Planning the Classroom Valentine’s Day Party
Love is in the air. With some simple but strategic planning, you can host the perfect classroom Valentine’s party kids will love—they won’t even need shot with Cupid’s arrow!
Many classrooms allot one hour for parties, but check with the teacher to see how much time you need to fill. It’s better to over-plan than under-plan. Students are accustomed to structure—that last thing you need is for things to unravel. No structure means chaos!
Some classrooms are overwhelmed with parent participation, while others echo crickets. Regardless of your homeroom parent turn-out, appoint one person as coordinator while integrating all participants into the planning and implementation of the festivities to the degree they wish to be involved. Parents are vocal. Most will not be shy about letting you know how much they are willing to invest of their time and financial resources. This information will guide you in determining your budget for the party and the activities that are do-able with the number of helping hands at your disposal. Once you have brainstormed a game plan, run the itinerary past the classroom teacher to make sure your plan is viable before you proceed.
Remember, your goal of planning a classroom Valentine’s party is to bless the children and give them a happy day. Put aside any irritations you may have encountered while working with other parents. Express gratitude to anyone who is willing to help, no matter how minimal their contribution. The memories you are helping children create will stick with them for life. For some kids with a hard-knock life, this may be the best day they’ve had in a long time.
A list of basic supplies you will need will include the following:
Tablecovers (these look festive and make clean-up a snap!)
Confetti or other table decoration
Prizes (individually wrapped candies, potato chips bags, bouncy balls, etc.)
Favors for each seat—like a small bag of Teddy Grahams with a teddy bear label saying, You are ‘beary’ sweet! Happy Valentine’s Day!
Food & Drinks
Once you determine the games you’ll be engaging in, make a list of items you’ll need to make or purchase. Check off each item as it is completed. If you are working with a parent-teacher team, follow-up with them a day or two ahead of the party to make sure they have completed the tasks assigned to them.
If you have asked parents to sign up for food donations, inventory what has been committed and what you’ll need to provide yourself. Ask the teacher to send home a reminder to parents who’ve pledged to donate—you’d be surprised how often they forget to send what they promised!
Pinterest is filled with beautiful food ideas—heart-shaped fruit kabobs, sandwiches, cookies—if you’ve got the gumption to spend hours creating these festive treats, good for you! Otherwise, solicit donations from parents by sending home a sign-up sheet for foods that are easy to prepare or pick-up at the store. Include a box for them to check if they’d like to attend the party and lend a hand.
What should your sign-up form include? Any of the paper supplies listed above are fine, but food donations should top your priority list. If the class party is conducted in the morning, ask for donuts, muffins, fresh fruit, granola bars, gogurt, juice boxes, water bottles, milk, party mix, and veggie straws. A good combination includes foods that are sweet, salty, healthy, and are accompanied by a beverage.
If the class party is held in the afternoon, solicit cookies, brownies, cheese sticks, veggies & dip, fresh fruit, trail mix, chips, Cheez-Its, water, and juice boxes.
Consult with the classroom teacher about student allergies before creating your party food list. Remember many schools have become more health conscious and discourage cupcakes and other fattening foods. If there’s a sweet police at your school, make sure you don’t ask for items that are on the prohibited food list!
Best Valentine’s Games and Activities
This is a fun, minute-to-win-it game that can be played multiple times since it only takes one minute. Place two bowls of large conversation hearts at each table, or place them on a napkin or in a small cup at each desk. The students have one minute to stack as many hears as they can, without them toppling. The one who stacks the most wins a small prize!
This is another minute-to-win-it game. Divide the class into teams of four to six players. Place a piece of masking tape on the floor to stand behind, along with a party cup filled with small conversation heart candies. The first person scoops hearts onto a spoon, races to a cup a few away, and dumps the candies into the empty cup. If any are spilled along the way, the player must get them back on the spoon and transport them to the second cup. The player runs back and passes the spoon to the next person in line, who does the same task. At the end of one minute, parent volunteers will count the hearts that were deposited into the second cup, and the team that transported the most hearts wins a small prize for each member. This game may also be played multiple times to give everyone a chance to win. Just make sure you have plenty of prizes!
This minute-to-win-it game is similar to the Heart Relay but with a fun twist. Again, you will need teams of four to six players. Toggle your previous teams so students are matched with different team members. Make a line with masking tape for everyone stand behind. Place a bowl of mini marshmallows on the line and an empty bowl a few feet away. The goal is for students to toss as many marshmallows into the empty bowl as they can in one minute. The team with the fullest bowl wins a prize for each member.
This is an oldie but a goodie—a classic game that kids always love. Many sites that offer free bingo cards only include 6-16 cards per pack, meaning students will be playing from duplicate cards. Look for bingo sets that include at least 26 cards. Use M & M’s candies markers, and award prizes to the first three people to shout “Bingo!” Continue play, however, until everyone has a chance to hit bingo.
All you need are heart cookies, tubs of icing, and sprinkles. Students can practice find motor skill development by decorating their own cookies.
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These days with school bullying on the rise, this activity is a great self-esteem builder that encourages camaraderie among classmates. Have students sit down in a circle. Hand one student a stuffed heart or other Valentine symbol of love. The person holding the heart says something positive about the person to their left and then passes the heart to the person. Play continues until everyone has received a heart-felt compliment! It may sound corny, but kind and sincere words deposited into the hearts of others stick for life! If any student struggles with generating a comment, be sure you or the teacher pipes up with kind ideas!
What a better way to combine Valentine’s Day and Winter than a freeze dance! Play upbeat music, and when the music stops, everyone must freeze!
About halfway through your activities, take a food break for students to recharge; however, as you conclude the party, help the kids calm themselves with relaxing activities. Try reading a story, such as There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Rose. At some point, students should have exchanged Valentine’s. Now would be a good time for them to open their box or bag and sift through all the notes from their classmates.
All good things must come to an end, but your hard work to inspire love and friendship will touch young lives and stick in their hearts forever!