Monday, March 21, 2016

Valentine's Day Party Ideas

It's almost spring party time, which reminded me I had some ideas to share from Valentines.

I quit the classroom party circuit in kindergarten. That was the year I dutifully signed up to bring a "winter party" treat. I had no idea the chaos that awaited me when I drove up to the school that day. Along with dozens of other parents (and grandparents, aunts, siblings, step parents, cousins...) I filed into a crowded classroom where the kids were munching on  a smorgasbord of sugar, just in time for the bus ride home. There were more cookies and cupcakes than you could shake a sugar cane stick at. I believe there was a mind-numbing craft of some kind. Did I mention there was a lot of candy?

Obviously there were plenty of other parents with the time and money to take care of this kind of junk (food). For years I have stayed away, content to pilfer any chocolate leftovers that might survive the trip home. Entertaining (and feeding) 25 schoolchildren has never been a calling for me. 

Until a few weeks ago. I could hardly believe the third grade teacher's repeated pleas for parental oversight of the Valentine's party had gone unanswered. Then I remembered my son complaining that they did not have any treats at their last party. Had the spark for classroom parties fizzled out? Hath hearts frozen over? What a pity. 

So there I was. Pouring over Pinterest, determined to save Valentine's Day for Miss C's class. It was refreshing to have a reason to be Pinterest, and the party ended up being quite fun. There was a reasonable abundance of treats, and the kids were laughing and smiling. Which is the point of a party, after all.

Valentine's Classroom Party for Third Grade

Menu
Popcorn
Pretzel rods
Sugar cookies
Capri Sun
Packaged Brownies

Activities
Conversation Heart Bingo
Creating Valentines
Love Letter Mad Libs 
Guess the Number of Candies in the Jar 

Conversation Heart Bingo
I found several bingo sets, but it was difficult to find one that made sense for a classroom of 25. For example, there are several that have Valentine-themed pictures on them. Many did not have BINGO or other letters to identify columns, so I'm not sure how the calling would work. 

This is the bingo set I used. The cards printed nicely in black and white, and there are blank templates to fill so you can accommodate the number needed. I had to create call numbers, which I just did on little shreds of paper, and put them in a plastic baggy. For markers, we passed out cupcake wrappers with conversation hearts in them. You could just give each student a box of hearts, but my drugstore was out by the time I picked up supplies. It may or may not have been 9 pm the night before.

We played two rounds and gave out two small prizes in about 15 minutes.  ❤️AMORE

Creating Valentines
Another mom (bless her heart) brought heart cut-outs and peel-and-stick hearts for the kids to decorate. They were able to use markers or crayons from their desk to decorate as well. I didn't get the details but they looked like items you might find in the dollar bins at Target or Michael's. Easy peasy.💛 I'M SURE

Love Letter Mad Libs
This was personally my favorite part. I brought two story sheets as a back up activity and I'm glad, because we needed them. After a brief explanation of the game, the kids took turns giving me verbs, adjectives, etc. to fill in the blanks. They didn't know they were writing a love letter, and the result was hilarious. 💜 TRUE LOVE

Guess the Number of Candies in the Jar
I bought a small jar with a lid for $1 and filled it with M&M's. The kids wrote their name and their guess on the back of their bingo sheet. They had a great time guessing but the closest guess got to take them home! 💖 THE ONE


Other Ideas for a Class Party
Read a book or story about Valentines
Storybook charades
Watch a video. Or better yet, make a video 
Standup routine -compile kid-friendly jokes