Looking for a creative, memorable, enriching, and fun Valentine’s Day activity? Here’s an easy one that will help spread kindness and appreciation. My son's third grade teacher led this activity (with 20 or so children in an elementary school class) but it could work well for homeschool groups, Sunday school classes, and families.

Each child creates a Valentine’s Day poster with unique comments from friends, classmates, teammates, and/or family members about what they like about him or her. Children are asked to express themselves freely about their friends but they must say something positive. So, instead of exchanging store-bought Valentine’s Day cards, children exhange nice (written) thoughts about each other. The collections of thoughts are then placed on posters. It’s fascinating to see themes develop, showing the unique characteristics of each child.

You’ll need:

  • A poster board (any color but red, white, or black will look great) for each child
  • Construction paper (any color but red and white will look nice)
  • Slips of white paper (take 8½ x 11 paper and cut into 4 pieces so that you should have long strips in the size of 2.125 x 11); you’ll need enough strips to allow each child to write comments about all the other children
  • Glue
  • Markers (gold and silver will look great on a black poster; or you can use red on white or another combination)
  • Scissors

Give these instructions:

  • Write your name at the top of the poster board
  • Decorate the poster with hearts
  • Write 1-2 sentences describing what you like about each person in your group; use one paper strip for each person
  • Give your strip to each person: your comments are your Valentine’s Day gifts
  • Glue the strips to create your Valentine's poster

Here are some sample comments from my child’s poster (made a few years ago):

  • “I like that you’re serious and fun at the same time, same with your smartness.”
  • “You always make the room laugh, when the room is sad, you make it happy.”

There were a few less specific comments such as “you are cool” though I would encourage kids to think not only of nice things to say but also of distinctive ones. However, don't pressure kids to be creative, just let them have fun. 

This activity works well with children who have basic writing skills and think and speak kindly about other children (ages 6-11), but could work with younger children who may draw a picture or tell an adult to what to write. The result is a cherished Valentine's Day treasure.