If you are planning a Valentine’s Day party for children, games are essential. Here are some games appropriate for the elementary-age crowd.
Bring in two large stuffed hearts (either pillows or just plush stuffed hearts). Divide the kids into two teams and tell them they must run to the finish line with the heart between their legs. So they won’t run as much as stumbled forth. Once they return to the group, they should take the heart and give it to the next child, who puts it between their legs and so on. Whichever group finishes the entire relay first wins.
Give the children a couple rolls of toilet paper and instruct them to wrap another child mummy style. This is a popular game at Halloween, but in this case they are wrapping a present. Divide the kids into two teams and time them. The team that finishes first, wins, and gets to put a big red bow on their « package ».
Help elementary students remember some of the great couples by having them complete the match to a famous other half. For example, if you say « Romeo » their answer would be « Juliet » (hopefully). To play this game, divide the kids into two groups and give each a buzzer or similar type item. Present the famous start of the pair. You might say, « peanut butter » and if one of the teams knows the match is « jelly » they will buzz in with their answer.
Some other options are:
« Eggs and (bacon) »
« Coffee and (sugar or cream is OK here) »
« Cinderella and (Prince Charming) »
« Cookies and (milk) »
Kids love those little Valentine’s candy conversation hearts available everywhere around Valentine’s Day. Create a heart-stacking contest, which is a lot of fun and can create some team spirit. Initially, each child will get many hearts. Plan to have a few bags on hand if you are doing this game with a classroom full of kids. Have them build as high as they can with the hearts within in a given period of time (30 seconds to a minute is plenty). If their contraption falls, they are out. Keep playing the game over and over again until you are down to two final contestants. Have everyone cheer him or her on as they try to build the highest (and longest lasting) tower of hearts. Be sure to have a prize for the winning architect.
This game is always a hit with kids because what kid doesn’t love a good balloon? Give each child a balloon (not inflated) and have him or her blow it up. Have a target somewhere in the room, and in this case a big heart will do, and have them let go of their (untied) balloon in the direction of the target. Whoever gets their balloon the closest to the target gets a prize. If someone gets a direct hit, that’s two prizes. Keep the target on the ground to make this game easier. Based on the ages and abilities of the kids in the group, you can have them stand close or somewhat far away from the target when they let their balloon go.
All kids love a good game of Bingo. For a seated game that might help the kids rest for a minute, play a game of Valentine’s Day-themed bingo. The bingo squares might have pictures on them like hearts, flowers, cupid, arrows and the like. Be sure to have a prize for the winner, and play the game over and over so the kids can all have a turn at winning.
To make everyone happy on this day of love, play a game of « throwing the smile ». Sit everyone in a circle and have one person smile wildly at the rest of the group. Everyone else must sit as stone-faced as possible. Then the person smiling dramatically wipes the smile off their face (by literally using their hand over their mouth in a swiping motion) and « throws » the smile to the next person in the circle. That person puts the smile on, and again makes a wild, silly smile at the group, then wipes it off and moves on. As soon as someone smirks or smiles that is not supposed to be smiling at that moment, they are out. It’s harder than it sounds and kids often end up in gales of laughter, even when they’re trying to be serious.
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