Chocolates, flowers, notes from friends–despite its connection to romance and love– Valentine’s Day can be a fun day for children, too. The holiday is a great excuse for having a small party, either at the child’s school or at your home. Plan games and activities that include every child.
My Secret Valentine
Secret Valentine is similar to a Secret Santa. Instead of every child making a Valentine’s day card for every child at the party or in the class, each one picks a name from a hat and gives that one child a card or present. Instruct the children not to sign their cards, but to instead provide hints as to their identity. Playing Secret Valentine prevents some children from being left out of the festivities since every one invited receives a card. For the sake of the game and the party, strongly suggest that each child only bring the assigned secret Valentine to the event and distribute any other cards he wants to at another time.
What To Do With All Those Candy Hearts
While most people like to giggle at the sayings printed on conversation hearts, few people actually enjoy their chalky taste. Hold a Valentine’s Day Heart Hunt by hiding the hearts around your home. The child who finds the most hearts should win a prize, such as a box of chocolates, or other Valentine-themed present if you want to avoid giving sweets. You can also use the conversations printed on the hearts to play a Valentine-themed game of Mad Libs or to help the children write their own skits which they can later perform.
A Hearty Spin on Classic Games
Give classic party games, such as Pin the Tail on the Donkey and Bingo, a Valentine’s Day theme. Replace the Bingo chips with candy hearts. Instead of spelling “Bingo,” print out game boards that spell “Love” or “V-Day.” Replace the donkey with a cupid. Instead of pinning a tail on the cupid, have the children pin an arrow in his bow or pin a heart to his chest.
Ice Breaker Games
Cut out paper hearts, then cut the hearts in half with a jagged line in the center. You want to cut each heart so lines are different shapes and size for each pair of hearts. Distribute a half heart to each child at the party. Tell them to find the person with the matching half. Help shy children by introducing them to other children they may not know. If the children can read, you can also print up a list of Valentine’s Day questions, such as “What is your favorite Valentine’s Candy?” or “Do you like roses?” and have the children ask each other the questions.
Valentine’s Day Arts and Crafts
Set up a crafts table at the party and have the children gather around it. Provide supplies such as glitter pens, markers and crayons. Give each child a paper heart or other Valentine’s Day themed object to decorate. Award prizes for “Most Creative” or “Uses the Most Colors.” Make sure you have enough prizes for every child at the party.
- valentines day postcard image by Nicky Jacobs from Fotolia.com