Valentine’s Day seems to be a sugar-induced haze with students handing out candy-filled cards and then decorating cookies or cupcakes during the classroom party! Instead of just trying to survive the day, why not incorporate a little bit of learning (disguised as fun) on February 14? These five Valentine’s Day educational activities even double as crafts that students can take home with them to share with their families.
1. Warm Fuzzy Combinations
This Valentine’s Day educational activity will have your students learning about color combinations and probability.
Your students will start by creating their very own warm fuzzy pet. All you need are cotton pom pom balls for the body, paper cut out hearts for the feet, googly eyes, and glue. (To make it a probability activity, you will need red, pink, and purple pom pom balls, as well as red, pink, and purple cut out hearts.)
Have students glue the colored puff ball on top of the paper heart, then glue on the googly eyes. After they construct their pet, consider having students fill out a warm fuzzy birth certificate!
Now that students have officially adopted their pet, tell them to take a look around the room at all the different combinations. Have them make a prediction about how many different color combinations of warm fuzzies can be made with the colors red, pink, and purple.
After they have made a prediction, pass out red, pink, and purple crayons to each student. Click here for a printable sheet to help students figure out the different color combos (save to desktop and print). Point out that they just made a multiplication array. They should have 3 rows and 3 columns of warm fuzzies colored, giving them the answer of 9 different color combinations. Was their prediction correct?
2. Mystery Heart Messages
Cut out white cardstock hearts and hand out to the students along with white crayons. Have students write messages in the white crayon. (If they are personalized, they will need to keep track of which heart goes to which student!) Pass out the hearts and then have the students use watercolor to color each heart. The mystery message will appear.
3. Tape Resist Heart
In this activity, students will explore measuring while creating a colorful heart.
Start by handing out painter’s tape, rulers, paintbrushes, thick cardstock paper cut into heart shapes, pens, and some sort of paint (we suggest tempera, acrylic, or watercolor paint).
Students start by tearing a length of tape and placing it across the heart (horizontal, vertical, or diagonal). Trim the edges and then measure the length of tape. Write that measurement with pen on top of the tape. Repeat this several times with different lengths and different angles.
Once students are finished with the tape, they add color. Paint over the tape (where the measurement lines will stay intact–just don’t paint over the pen marks!) After the paint dries, students carefully pull the tape off and rewrite their measurement on their white line (see image).
4. Cupid’s Arrows
This fun Valentine’s day physics activity comes from Smmart Ideas. All you need are straws and cotton swabs to create Cupid’s arrows. Load a cotton swab into the straw so it is completely inside and only the end is at the edge of the straw. Blow into the straw and launch your “arrow” across the room!
To add math, have students estimate the distance they think they can shoot their “arrow.” After they blow the q-tip, have them measure the actual distance. How close was their prediction?
To incorporate geometry, have students hold their straw at different angles. Which angle shot the arrow the farthest distance? Visit Smmart Ideas for the science behind this experiment!
5. Candy Heart Brainstorming
Invite your students to come up with original sayings and positive messages to include on a candy conversation heart. What would they say? Make sure students to think about the actual size of a candy heart. Will their saying fit? Students record their ideas on sticky notes and stick them on the board. Then the class can vote on which new conversations they like the best.
What are your favorite Valentine’s Day educational activities? Come and share in our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.
Plus, if you’re still looking for ideas, check out these Valentine’s Day Math and Literacy Centers!