Friday, January 25, 2008

Valentine's Day Request

I received an email requesting help in putting together Valentine Party activities for a fourth grade class:

I'm looking for some advice and ideas for a 4th grade Valentine's Day classroom party. The Christmas party was ... fun and loud. There's 17 boys and 9 girls in the class. Several of my game ideas just didn't work, like running and shouting activities. The Play Doh charades (like Cadoo, if you've played it) worked well. They sat in three circles and played quietly. Do you have any game ideas for an active class? I've tried looking on the internet and just haven't found much. Or, do have some fun websites that has game ideas? I'd really like to do something or give something to bring in the original meaning of St.Valentine. Our society is just so far away from the origins of St.Valentine and his message. Any thoughts on that one?

Here are just a couple of ideas that seemed like they might be of interest--

  • Heart Hunt: Decorate the classroom with hidden red heart cutouts (if the weather was nice, I suppose you could even do this outside?) At the end of the hunt, have a special treat for the children. To keep it quiet, insist that they do it on their tiptoes!
  • Love Match: Gather scripture verses including chapter and verse or quotes about love from the saints. Then, on two pieces of paper, write the quote/verse on one piece of paper and the author/chapter and verse on the other. You can tape the papers into manilla folders turned on their sides (so that the opening is on the bottom) and number all the folders on the outside. Then you get to play the hostess and students take turns (alone or on teams) guessing which two match together. I've used this before with all ages of students. It was great fun and you could adapt it to either small groups (use index cards instead of folders) or as above for use with the whole class.
  • Give A Little Love: Have students create valentines to send to a local charity, another group of school-children or to a nearby nursing home. (Don't forget your local religious priests and nuns.) We've made some cute Valentine's projects with mini bags (local craft stores carry these for next to nothing) of Valentine colored M & Ms, goldfish crackers, cinnamon red hots, or conversation hearts. Then, we created toppers with rubber stamps and markers or colored pencils and wrote a little note on the back. Staple the topper to the little mini-bag and voila--a project with heart! I've done this with kids from kindergarten up through high school.
  • Life is Like A Box of: CHOCOLATES!!! What Valentine Day would be complete without a serious helping of chocolate? You might want to try your hand at Chocolate Modeling Clay. Or using the little melty chocolates from the craft store, being sure not to confuse them with these, have students pour them into heart-shaped molds, make lollipops or simply dip pretzel sticks in any color of melted chocolate and roll in red, white and pink sprinkles for a festive touch.
You can also find information on Saint Valentine's Day here and here.

And when the kids are all tucked in for the night, check out these "True Romance for Couples with Kids" ideas from Catholic Mom's site.

Based on your note, I think I'd shy away from any Valentine pinatas or the reenactment the martyrdom of the saints celebrated that day! In the meanwhile, I'll keep looking through my Valentine resources for any other suggestions, but as I've said before, most of *my* great ideas aren't even mine! So, if any Ark readers have any super suggestions, feel free to leave a link or an idea below.

***UPDATED***SC Mom has done it again! She's got the quintessential Valentine's Day ideas post up now. Definitely check it out!

And, you can now find Laura's Bingo Cards online here. They are simply divine!


Stina said...

Great ideas! Thanks for sharing!

Please stop by my blog and see what I've shared!

Laura W. said...

What about playing BINGO but with the word HEART instead. Children can use M&Ms or Hershey Kisses as markers etc... in fact I think I will make up some templates and make copies and we can play as a family for Valentine's day.

the other ideas you shared are great...oh...I just love getting into the holiday spirit!

patjrsmom said...

Oooh! I love the BINGO idea Laura! Will you post a picture of the templates if you make them?


jena said...

Good grief I need to catch up over here!!!!