It feels like we just got back from winter break and it’s time to celebrate Valentine’s Day! When it comes to celebrating holidays in the classroom, I like to bring out a few games. There are many fun games that you can play with your students in February! In this post, I’m going to share three simple Valentine’s Day games for the 2nd grade classroom.
Benefits of Playing Games in the Classroom
With so much ground to cover in the curriculum, it can feel counterintuitive to spend time playing games in the classroom. There are several reasons why games should be regularly included in your lesson plans.
- Build Community: Games are fun! Having fun together as a class is a wonderful way to build community. Students are able to have positive interactions with peers as they complete these fun activities.
- Encourage Problem-Solving: We know how important it is for the brain to be challenged in order to learn and grow. Games are an engaging way for students to challenge their brains and practice problem-solving skills.
- Reinforce Academic Skills: Classroom games aren’t just time fillers! You can reinforce and practice important academic skills with a variety of games.
- Celebrate with Purpose: Finally, games are a great way to bring holiday fun to your classroom while still focusing on educational tasks. Students will still be practicing academic, problem-solving, and social skills as they participate in these activities. This is why games are perfect for a holiday classroom party!
3 Simple Valentine’s Day Games for 2nd Grade
Since we know how helpful it can be to play games in the classroom, I wanted to share some of my favorites. These simple Valentine’s Day games are low prep but lots of fun! They are perfect for morning meetings, centers, fast finisher activities, or even for your Valentine’s Day class party!
1. Word Building with Friends
This fun and educational game has teams of students work together to see how many words they can create from a set of letter cards. Each puzzle has a February-themed mystery word for students to discover as they build as many words as they can. Students always love the healthy competition of racing other teams to see how many words they can build.
For an added element of math practice, each letter has a small point value listed. Students can practice addition as they discover the point total for each word and then add it all together for their final score.
This resource comes with 11 different word building activities for February. It also has two different options for each puzzle depending on whether or not you want to prompt students to watch for the mystery word. If you’d like to take a closer look at everything included in this resource, you can find it in my TPT shop.
2. Valentine Word Guess
Have you ever played Wordle? Try putting a Valentine spin on it! If you aren’t familiar with Wordle, it’s a word guessing game where you have six tries to guess a five-letter word. After each guess, the letters are marked in different colors to help you strategize your next guess.
To play Valentine word guess, you will need a black and red (or pink) dry erase marker. Someone will think of a word (or choose one from a list of Valentine words) and then ask for the first guess. The first word guessed will be written in black marker.
The person who thought of the mystery word now needs to judge the guess. They will mark the letters that are in the mystery word with a small red heart above the letter. If the letter is in the word AND in the correct spot (first letter, last letter, etc.), the person will color in the heart. If the letter is in the word but not in the correct spot, the person will just draw a heart outline.
Then the student(s) guessing will make a strategy for their next guess based on what they’ve learned so far about the letters in the mystery word. Play continues like this until they have guessed the word. You can adjust this game based on the needs of your class. At first, you might play as a whole group so you can support and guide the strategy discussion. You also might decide to provide an alphabet strip so students can keep track of the letters they’ve guessed. Another modification is to use shorter words, like three or four letters.
Once students understand the rules and strategy of the game, this is a great one to play in partnerships or small groups!
3. Guess the Valentine's Image
This final game is perfect for morning meetings or any time you have your smart board ready to go! A Valentine’s image is hidden, with just a small cutout showing what might be underneath. After viewing both clues, students can make guesses about the picture underneath.
This is a great opportunity for students to practice expressing themselves in front of the whole group. It’s also good practice at turn-taking, especially for students who might be tempted to blurt out their guesses. Finally, this game is also perfect for vocabulary practice, since you’ll probably hear students say “I forget what it’s called!”
You can play this game all at once by going through the slides one at a time. You could also play this game throughout the month by doing one mystery picture per day. Many teachers have added this picture guessing game to their morning meetings in February. It’s a fun way to build community! These slides are also perfect for brain breaks or transition time.
This digital resource includes 40 different images. It includes eight Valentine’s Day images, eight things that are red, and then eight images in each of three other categories that can be used throughout the month. You can take a closer look at this resource in my TPT shop.
Save These Simple Valentine’s Day Games for the Classroom
If you’d like to come back to these Valentine’s Day games later, be sure to save this post! Just add the pin below to your favorite board on Pinterest. You’ll be able to quickly find these game ideas when you’re planning your classroom Valentine’s Day activities.