Keep Your Students Happy, Busy, and Learning in the Classroom.

Valentine's Day Writing Activities for the elementary classroom
Ten creative writing ideas and activities for the elementary classroom to keep the kids happy and learning.

Candy. Chocolate. Flowers. Love. Pink. Fluff. Glitter. Plushies. And if you are a teacher, several more mugs. What is it? Valentine’s Day.

Someone was a marketing genius and made a holiday out of a rather tragic story. And whether you choose to celebrate it or not, it’s working its way into your classroom. 

Some classrooms celebrate Valentine’s Day with a party and activities all day; some classrooms ignore it, and the teacher keeps a firm hand on the students, and they go through their daily business as usual. But most elementary teachers that I know just endure it.  

You’ve seen it. You’ve probably experienced it—that sugar-laden chaos of the elementary classroom. Valentine’s Day hits, and we teachers bow to the inevitable. We want our young students to be happy, and Valentine’s Day is a kid holiday, so we put our curriculum aside for the Day and try to plan activities that will keep our kids busy or distracted amidst a seeming flood of sugar, sweets, and chaos.  

When I first started teaching, these days were somewhat crazy. I would either over plan, and only some things would get done, or activities would take a lot less time than I expected, and I would have a classroom of feral children full of way too much sugar ready to fall upon the next event and devour it. Seriously.

I learned that a ‘party,’ in reality, takes very little time in the classroom. Pass out cupcakes, napkins, and juice boxes; the kids have eaten them and are ready to go in less than ten minutes. Ten minutes. Passing out Valentine’s takes very little time, and children will land upon a pile of candy and be halfway through before you can even tell them not to eat any of the sugar passed out with the cards. The Day is lucky if you get through without a child throwing up. (PSA – don’t allow a burping contest in your classroom with your students – someone will try way too hard to win and end up throwing up – seriously – take it outside – you’ll thank me later.)  

I knew there had to be a better way. I wanted to allow the students to have a Valentine’s Day still (I mean, they are kids) but not have it dissolve into crazy chaos.

These are some of the things that I have since put into place each holiday that help the classroom flow:

  1.  Notify parents ahead of time with the plans for the Day.  I ask for candy donations a few days before the holiday, plan out whatever snacks I want, and ask for specific items from all willing parents. Now, with access to email, the easiest thing to do is send a Sign-up genius with items I need. Parents love to know what to send and when.  
  2. Make plans with the students before the classroom events. Let them know precisely how any event will work. Get their input on what they would like to do that Day.
  3. Write the schedule on the board the afternoon before Valentine’s Day so students know what to expect and when.  Keep the schedule up the next Day so you can more easily flow from one activity to the next. If math or reading lessons need to be completed, add them to the schedule.  
  4. Set the behavior and learning expectations as a class the day before. Focus on your classroom community goals. Yes, we want to have fun, and we also want everyone included, etc. Challenge students to watch for Mr. or Ms. Valentine (the student who showed the most love, caring, and compassion for others during the day – award that person at the end of the school day. Students will come in more focused on doing their best.)  


I put together a list of ten different Valentine’s Day activities you can do on the actual Day or in the week leading up to it that my students have really enjoyed in the past.

I wanted my students to be actively engaged and learning with what they were doing while still enjoying the thrill of the holiday, so most of these activities are centered on Valentine’s Day writing ideas rather than just a coloring sheet or craft. 

1. Valentine’s Day Cereal. Students create a new cereal for Valentine’s Day and cover an empty cereal box with their idea. (Boxes don’t even have to be cereal boxes, but any upright square box works) They design a cover, title, and descriptive writing about the cereal and even create a riddle, maze, or comic on the back.  

After the competition, open the tops of the boxes, and the children can use them for Valentine Collection boxes. Valentine Cereals can even be offered for a competition and win prizes. I like to include categories like most hearts, yummiest description, most creative design, funniest, etc. Students do the judging, and awards can be given.  

Extension idea:  Allow the students to get creative and use the winning cereal for writing and creating commercials and ads for the breakfast cereal.

2.  Love in any Language.  Students look up how to say I love you in different languages worldwide. You can give each student an outline map and let them create a display using the phrases and coloring in the various countries. Have them color in the maps with traditional Valentine’s Day colors.

