valen-slime:

  1. Set a bowl on large, flat surface to mix your slime ingredients in.
  2. Measure 6 ounces of glitter glue and pour into the bowl.
  3. Measure ¼ cup of water and add into the mixture to make the slime stretchy.
  4. Add red or pink glitter for extra sparkle.
  5. Measure 1 tablespoon of your contact lens solution and slowly add into the bowl.
  6. Knead and mix the slime thoroughly.
  7. Add ½ tbsp more of contact lens solution if needed to prevent slime from becoming too hard.

Find additional tips on making Valen-slime here.

Tie this activity to a science lesson on states of matter and their properties by comparing the Valen-slime to a solid, liquid, and gas. For example, ask students if the slime has a definite shape like a solid. Or does it flow like a liquid? Then have students conclude whether the slime is solid, liquid, or gas. Later explain that slimes are actually non-Newtonian fluids, which are neither solid nor liquid but hold properties of both.

7. Set up a candy heart estimation jar.

Fill a jar with conversation hearts or other heart-shaped objects, like erasers, and give everyone a chance to guess how many there are. Turn this into a math lesson for older students by providing tips about what strategies they could have used to come up with an estimate. Whoever’s closest can win the jar! (Or a portion of it.)

8. Do a crystal heart science experiment.

Love is in the air on Valentine’s Day! With this growing crystal science experiment, love can also be found in a jar. Have students grow their own heart-shaped crystals using simple materials like pipe cleaners and wooden craft sticks. Students will be amazed at the process and transformation as the crystals grow overnight!

Crystal heart supplies:

  • Borax (also known as sodium borate) 
  • Jars or vases
  • Wooden craft sticks
  • String and tape
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Water

How to make crystal hearts:

  1. Use a pipe cleaner to form a heart.
  2. Use the string around to tie the pipe cleaner onto the wooden craft stick. Use a small piece of tape to keep it in place.
  3. Dissolve three tablespoons of borax powder into a jar of hot water. Adult supervision and assistance are needed with this step.
  4. Submerge your heart into the solution in the jar.
  5. Set jars aside. Do not tug on the string, stir the solution, or move the jar around.
  6. Let the solution sit for 24 hours.
  7. The next day, gently lift out your crystal heart ornaments and let them dry on paper towels for an hour.

Find the full instructions for the crystal heart experiment here. With students in upper elementary grades, you can extend this science experiment with the following hands-on lab. In this lab, students test variables, like the amount of borax or the length of the string, to try to grow the largest crystal.

9. Learn how opposites attract with magnets.

Some people would say that when it comes to love and friendship, opposites attract. When it comes to magnets, they definitely do! This Valentine’s Day have students explore the powerful attraction (and repulsion) between magnetic forces. Use the following printable magnet science activity to introduce how magnets work. In this hands-on activity, students work with a bar magnet to see what classroom objects attract to their magnet. Afterwards, students come to their own conclusions of why certain objects have a magnetic attraction.

10. Feel the beat of your heart.

During this heart-centric holiday, take the time to teach students about the human heart. Begin your lesson by exploring how the heart works and what is its function is (pumping blood throughout our body). Then have students feel their own heartbeats. Show students how to take their pulse with two fingers on their wrist or on their neck. Make sure they are not using their thumbs. Set a timer for 60 seconds and have students count how many beats they feel at rest. Then engage students in a heart-pumping activity like dancing, and have students take their pulse soon after. Discuss with students how their heartbeat changed after the activity and talk about how doing cardiovascular exercises can help build a healthy heart. To further extend this lesson, you can organize and host a heart challenge event with resources from the American Heart Association.

We hope you find these Valentine's Day activities for students helpful. Remember to spread love and kindness in the classroom every day—not just on February 14!

Have More Valentine's Day Ideas for School?

Have any Valentine's Day ideas for school that we missed? Share your favorites with us at Shaped@hmhco.com.

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Find more lesson plans and classroom resources on Shaped.

This blog post, originally published in February 2019, has been updated for 2024.

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