Monday, February 09, 2015

School Valentine's Day Celebrations

Valentine's Day celebrations at school allow children to show kindness towards others. They can be low-key, fun celebrations of friendship.  They do not need to be full of sugars and sweets! I like to have a healthy snack option for the children, a craft to make and one or two activities to do in a one hour time-frame.  It is a nice, but not necessary gesture to make and send a little keepsake gift home with the children for their parents.

We often have parent volunteers for class parties and others who want to help, but cannot make it to school during the event. I send the latter parents home with a sample craft, supplies, and simple directions on how to prepare them for the children to make. This cuts down on my activity preparation, while includes more parents in the festivities. Send the supplies and directions out 2 weeks before the event with a week time to cut and assemble pieces usually works best.  I ask the parents who can come for the celebration to arrive 15 minutes prior to the start time and stay 15 minutes past for assistance cleaning up.

Here are some of my favorite snacks, crafts, activities, and keepsake gifts for Valentine's Day Classroom Celebrations.

Snack: Easy Make-Ahead Snacks



Craft: Easy Crafts for Kids to Make



Activity: Hands-On Valentine's Day Activity for Kids



Gift: Easy Valentine's Day Keepsake Gift for Parents  


We love these Salt Dough Footprint Hearts from Learning and Exploring Though Play as a budget-friendly keepsake gift for parents.  If you don't have time to use salt dough, write the message in a heart shape and photo copy onto white tag board.  'I love you from the very bottom of my heart, to the tips of my toes.' Then make the child's footprints inside.  Cut the heart out, hole punch on the top and thread a pretty ribbon through it.

Schedule of Events on Valentine's Day

As students arrive to school they deliver valentines to decorated lunch sacks with their classmates name on them.  Some teachers put these bags on student desks, I have always taped mine to the bottom of my white board. You can have 4 stations for children to rotate in-between or do each as a whole class.  If possible, having 3-4 parent volunteers helps the celebration transitions between stations easier.

1 Hour Valentine's Day Celebration Time Line


15 Minute Valentine Craft
15 Minute Valentine Activity
15 Minute Valentine Snack
15 Minute Valentine Opening

At the end, have the children place their entire stash of valentine's back in their sacks.  I have parent volunteers help to staple the bags shut and help the children put the bag in their backpacks.

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ESGI is proud to have Amanda Boyarshinov as our guest blogger.  She is an Early Childhood National Board Certified M. Ed. of Reading Education K-12 and one of the bloggers behind the parenting and education site: The Educators’ Spin On It. She has worked as a teacher in diverse classrooms and has experience with English Language Learners.  She enjoys inspiring other parents and teachers worldwide through her creative, inventive writing. Her writing has been published in Parents Magazine, Sylvan Source, and Nat Geo online.

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