Ten Free Valentine Games for Children
by Jane Lake
If you are hosting a Valentine party or need activities for students in the classroom on Valentine’s Day, check out this collection of fun Valentine games and activities.
1. Heart Tracing
Preparation: You will need a small cardboard heart shape, a pencil or crayon, and a piece of paper for each child.
Instructions: Give each child a cardboard heart, a pencil or crayon, and a piece of paper. Tell them that the object of this game is to trace as many hearts on the paper as possible. The hearts may touch each other, but cannot overlap or overhang the edge of the paper. If the children are old enough, tell them to also number the hearts as they go, so they are all counted when the page is full.
Begin: All the children begin when you say “Go” but this is not a race; the winner won’t necessarily finish first – it will be the child who has traced the most hearts.
2. Love Bugs
Preparation: You will need a die for each group, and a piece of paper, crayons (or a pencil) for each child.
Instructions: This is a version of Hangman, without any spelling. The children will each be drawing a love bug. The love bugs can be as fanciful and imaginative as they like, but each bug must have a heart-shaped body, a heart-shaped head, two eyes, two antennae, a tail, and six legs.
Have the children take turns in rolling the die. If you have large groups, let them work with two dice, taking two turns each time.
Rules: For each number on the dice, the children will draw a part of the bug. The numbers correspond like this: One: body; Two: head; Three: a single eye; Four: a single antennae; Five: a single leg; Six: a tail. No one can start their drawing until they throw a one, for the body. They also can’t add eyes or antennae until they throw a two for the head. The winner is the person who completes their love bug the fastest.
3. Singing Game: The More We Get Together
This is a friendly game that can help ensure no one gets left out on Valentine’s Day. The children skip around the room, holding hands with one or two partners. They begin singing:
The more we get together, together, together,
The more we get together, the happier we’ll be.
For your friends are my friends, and my friends are your friends;
The more we get together, the happier we’ll be.
Each time the children sing the word “together” they join with more friends, until everyone is holding hands. And the end, the children form a circle, and rush into the middle of the circle, raising their hands up in the air and cheering or yelling: “Happy Valentine’s Day.”
4. Guessing Game: Candy Jar
Count a number of Valentine candies into a small jar. Write the number on a label and stick the label to the underside of the jar lid. Fasten the lid to the jar.
Presentation: Show the jar to the children. Tell them that the person who guesses closest to the actual number of candies in the jar is the winner.
Let the children pass the jar around, then ask them to write their name and their best guess on a piece of a paper. Collect the papers. Take the lid off the jar and reveal the actual number. The winner should be given the jar of candies, or a small prize.
5. Valentine Candy Hunt
This is a nice way to begin a Valentine party. Before the party, hide Valentine candies around the room. When all the guests have arrived, give everyone a small bag and tell the children they may keep all the candy that they can find. When all the candy has been discovered, let the children eat one or two pieces. The rest of their cache should be kept in their goodie bag until it is time to take it home.
6. If I Only Had a Heart Relay
Cut a number of construction paper hearts (at least one for each person) and hide them around the room. Divide the children into teams of equal number; if you have an odd number of children, ask someone to take a turn twice. The first person on each team must find a hidden heart, return to their team, and tag the next player, who then repeats this action. The first team to have a heart for each member is the winner.
Make a construction paper heart for each child who will be playing, plus an extra one if you have an odd number of players. Think of movement activities for the children to do in the relay. Simple things such as Hop, Skip, Jump, Run, Crawl or Walk Backwards.
Write the same word on two hearts and divide the hearts into two identical sets.
Have the children divide into two teams and stand behind a starting line. Set one pile of hearts on the floor at a reasonable distance from the first team. Set the other pile at the same distance, in front of the second team. If one team has one less person, ask someone on the team to take two turns.
At the word “Go”, the first person in each team dashes to their pile of hearts and picks up the top one. They must return to the starting line doing whatever is written on the heart. Once they are back, the next person in line takes a turn, until all players have finished “following their heart.” The first team to finish wins the relay.
This is a Valentine’s Day version of the Musical Chairs game, without the chairs. There are two versions to try:
8. Step on my Heart
You will need to cut a heart shape from a sheet of construction paper for each person playing the game. Place the hearts on the floor in a large circle, with about one step of space between each heart. Ask the children to step on a heart. When the music starts, they step outside the circle and move clockwise around it. When the music stops, each child must place both feet on the nearest heart. After the first round, remove one or two of the paper hearts, then begin a new round of music. The children left without a heart to stand on are out. The person who steps on the last heart is the winner.
9. Pass My Heart
Make a Valentine heart, from a sheet of craft foam or construction paper, large enough to be easily seen by all players. Have the children stand in a circle and give the heart to one of them. When the music plays, the heart should be passed around the circle clockwise. When the music stops, the child to the left of the one that is holding the heart is out of the game. When the music resumes, the game begins again, until there is only one person left holding the heart – the winner.
10. Balloon Basketball
Blow up some small balloons; at least one for each child, plus extras.
Cut a large heart-shaped opening in a sheet of corrugated cardboard and, if desired, paint in Valentine colors, then suspend it in the middle of an open doorway.
Tell the kids that they will earn one point for each balloon that they get through the opening in a certain time limit. The winner is the one who wins the most points in the allotted time.
See also: Balloon Games for Children’s Parties