Valentine’s Day has a special place in my heart (see what I did there). January can be a long, dreary month and having something fun to look forward to can really change the mood. If you’re like me – looking forward to a holiday that’s all about warmth and love – and you’re planning what this will look like in your classroom, then I have some materials that might be just what you need! Here’s my Valentine writing center:
I want children to get excited about using these materials, and I do that by making them inviting – adding decorations, related textiles, and touches that create a homey and comforting feel. This doesn’t have to mean spending a lot of money though – that red fabric on the shelf, it’s an old scarf from my closet, and the banners are printables from my Valentine Classroom Decorations!
Putting the seasonal books in a different location – not the regular classroom library – makes them easier to find. It also means that they’re where children might also be in need of related words to look at when they’re writing.
Where there are books there should also be a cozy space for reading! A few pillows and some color-coordinated stuffed animals go a long way. This can be a great opportunity to reuse any red items left from Christmas too.
Keeping everything organized is key! When every activity has it’s own defined space it makes it easier to clean up, and to identify what’s available to use – that doesn’t have to mean a ton of baskets that match. For this space I used holiday trays, paper baking containers, wooden boxes, and a glass candle stand. You know I love the Dollar Tree, and a lot of my storage comes from there. I also like to get creative with packaging from other items.
Let’s look at the activities I’ve added. These broken hearts are a matching activity – children will match the upper and lower case letters to form a full heart. It can be used individually or with small groups like a game. This printable is available in my TPT store!
Here’s another matching game – this one includes cards with the word LOVE in a variety of languages. Younger children can look at the letters and see if they can fine the matches, and older children can use these for a memory-like game. These also introduce an opportunity to look at this theme with a global perspective, exploring how love is something that all people feel! Here’s where you can find this game.
There are so many different words associated with this holiday, and you can introduce them all with this alphabet book. It includes one Valentine’s Day related word for each letter of the alphabet. Some examples include
- A is for admirer
- B is for bouquet
- C is for carnation
Fun pens or markers are always a hit. Add some printable stationary or leftover valentine cards and envelopes and let your students go to town! Kids love getting mail, and other than birthday cards, valentines are often the closest they get to being able to send mail to others. Having cards, special paper, and color-coordinated writing utensils available will help them fully enjoy this opportunity.
I’ve got vocabulary cards for every topic imaginable (seriously, check them all out here) – and Valentine’s Day is no exception. These include the words that will be the most popular, and including them not only offers a support for students to write independently it also save your sanity – you won’t have to spell the word valentine 12 times a day! These are my favorite because they include the matching spelling cards. Children can match the pictures and then write the words on the cards themselves. Each child could even create their own set of vocabulary cards.
Pop back in on Monday to see what my Valentine math center looks like, I can’t wait to share it with you!