3.  Valentine’s Day Bingo. Students create a bingo board for Valentine’s Day from a list of words. They can write on their boards and then trade them with other students if they play more than one round. List words from the Valentine’s Day words or even words from current content or spelling words. Use conversation heart candies for marking squares rather than paper for added fun.

4.  Valentine’s Day Word Search. Students create their word searches for a classmate to solve. They use provided grid sheets, hide their words, and write their word list—theme words around Valentine’s Day or used from content and spelling word lists.

Use a team writing activity to keep the students motivated to write.
Students love to write each other’s stories with a team writing activity.

5.  Valentine’s Day Team Writing. Students participate in a team writing activity with a Valentine’s Day prompt. Create a writing prompt with a Valentine’s Day theme and have the students write the prompt down on paper. After a minute of think-time, have students start to write their story. After three minutes, call time and have students switch papers with someone else. Students read what was written and continue the story for another two to three sentences. Then, when the teacher calls time, they switch papers with someone new, get another story, and follow the same pattern. When it will be the last rotation, tell the class that they will need to wrap up the next story they get.

Allow students to get their original story back and read what the other students wrote.     

Hold a writing circle and allow students to tell what they like the most about their story, compliment an idea or word choice that another author used, etc. But mainly celebrate the ideas and stories created by the combination of students.

Team writing prompts can be funny or silly. Having students practice this method several times a month helps students increase writing fluency. (You can find my prompts here.) Note!! Make sure to set the rules before you write that students must continue the story given, and they can take it in any direction, but it must make sense with the storyline, AND they are not allowed to kill off all the characters and end the story. After this writing activity, looking for and celebrating good ideas keeps the students on task and putting more effort into their writing. For your more impacted students, sit next to them and participate too, give the word or phrase list, or even whisper read what is written and help them develop the following line of the story.

6.    Valentine’s Day Creative Writing. In the week or so before Valentine’s Day, during the writing workshop, have students write and publish Valentine’s Day stories. Students and parents can spend some time on the Day of your Valentine’s Day events reading and commenting on each other’s writings. (This is a beautiful time to give every child a lollipop while reading. It helps cut down on side chatter while students are working. And honestly, they look so cute while intently reading and commenting on others’ works with a lollipop stick hanging out of their mouths. They do.)

Using a funny or silly twist with the storyline will keep the students involved longer. I enjoy using the plot of having the worst Valentine’s Day ever. Students will even award fellow students with certificates for writing a perfect ‘horrible day.’ (see mine here.)

7.  Create a Candy Store. Use the time leading up to Valentine’s to have students design their own candy store. Allow students to watch videos of unique candy stores (some awesome ones on YouTube) or share images of candy stores worldwide. Students can create their own shop name, floor plan, signature candy, and even design a storefront. Your students can present store designs to both parents and other students. (My candy store idea here.)

8.  Valentine’s Day Poetry. Students use theme vocabulary and write Valentine’s Day poems. They can create poems and present them to the class. Adhere poems to decorative paper and hung around the classroom or in the hall for others to admire. (I like Valentine’s Day acrostic poetry – see here.)

Valentine's Day writing ideas and activities
Children strengthen their learning communities when they focus on how they can compliment each other’s behaviors.

9.  Valentine’s Day Cards. Create VAlentines for a senior center or a children’s hospital. I like to have the kids focus on making someone else happy and spend some time and effort creating a lovely card for someone else.

10.  Grateful Hearts. Create a sheet full of hearts of various sizes and give one to each student. Have them fill out their hearts with things they are thankful for in their lives.  

Also, for students needing additional support, consider working together as a class and brainstorm a list of Valentine’s words to use during the different assignments and activities. Create a chart and keep it posted for the students to be able to reference when needed.

I hope these ideas help you create some fantastic work with your students.  

Hugs, teacher friend. Thank you for spreading sunshine to your students and sharing your magic with the world. The world needs you.

Happy Valentine’s Day.




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A Valentine’s Day Writing Prompts Team Writing

Valentine’s Day Writing Ideas – My Not So Happy Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day Poetry

More Valentine’s Day Writing Activities

Create Your Own Candy Store