Elementary school students just love Valentine’s Day. Opening Valentine cards and eating little treats is pure fun. (Click here for my tips for a smooth Valentine’s Day at school.)
Every year, someone forgets their Valentine cards. In my experience, this has occurred much more frequently since we slipped into this recession. I expect to have lots of “forgotten” Valentine cards this year.
Fortunately, I have an “Emergency Valentines” supply—multiple boxes of deep-discount Valentine cards I bought after the holiday last year.
Discreetly, I send the student to another classroom to address their Valentines. In my opinion, this is a much better system than having students make their own emergency Valentines at school the day of the party. Distributing hastily made Valentines is embarrassing for the giver. Why do that to a student when you can buy a box of Valentines for a dollar?
If you don’t have an emergency Valentine card supply, start one now by picking up Valentine cards at your local dollar store. Great idea: buy several boxes so you have enough for Valentine’s Day emergencies in other classrooms. E-mail teachers at your school about your emergency stash. You will make friends with teachers and their students you rescue.
After this Valentine’s Day, buy your spare valentine cards for a quarter!
P.S. Don’t forget to pick up paper bags for holding Valentine cards your students receive!
Valentine’s Day is a fun, low-key holiday. The most important thing is the Valentine Cards! Let your class enjoy handing out Valentines, reading them, and munching on a limited amount of treats.
- Buy extra boxes of Valentines for kids who don’t have any. Sometimes it’s a matter of money, or just a too-busy family life; other times an English Language Learner doesn’t have valentine cards because his parents don’t know about this elementary school tradition. Parents, an extra set of valentines makes a nice donation to your child’s class. Teachers, buy extra Valentines at the Dollar Store. I also buy Valentines at 75% off after the holiday for next year’s supply.
- Decorate Valentines bags: Let your students color designs on plain white paper lunch bags. This is a good way to channel Valentine excitement on the morning of the party.
- Learn about Saint Valentine: Why not bring a little history to the day? Report highlights from Saint Valentine on Wikipedia to your class. Or read aloud from a book: Saint Valentine by Robert Sabuda is a good choice. (AR Reading Level 5.4; 0.5 points) With beautiful illustrations and simple text, this is a good Read Aloud for elementary school.
- Watch a movie: Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown is sure to be a hit! With all the Chimpunks mania of late, let your class go old-school and watch the animated show, Alvin & the Chipmunks: A Chipmunk Valentine.
- Limit the treats: I recommend just one treat–and make it good, like a cupcake. This way, the focus is on cards and classmates–and nobody gets sugar high. I ask parents to send in Valentine’s sale treats after the holiday for our Emergency Party Supply.
Teachers: Keep a hefty supply of thank you notes! I keep them on hand so I am always ready to write a thank you note immmediately.