I gave each student a piece of paper with 20 spaces on it. It may have been a table or just 20 lines. But I only have 20 students in my class (we are small class sizes) so I know there were 20 spots. We wrote down some examples of nice things we could write about our friends as a class before we started passing them around. Each kiddo put their name at the top of their paper, and we passed them around. Once the papers had gone around one table, they were passed to another table. Once they were passed around the room, I collected them. Then I typed up the nice things my students said about each other in some cute Valentines fonts. (Of course, since I've re-imaged my computer, I lost all my fonts and I'm going to have to re-download them!) I also typed up their name in a fun font, twice for each student.
Once I finished typing them up, I printed them out for each student and gave them each their own paper and a piece of either pink or red paper. I let them cut out their own hearts last year, a mistake I will never make again! Next year, I'll copy the hearts onto the paper and let them cut them out on the line instead of folding the paper in half and trying to cut the heart out. Bad idea. Anyway, they cut out the hearts and the nice things their friends said about them and glued them on their hearts. If 2 students said the same thing about the kiddo, I just typed it up once. After they glued their nice messages on their hearts, I let them put a few heart stickers on and decorate them a bit. They turned out really cute! So I laminated them and hung them in the doorway outside my room.
This is an example of what one of the kids did last year. I covered up their name, of course, which explains the pink squiggles. Aren't they cute?
The original link I found on Pinterest had the students make a valentine for another student, which I thought was a sweet idea. I just have a few students who aren't very neat with their "cutting skills" or "writing skills" or anything that requires coordination of their fine motor skills. So I would hate for another kid to get a valentine that another kid did and it be a total mess. So I need to figure out a way to possibly do that because I think it would be fun!
I uploaded a freebie file of something I whipped up quickly for you to use if you decide to do this activity! The paper is 2 sided, and goes to the number 30. I may be willing to change what it written at the top if anybody has any great ideas. :-)
Another thing I love to do for Valentines Day is read this book, Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch by Eileen Spinelli. A professor first read this to me in college, and it's been a Valentines Day staple for me every year. I think I still get teary when Mr. Hatch finds out the valentine wasn't for him. :-(
In the past, I've brought in brownies and lemonade to share with the kids like Mr. Hatch makes for his neighbors. I usually make brownies in my mini muffin tin so they get miniature brownie bites instead of trying to cut brownies out of a pan. Just make sure you don't cook them as long or they will get overcooked and hard. Nobody likes that!
It's been a year, so I'm having a difficult time thinking of other fun activities we did for Valentines Day last year. I will definitely post if I remember anything else that was particularly cute or fun! I definitely will be posting about the 100th day of school soon as well- our 100th day is February 5th if we don't have any snow days between now and then!