Holidays, like Valentine's Day, are an opportunity to engage students while still practicing social emotional skills like empathy and friendship. It is a holiday that comes and goes, so you don't want to go overboard prepping and planning. I've collected seven quick and easy school counseling Valentine's Day activities to get you started.
Activity 1: Conversation Hearts
Cut out heart shapes and write interesting get-to-know-you questions. For example, would you rather be a dog-lover or cat person? Do artistic activities like painting or drawing make you happier than physical activities like dodgeball? What would it look if you woke up tomorrow and you were famous? Is using your right hand more comfortable than using your left?
Perfect for: Get to know you and relationship building.
Activity 2: Kindness Tree
For a heartfelt reminder of self-love, craft or purchase a paper tree and adorn it with encouraging hearts. Write inspiring notes such as "You are brave," "You are a good friend," and "You look beautiful today." Hang the tree in your hallway for all to see - you can even include blank cards so others can write their own uplifting messages! Alternatively, skip the paper tree entirely, and spruce up your door by decorating it with these heart notes or buy one of these note trees for your desk.
Perfect for: Self-esteem, confidence, and kindness.
Activity 3: Compliment Grams
Have students write a compliment to another student and send it in an envelope. This pairs well with simple lessons on compliments and kindness.
Perfect for: Building community and practicing kindness.
Activity 4: Thank You Cards
Help your students practice appreciation by having them write thank-you notes for their families, friends, and teachers. Brainstorm with the class about who is important to them and how they have been supported. To get started quickly, provide a basic template for these notes of gratitude so everyone can be successful!
Perfect for: Practicing empathy and kindness.
Download these free thank you and shout out cards.
Activity 5: Kindness Chains
Students can create a paper chain to represent their kind acts this February. This activity helps make the idea of doing good deeds more tangible and is an excellent lesson that will last throughout the month.
Perfect for: Kindness and community building
Activity 6: Support System
February is ideal for us to take a moment and recognize the people there for us. Encourage students to contemplate who in their community, school, or home stands by them—and how they similarly support others. Understanding and identifying your support system can be helpful for students over time.
Perfect for: Self-awareness, relationship building, and problem-solving.
Activity 7: Broken Heart Repair
Write out social scenarios where someone's emotions can be easily hurt, such as being excluded from a conversation or game at recess. Then challenge your students to find ways to repair the damage done and address the situation without making it worse. This encourages them to think of creative solutions while emphasizing empathy in their communication strategies.
Perfect for: Social awareness, relationship building, and problem-solving.
Valentine's Day Counseling Activities
Celebrating Valentine’s Day in the school counseling setting can be a great way to build relationships, foster self-love, and have appreciation for those around us. These seven school counseling Valentine's Day activities are perfect for elementary and require minimal prep work. Creating conversation hearts or writing thank you cards allows students to practice critical social skills like empathy while having fun! I hope these ideas will help make your February easy and engaging.
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Teach kindness to students through quick, engaging activities. When students see kind acts and reflect on them, they are more likely to do them independently in the classroom community.
Valentine's Day Activities
Easy to use SEL activities for Valentine's Day or February. Activities will have students working on their self-awareness, coping skills, responsive listening, helping, and standing up for others.