With so many students in digital or hybrid models, teachers are once again showing off their flexibility and creativity by creating unique classroom celebrations. There was a great brainstorming thread In our FREE Inspired in Upper Elementary Facebook group, full of fun distance learning Valentine activities to help students stay connected even when they're not in the traditional classroom. We'd love to have you join our community, especially for 3rd-5th grade teachers, so you're part of the next discussion! Here are some of mine and their suggestions for celebrating Valentine's Day in the virtual classroom.
Digital Valentine Cards
Use your digital learning platform (Google Slides, SeeSaw, Kudoboards, etc.) to create a presentation with one slide per student. Each student then creates a slide for everyone else in the class. You could set guidelines if you wanted. For example, you could have students write a compliment for each of their peers like I shared in the past on our gift bags. You could also tie this in with literacy skills by having students write haikus, use figurative language, etc. Once students turn in their presentations, you would compile the slides into a new presentation for each student. If you're short on time, just assign a few names for each student.
Flipgrid is another digital option where students can record a Valentine message. Then you create “mixtapes” for each students with their classmates' videos. I shared more about Flipgrid in this Digital Learning Resource post.
Are you looking for an easy-to-mail Valentine's Day goodie for your students? Pop a couple of water bottle/laptop vinyl stickers (they are all the rage right now) in an envelope with a card, and you will totally make their day! You can grab enough for your entire class for less than $10 on Amazon, but be sure to check them all out before you hand them out since the packs are always assorted and you don't know exactly what you will find! (Affiliate link) Other suggestions included Airheads, coupons for Wendy's Frosties (just go in and ask if they have any for teachers), and bookmarks.
The Great Snack Competition
My kids are currently obsessed with looking up funny snacks or crafts made out of household items. Just the other day, my daughter made the cutest dolphin out of a BANANA and has sent the photo to everyone she can think of. Host a fun competition with your students where you give them free rein to create an edible Valentine's Day snack using whatever they have on hand. Then have a quick Zoom show and tell. This could be as simple as chiseling a heart out of a graham cracker, using a toothpick to combine two grapes into the shape of a heart, or using a heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut out a slice of bread…it would certainly be fun to see what kids came up with!
“What's that song?” Virtual Valentine Show
We've all seen the show where they play part of a song and contestants have to finish those lyrics. You can play this way, or put a twist on the game by playing a super short snippet (five seconds or less) of popular love songs (or truly, any song, including theme songs to Animal Crossing and Mario Kart) and see who can identify it first! There is a great playlist on Spotify of Kids Valentine's Day songs with great song ideas to use. Consider coming up with a creative Valentine's Day themed way to have kids “buzz in” with their answers.
Give students a class list and have them write a positive word next to each of their classmate's names. Then you can turn those words into a free digital collage for each student. You type in a list of words and the collage is created automatically. You can adjust the font, colors, sizes, etc. create custom clouds. TIP: Type each student's name at least five times at the beginning so it'll be the biggest word in the cloud.
Group Directed Drawing Activity
Instead of cards, you could do a class activity instead. Directed drawings reinforce many key skills like following directions, attention to details, focus, and self-expression. There are several FREE Valentine options. This bee from Graphics From The Pond is a simple one. This fancy heart from Whimsy Workshop is more advanced. Art For Kids Hub (one of my absolute favorites) on YouTube has several, like this robot Valentine.
Valentine's Day Classroom Activities
Are you looking for engaging academic activities for the days before and after Valentine's Day? We just gave my Valentine's Day Math Project a HUGE facelift for digital access, and every single Valentine's activity in my store includes both a printable and digital version.
If you have other distance learning Valentine activities, we'd love to hear them! Join our FREE Inspired in Upper Elementary Facebook group to share them with us.