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When I think about all the Valentine's Days in the classroom with my kiddos, I remember that day being CRAZY! For some reason, this is the holiday that hyped the kids up the most. I don't know if it's bringing their valentines to school or getting candy, but I remember being so exhausted on those days.
When I was teaching, I used to have special centers on Valentine's Day. I could keep everything from year to year and it was so easy just to bring it back out again each year! I had five centers...
1. Cookie Decorating: I gave the kids a plain sugar cookie, then they spread on icing with a popsicle stick and added small conversation heart candy on top.
2. Valentine's Sentence Writing: I had an old paper decoration with some Valentine phrases that I put in the middle of the table. The kids could use that or write their own sentence about Valentine's Day and then draw a picture. These were later made into a class book.
3. Red Hot Counting: I took the chocolates out of 4-5 heart boxes (and no, I didn't eat it...I'm not a chocolate eater, crazy I know). Then, I labelled each spot in the box with a number and gave the kids a bunch of red hots. They had to look at the numbers and count out that many red hots for each spot.
4. Conversation Heart Sorting and Graphing: Each child had a bag of small conversation hearts. They sorted them by color on their sorting mats and then colored in a graph to see how many of each they had in their bags. Then they got to eat them! :)
5. Mail Delivery: I made two blue "mail shirts" by putting a label that said "United States Postal Service" on blue t-shrits. Another option would be iron-on transfers. For my Valentines holder, I bought a shoe organizer at Dollar Tree and attached hearts with the kids' names to each pocket with paper clips. The pockets are the perfect size for all those little valentines. If a child brought treat bags or something larger, they could deliver them to their cubbies. This was always a favorite center! :)
Then, I usually had a special lunch for my little lovelies that day! This particular lunch was chicken nuggets, chips, juice, and a cookie. I found little buckets at Target Dollar Zone with heart-shaped holes. I filled them with water, added votive candles and the children had a candlelight Valentine's Day lunch, complete with special music! I never once had anyone touch a candle or turn over a bucket. They were just so excited to get to have candlelight, they were on their best behavior!
What do you do in your classroom for Valentine's Day? We would LOVE to feature you...just send us your ideas and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org!
Have a sweet Valentine's Day!