First, check with the teacher and find out whether or not he/she is planning on handing out valentines as part of the party time or beforehand and whether or not the kids will have already made or brought in some kind of valentine mailbox so you can plan the time accordingly. For my kids, their teachers are not having the valentine exchange as part of the party, so we don't need to worry about it.
Now, break the party into 4 stations. That way the kids are in smaller, easy-to-work-with, groups. A good rule of thumb is to have a treat station, a craft station, an active game station, and a non-active station.
The Treat Station
At my kids' school, the treats at the party have to have some kind of healthy element. So for this party, we are going to do parfaits and bottled water. We will be making the parfaits in clear cups, so the kids can see how cute they look. Have stickers on hand so that kids can decorate their cups while they wait for help making the parfaits.
Valentine's Party Parfait Recipe
-enough pre-cut cake for the number of kids in the class (we have to use only store bought foods, but you can use cut-up angel food cake, strawberry short cakes, or un-frosted cupcakes.)
- Cool Whip
- vanilla pudding
- vanilla yogurt
- whipped cream
Mix one tub of Cool Whip, a large box of vanilla pudding (prepared), and two cups of vanilla yogurt. Add a little food coloring to make it pink. Crush some pretzels and cut up some strawberries.
Layer cake, filling, whip cream, cake, filling, pretzels, strawberries, whip cream, sprinkles. OR, whatever layers the kids want. If you use cupcakes, cut them in half. We just tried some that went filling, crushed pretzels, filling, whipped cream, crushed pretzels, filling strawberries, whipped cream, and sprinkles.
Then, we did water bottles, because kids like water bottles, they are healthy, and cheap.
The Craft Station
When it comes to crafts... KEEP IT SIMPLE and keep in mind how long it has to dry before it has to go home. Glue is not your friend. We kept our craft totally simple. Here is our craft.
I find it helpful to have each of the supplies the kids will need in little sets, so they can just be passed out and they will have everything they need. We are making heart/flower valentines with other little valentines they can color.
Supplies for each set:
-one green pipe cleaner
-one green paper leaf
-one strip of red paper (1X12)
-one strip of pink paper (1X10)
-one strip of white paper (1x11)
-one valentine to color
-one baggy to put it all in.
- hole punch or stapler
Punch holes in the paper strips ahead of time or if you don't want to use a hole punch you can just staple it all together.
The Active Game Station
We are playing Lava hearts. Divide the groups into two teams. Either head-to-head or team-against-team, have kids race from one side of the room to the other and back. Each team has two hearts. The kids can't touch the floor to get across the room, because the floor is LAVA. They have to use only the hearts. It is best to either laminate or use contact paper on the hearts so they don't get ripped up.
The Non-active Game Station
We are playing the "Be My Valentine" game. I think the picture kinda explains it all. Have each kid start out with 6-10 candies. They take turns rolling the dice. I printed them at 5x7s so there were two copies. You can use conversation hearts, or some kind of wrapped candy, or even pretzels or crackers if you need to be a little healthier.
So there you have it. Easy Peasy.