Valentine's Day will be my first class party. If I had a lower grade, this would be easier, I think. What have you done for a Valentine party in 5th grade? This age group seems a little tougher to plan for, plus I have 13 boys and 5 girls. I'm just looking for a fun activity to do that day. Thanks in advance for ideas/suggestions!
I make the valentine cards optional but if they bring them they have to bring one for everybody in the class.
We have snacks, play music, and games. Bingo with candy hearts for markers & token prizes is a favorite. I also just allow them to bring in boardgames & play those. Guess the number of candy hearts in a jar & you win the jar.
We don't focus that much on the valentine part since it is a time when they are a little uncomfortable with it. Some of them are beginning to like the opposite sex, but some of them still find the idea icky!
My kids still exchange Valentine's. At my school, they are in the last year of elementary and I want them to enjoy it while they can. As for the party we have plenty of "junk" food (ususally ice cream sundaes) and watch a movie.
A fun idea that has worked for me from 2nd-5th grade, is a treasure hunt. You plant clues in advance with a direction for one student to do something, but everyone goes (i.e. I think Jeremy is thirsty, go get a drink...and then Jeremy leads the line to the drinking fountain where the next clue in under the fountain and so on...). The final treasure could be the treats for the party hidden somewhere in the room, a video to watch, the teacher's cards for the kids....
Fifth graders still like to exchange Valentines. Really that is all they are interested in! We don't do a big party because our school district only allows two parties a year, but we do let them exchange cards. I don't usually have any refreshments sent in because they usually get so much candy with the valentines. When I have had cupcakes sent in they are usually not eaten because the students just want to pass out and look at their cards. We do this during the last half hour of the day so it does not interfere with our lessons.
i like to do games/activities where the students will earn prizes at the end--this keeps them interested and motivated!
take those colored m&m's and have students suck through a straw to separate them into pink, white, red (don't give too many though, they'll hyperventilate!)
heart relay--teams of students: each one gets a paper heart and a straw--they have to suck the heart and carry it to the end of room and drop in bowl--if it drops, they must stop and suck it back up
how many words can you get out of HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY?
i'm sure there are valentine crossword puzzles/word searches online. (i like to do very few active games and many seatwork games--often even educational--just to keep the party from being a screaming match--keeps up my sanity level!)
i also have a famous pairs activity (mine is a crummy old hard copy, but i bet you could find one online!) where students must match up famous couples....it's starting to get pretty hard for kids who don't have these reference....bess trueheart (i think tom sawyer or huckleberry finn) and dick tracy (i have to check my own answer key to see if they're right!!!)
you could easily make your own with more timely couples!
Our party can only be 30 minutes long, so we just have snack food, hand out val. cards and talk. It is at the end of the day, so then we get ready to go home. I also tell them cards are optional, but if they bring them, they have to bring one for everyone.
I spend the day doing academics around valentine activities. One favorite that 5th graders love is Creative Writing. I use a bowl of both large and small candy conversation hearts to create a story or even a letter to a friend. The students start writing and use their choice of hearts to glue down here and there throughout the story. The final stories are so funny.
I have to tell you about my "DREAM BOAT". (dream boat would be the heart glued down on the paper) He is so "COOL". But, I don't "LUV" him. Oh, yuck...etc.
I think you get the idea. Many of the students like to share their stories to their classmates. The lids really enjoy doing this activity.