Holiday parties are a staple in many elementary school classrooms. The right Valentine's Day classroom games can turn the traditional holiday party into something spectacular and fun. Here are 21 games and activities that will appeal to kids of different ages, and perhaps even some adults!
Valentine's Day Party Games for Preschool and Kindergarten
There are many types of games that can be used for a Valentine's Day classroom party. Try out these fun Valentine's games for preschoolers and kindergarteners.
- Broken Heart Puzzles: Teachers can easily make simple puzzles from heart shapes and students can work together or as individuals to mend their "broken heart" first.
- Red Hot: This fun musical game requires very little setup, just some music (Disney love songs are child-friendly and great for Valentine's Day) and a heart-shaped pillow. As the music plays, students pass the pillow around the classroom, and the student holding the pillow when the music stops is out of the round. The last student may win a small prize or treat.
- Cupid Says: This holiday version of Simon Says can incorporate Valentine's Day actions such as blowing a kiss, giving yourself a hug, or shooting a love arrow.
- Heart Stealers: You just need chopsticks and candy hearts to get the fun started. Trying to grab the hearts with the chopsticks is a bit harder than you think.
Printable Valentine's Senses Board Game
You need a die to play. Preferably one with just 1, 2, and 3 if available (a spinner with low numbers can substitute). You'll also need conversation hearts or some other candy for their game piece. If you have trouble printing, check out Adobe printables for tips and tricks. The game is designed for 2 to 4 players.
- Kids will roll dice, each taking a turn.
- They move the number of spaces that shows up on the dice.
- Each space will have a nose, eyes, fingers, tongue, or ears.
- When they get on the space, kids must think of something Valentine's related that they could see, hear, taste, touch or smell.
- For example, they can hear "I love you" or smell flowers.
- Whoever reaches the "finish" heart first is the winner.
Elementary Kids Valentine's Day Party Games for the Classroom
Get your elementary-aged kids buzzed about the Valentine's Day celebration through these fun games.
- Bingo Games: Valentine's Day Bingo games can use "HEART" instead of "BINGO" for column headings, or students can attempt to make straight lines from various Valentine symbols.
- Word Games: All types of word games, including crosswords, word searches, and spelling bees can be created with Valentine's vocabulary.
- Candy Guess: Teachers can fill a jar with seasonal candies - chocolate kisses, conversation hearts, red hots, etc. - and students try to guess how many candies are in the jar. The student with the closest guess gets to pass out the candy for the class to share.
- Word Finder: In this classic vocabulary-building game, students have a specified amount of time (usually 3 to 5 minutes) to create as many words as they can using the letters in "Happy Valentine's Day."
- Matchmaker: This Concentration and Memory-style game uses Valentine's Day symbols for students to pair together, such as hearts, lips, cuddly animals, and cherubs.
Printable Coloring Game for Valentine's Day
For this game, you need two dice to play. Divide kids into groups of three.
- Each child picks a picture.
- Have the first child roll the dice and add their numbers.
- If the number is on their picture, they color it in.
- The first one to color in their picture wins.
Classroom Valentine's Games for Middle School
Finding Valentine's Day games and activities for your middle school crowd is a little harder than for littles. Try out these games to keep them engaged.
- Heart Scavenger Hunt: Before students arrive, the teacher should place numerous hearts around the classroom in plain sight - these can be sneakily disguised or openly part of the Valentine's Day decorations. The student who finds the most heart shapes is the winner. For more difficulty, vary the size and placement of the hearts.
- Initial Compliments: To spread the friendship of the season, this game has students come up with compliments for their classmates based on their initials, such as "Nancy Fulmer is Neat and Fun" or "Jack Smith makes funny Jokes and is good at Sports."
- Name that Romance: Think of several budding romances included in your readings, like Tuck Everlasting or The Giver, or even popular TV shows or movies your class may have seen. Create clues for each love story and split the class into two teams. Read the clues and have your class name that romance. The group to answer the most correct wins.
Printable Conversation Hearts Game
To play, you need to grab a bag of conversation hearts, several copies of the printable below, and dice. You'll then:
- Pass out a conversation heart to each child.
- Pick one student to start by rolling the dice.
- Play moves clockwise.
- Go through the group at least 3 times.
- When the three rounds are done, the kids who "gave their hearts away" are the winners.
Give Classic Games a Valentine's Day Twist:
There are plenty of games that you can customize with Valentine's Day clues, such as these classics:
- "Hedbanz": Each student wears a secret word on their forehand attached to a headband. They must ask other students questions in order to guess what their word is.
- Charades: This classic party game involves acting out a word or phrase and having your team guess the word based on your actions. Play this game in a team setting.
- Password: Split kids up with partners. Partner A goes first in a 30-second round. They can only say one-word clues to get their partner to try and guess the correct answer in as few guesses as possible. When one round is over, Partner B gets their turn to go.
- Catchphrase: This is a simple team-based guessing game where one person on each team must get their team to guess the correct word.
- Pictionary: This classic drawing game is always a great time. Split up into teams and give each child a turn to draw the word in hopes that their team will guess the correct answer.
- Scattergories: Students will write down a number of Valentine's-related words that begin with a specific letter and try not to have the same words as other students. You can do smaller word lists of 5 and do several rounds of words beginning with different letters. If you don't own the Scattergories game, simply write down the letters of the alphabet on small pieces of paper, put them in a bowl, and draw them at random.
To make these games Valentine's Day-themed, try clues like:
- Candy hearts
- Box of chocolates
There are plenty more Valentine's Day word clues out there - you can even have the class help you come up with new ideas!
Playing Games Is Good for Education
At first, it may seem like playing party games in class is a waste of valuable educational time. The right games can be good educational tools and can help young students develop their social skills. Depending on the game, students can enjoy the holiday celebration while simultaneously sharpening skills, such as:
- Literacy: Games that use new or unique vocabulary words help improve reading, spelling, and comprehension skills.
- Math: Counting games are a fun way to practice basic math skills.
- Cultural awareness: Holiday games that embrace different cultural traditions can introduce students to new and unique ideas.
- Socialization: By playing games in class, students can focus on teamwork, sportsmanship, and other critical socialization skills.
Classroom games are also valuable management tools for teachers. Many students, particularly younger children, are excited and eager on holidays, making traditional assignments and seatwork nearly impossible to complete. Choosing useful games instead gives teachers the opportunity to break up the daily routine and harness children's energy for fun yet educational tasks.
Keeping Games Fun
While there are many fun Valentine's Day classroom games, there are a few tips teachers should keep in mind when planning the activities:
- Do not encourage or require students to hug or otherwise display affection toward one another. While it may be innocent fun, it could be misinterpreted.
- Students should not be paired up in "couples" that they don't want to be in - a game should be fun and friendly, not uncomfortable.
- Avoid giving too many sweet treats as prizes, and be aware of students' food allergies or dietary needs.
- If students will be exchanging cards as part of the day's festivities, be sure every student gets Valentines so no feelings are unintentionally hurt.
Following these guidelines can help prevent potential discomfort and hurt feelings.
A Sweet Diversion
Valentine's Day classroom party games are a fun diversion from regular classroom work. By choosing active, educational games, teachers can subtly reinforce learning concepts even while students enjoy the sweet relaxation of the holiday.