Each year, the activity that gets the highest attendance in our local homeschool group is our annual Valentine’s Day Party. It seems like nearly every homeschooler in our area wants to go to this party. Even the ones we’ve never seen before!
Many of the years, in order to be sure that the party actually happens, a friend of mine and I end up volunteering to plan it. Our kids would be so disappointed if the party didn’t happen. Valentine’s Day is quickly creeping up on us and it’s time to start planning again!
Generally, we will set up 2-3 craft tables and have 2-3 games. We end our time with food and handing our Valentines out. We try to keep our party to right around 3 hours, including eating and clean up.
Our Valentine’s Day Party: What We Do
- Valentine’s Day Box Contest – We’ve only done this for a couple of years, but it was a huge hit when we did! The kids decorate a box to place their valentines in. They make it as extravagant as they want. The bigger and fancier, the better (within reason for us moms, of course!). When the children arrive, they place their box on a table that we have usually divided up into age groups. We then judge the best 2 or 3 out of each age group, depending on the amount of people attending.
- Make Your Own Valentines Contest – This is something that we’ve not done yet, but I hope to implement it this year. There are so many cute homemade Valentines out there, why not encourage the kids to get creative and make their own? If you’re looking for inspiration, I encourage you to check out my Valentine’s Day Pinterest Board or you can subscribe to my blog for a free Valentine’s Day Idea E-book.
- Decorate Valentine’s Day Bags - On the years where we didn’t plan ahead enough to have the bigger Decorated Box contest, we’d bring brown paper bags and let the kids decorate theirs so that they have something to put their Valentines in.
- Make Valentine’s Day Book Marks - All you need is some cardstock, stickers & crayons on hand for kids to get creative with their bookmark making skills.
- Make a Heart Paper Chain - These are so cute and so easy, too! All you need are strips of construction paper and a stapler (or 2 or 3). Here’s a picture of what they turn out like:
- Decorate Sugar Cookies – Bring different colors of icing and sprinkles and candy to let the children decorate their own sugar cookies. They love the creations they make!
- Bring Food to Share - Have each family who comes, bring a tray of snacks to share with the group. One year, we even had a lunch pot luck!
- There are many heart shaped food ideas on my Valentine’s Day Pinterest Board, as well.
- Relay Races - There’s so many different races to choose from. Here’s two examples:
- The Musical Present Game - Divide your group into groups of 4 to 6 and ask them to sit in a circle. Have a present wrapped inside of another present in the middle of each group. Provide them with pair of gloves, a butter knife and a fork. Tell them that when the music starts, they are to put the gloves on and then try to open the present, but they can only use the knife and the fork to get into the present. When the music stops, pass the present to the next person. The person who ends up getting the present open without cheating, gets to keep what’s inside. Hint: Be sure to give them enough time to get their gloves on at the beginning.
- The Suitcase Relay – Have 2 (or more) teams. Each team has a suitcase full of a complete, old, out-of-date outfit. Include as much or as little in it as you want. Things like: pants, shirts, socks, shoes, tie, jacket, gloves, etc. Each person has to put on the clothes (over their clothes), run down to the other side of the room and back, take the clothes back off and then put it all back in the suitcase and pass it to the next person. The team to make it through their whole team doing this first, is the winner! Fun addition: You could add a fun flare and have a mom ready to take a picture when they get back and before they take the clothes back off.
- Love Your Neighbor – Put all kids in a circle and one child in the middle. The person in the middle says, “I Love My Neighbor Who ____________________ (examples: has blue on, has short hair, who is a girl, etc.). Anyone who has a characteristic that is shouted out, jumps up and changes seats with another person who has that same characteristic while the child in the middle also runs to a seat. The person that is left without a seat, then has a turn to shout out a color or trait for the next round. There’s really not a winner to this game, it’s just fun for the kids! Here’s a picture of our crew playing this game last year.
Be sure to figure out how many potential winners you could have per game and for your judging of the contests. Plan enough prizes for each. We generally do award ribbons or candy, but the options are limitless. If you need to, in order to cover for the price of prizes, ask for a donation towards the expenses of the party.
Does your homeschool group have an annual Valentine’s Day party? What are some of your kids’ favorite activities to do while at your party?
Sarah has 6 kids and has been homeschooling for 11 years. You can find her blogging about children’s crafts, freezer to crockpot recipes and other topics for busy moms at her blog, Sidetracked Sarah. Subscribers of her blog can get a free Valentine’s Day Ideas E-book this month!