Valentine's Day Activities for Upper Elementary Kids

Valentine's Day Activities for Upper Elementary Kids

Celebrating Valentine's Day each February is unavoidable for teachers! Am I right? And since this holiday is always on the mind of our upper elementary students as soon as the calendar flips to February, why not harness all of that excitement into meaningful learning experiences!?

By now, you know that I just LOVE celebrating the holidays and seasons in my upper elementary classroom. But when February comes around, every minute of this short month is accounted for because of ALL the holidays, like...

Groundhog Day

100th Day of School

Lunar New Year

Presidents Day

Leap Year

Football's Big Game/Bowl

Random Acts of Kindness Week

It can feel overwhelming to try to get in all of the February holidays, special events, and the standards and even test prep depending on when your standardized tests begin!

Need help planning for Valentine's DayI can help! I am sharing five must do and meaningful activities that are the perfect blend for any upper elementary classroom looking to celebrate Valentine's Day! From age-appropriate picture book read-alouds to community building fun, this list includes something for every upper elementary teacher to try out this February!

And the best part? These activities do more than celebrate Valentine's Day

1. Create a Kind Environment with Valentine's Day Decor

valentine's day february bulletin board ideas for the classroom

Valentine's Day is the perfect time to adorn your walls and bulletin boards with messages about kindness! I love spreading kindness and encouraging random acts of kindness in our classroom, and with Random Acts of Kindness Week taking place in February, it is the perfect time to spread some kindness.

πŸ‘‰You can grab this free set of kindness posters in my TPT shop Think Grow Giggle right HERE.

Another fun way to celebrate Valentine's Day with meaningful decor is to have your students write love poetry about something they love! It is a simple writing activity that makes a great bulletin board for the month of February. It also gives students the opportunity to take a short writing piece through the writing process!

Valentine's Day writing activities

Want to add a touch of decor to your classroom this February? You will love these Valentine's Day Must Haves!

Valentine's Day decor ideas for the classroom

2. Read a Valentine's Day Picture Book

Valentine's Day picture book read alouds for upper elementary classroom

When it comes to any special day, holiday, or change of season, I love to dive into a picture book to celebrate! You know that I love reading picture books with upper elementary. There is nothing better than gathering at the carpet, sharing a story through images and words, and discussing the message, theme, and characters with big kids!

When it comes to Valentine's Day, I love to read stories with themes of friendship, self-love, kindness, and love...and the kids love listening to them!

πŸ‘‰Head to this post to read about 9 picture books that are perfect to get into the season of Valentine's Day and are just right for your upper elementary students! While you are there, grab the free download of activities to use with some of the book suggestions, too!

3. Learn Through Themes and Traditions

Valentine's Day reading passages

Students are instantly engaged when we study the history and traditions of different holidays! They love learning the why behind special days and the traditions that accompany them. When it comes to Valentine's Day, there are many traditions that the kids love to learn about; here are some of the ones that I have found that truly engage the kids...

πŸ’œheart health
πŸ’œcandy hearts

πŸ’‘Short on time? Try this teaching tip!
Grab a collection of reading passages about each of these topics. Divide students into small groups. Give each group one of the topics. Have students create short presentations on each topic with a handout to pass out. The kids love creating handouts to pass out to their audience! This gives students a chance to learn about each of the topics for the holiday from their peers in a short amount of time!

4. Community Building Appreciation Letter

Valentine's Day community building activities for kids

Using community-building activities throughout the year is important to me! Activities that are specifically designed to strengthen our classroom community and spread kindness are a must to do throughout the year and should not just be limited to the first two weeks of school. Community building activities are especially fun when they are tied into holidays like Valentine's Day! Since this holiday focuses on friendship, kindness, and community it is the perfect time to do a little community building in your classroom!

This friendship letter community building activity is simple yet powerful and you will want to do an activity like this each month!

Here is how we send friendship appreciation letters to others to celebrate Valentine's Day:

  1. Instruct your students to write their names on a small piece of paper and fold it into fourths. Have the kids place the pieces of paper in a basket.
  2. Have students randomly draw a name from the basket, checking to make sure that they did not pick themselves. If they do pick themselves, have them show you before selecting a new name.
  3. Students then write an appreciation letter to the student whose name they picked. Their friendship letter should be positive and upbeat and include specific reasons on why they appreciate their friend. Encourage students to use examples from the school year to help them be specific.
  4. When all students are done creating the letters for their classmates, they deliver them. They really love both giving letters and receiving them!

5. Bust Out the Crayons

Valentine's Day coloring activities for 3rd 4th 5th graders

Lately, I have been talking a lot on social media about how the students that I work with love to color! Coloring activities and direct drawing tasks have become a staple for brain breaks, morning work, indoor recess, and Fun Fridays.

We love using color by code (color by number) review activities to not only bring in coloring and fine motor skill practice, but also to practice important skills like reading comprehension, grammar, word work, and math practice. And when you add in Valentine's Day, it makes it extra fun for February!

We also love using Doodle Thinkers to celebrate the holidays! Doodle Thinkers are intentionally designed to help upper elementary students brainstorm as they color small doodles. When they are done coloring, they complete list building, word work, and writing tasks. The kids LOVE these!

One last art-inspired activity that we LOVE to do is to complete this self-love activity. It is simple to do. After reading aloud the book, Be You by Peter H. Reynolds, each student gets a heart. Then they fill up the heart with everything that they love about themselves. They can write words or draw pictures. You can grab the self love hearts for free right here! Print them on white paper and have the kids color them or you can print them on different color Astrobrights.

6. Join in on the Party!

valentine's day cards for students from teachers

Whether you have a class Valentine's Day party or not, definitely get into the spirit of the day by passing out your own Valentine's Day cards to your students! I love these because they are easy to print and go, and use year after year! All you have to do is download them, print them, sign your name, and leave on your students' desks. You can also add a personalized note to each student on the back.

Always be ready! Grab these print-and-go Valentine's Day cards to use year after year!

πŸ’™ Bug Themed Cards

πŸ’™ Llama Themed Cards

πŸ’™ Valentine's Thank You and Kindness Cards

If you are having a party I have just the tips you need to make Valentine's Day party planning a snap! From playing different meaningful games to writing notes of gratitude, I have some fun ideas that you will love!

πŸ‘‰Head to this blog post to read about the different activities we do during our Valentine's Day party!

This Valentine's Day, bring in some meaningful picture books, tradition-focused activities, and community-building tasks that students love! You will find that when you weave Valentine's Day topics into your everyday learning targets and lesson plans, you can easily engage your students AND meet the standards, too! 

Happy Valentine's Day!

You will also love to read:

Check out my favorite Valentine's Day activities HERE

Like these Valentine's Day NO Prep activities to just add to your lesson plans!

Valentine's Day Activities for Upper Elementary Kids

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Valentine's Day Activities for Upper Elementary Kids

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