Teachers everywhere know that Valentine's Day always seems to bubble over with anxious anticipation and candy-fueled excitement for many students. There's a unique buzz in the air as students in upper elementary and middle school classrooms navigate Valentine's Day celebrations. That's why I love finding fun ways to harness all that energy with educational games and activities. Capitalizing on all of the excitement is a perfect way to engage students.
I've put together a list of my favorite Valentine's Day activities and games for big kids. I hope you find some that your students will love!
BONUS: Many of these ideas work for virtual instruction as well!
Fact Hunt - Make learning about Valentine's Day super fun with a fact hunt. Type up some facts about Valentine's Day (or find some right here). Then, hide the facts around the classroom or school for students to find and add to their notes. This activity works well in a socially distanced classroom as well!
Doodle Poster - Doodles make learning so engaging. Encourage students to create a doodle poster with their collection of facts that they found on the fact hunt (above) or they can conduct their own research. You can even take the doodling a step further and host doodle challenges with Valentine's Day objects. Find my favorites here.
Rebus Valentine - Did you know that some of the very first Valentines ever sent where rebuses? That's why this FREE activity is a perfect way to celebrate the day. Students can create their own rebus valentines and even add an artistic element with this writing activity.
Jumbled Jokes - I love this activity! First, find a Valentine's Day joke. Then, jumble the punchline. Create directions for students to unscramble the punchline. Finally, share the directions for unscrambling out loud. This activity practices listening and following directions skills while bringing a few giggles to the classroom. Find a set of jumbled jokes with directions right here. (This is perfect for virtual learning.)
Broken Hearts - Review vocabulary on Valentine's Day with heart puzzles. Simply write a vocabulary word on one side of a heart shape and its definition on the other. Cut apart the heart shape to create a unique puzzle. Pass out the separated words and definitions to students. Then, challenge them to find their matches before teaching their word to the class.
Pictionary - Playing a few rounds of Pictionary is always a hit with older students. Simply divide students into teams. Then, give one member of each team a word to draw while their teammates guess. You can find a list of words for students to draw here.
Cupid Says - Inspired by Simon Says, Cupid Says is a fun game to play any time during Valentine's Day. Make it especially fun for older students by letting them be "cupid" and give the directions.
True or False - Help students learn about Valentine's Day by playing a game of True or False. Share facts with students and have them decide if the statement is true or false. You can even take this activity a step further and have students research their own facts to share with students. Save time with this set of fact and fiction statements.
Wacky Libs - This lesson begins with students reviewing parts of speech. Then, with a partner, students will complete a Mad-Lib-inspired activity for a Valentine's Day history passage. The room will erupt with laugher as students read through their Wacky Libs (and they won't even notice that they are learning)!
Timed Writing Prompts - Gather some fun writing prompts with a Valentine's Day theme for students. Then, add a time limit for students to complete their writing. Students will love racing the clock as they practice writing skills. Find timed writing prompts here.
Heart Racer - This game is so much fun! Gather a list of spelling words. Then, group students into teams of 4 or 5. Have teams line up behind a single piece of paper and a single pencil. Then, have teams work together to quickly spell out the word on the paper one letter at a time. Students should take turns adding a letter and then going to the end of the line. They'll need to move quickly to be the first team to spell the word correctly. This game is guaranteed to be a heart racer!
Well, there you have it...some of my favorite ways to celebrate Valentine's Day while keeping kids learning. If you're looking for a set of creative writing activities to add to the mix, find a set of 5 right here.
Thanks so much for stopping by!
P.S. Don't forget to download this FREE Valentine's Day lesson!