Sitting here in my cubicle in Atlanta, I just had a flashback to programming at the Club on Valentine’s Day. SO MUCH INSANITY AND SUGAR AND ENERGY AND AHHHHHHHH
Holidays are always a fun time at the Club because youth are so excited about their amazing days at school and eager to keep having fun. We can capitalize on that excitement to have an awesome Club day, but it needs to be well-planned and purposeful. Otherwise it can descend into chaos, and that doesn’t leave anyone feeling good.
One way to be thoughtful about planning a Valentine’s Day celebration is to consider incorporating games and activities that don’t require something your members will probably get a LOT of at school- sugar! I went on an internet adventure to find ideas for throughout the Club that don’t include food or candy (or at least minimally so!). If you want food ideas, or some other general party ideas that could be adapted, be sure to check out our 3-part Party Ideas series.
This game could be used in the Gamesroom or Gym, and I like how she uses a blanket to help enforce the boundary.
If you already have the game Hedbanz in your Gamesroom, here are some free printable cards to make it Valentine’s-themed. Even if you don’t have the game, they give other suggestions for using them.
In a lot of the stations in this list, the teacher links to her store to buy templates (absolutely no shade, teachers deserve to be paid for their work!), but if you don’t have budget, you could create your own. I do really like the game of stacking conversation hearts with chopsticks even though that is candy.
This would take a bit of prep, but is really cute, especially if you are doing something with a smaller group. My suggestion would be to include non-candy items in the cups. This blog also has SUPER CUTE downloadable Valentines, they are listed at the end of the post.
This musical hearts game includes fun actions on each. To download her full list, you have to sign up for her emails, but if you’d rather not you can get a good start from her photos.
This site has 5 Valentine’s STEM activities! One of them does include candy and soda, but the rest don’t.
Very cool geometry activity only using pipe cleaners and straws.
Here’s a set of 30 cards for Bingo. (I found a cuter set, but they only had 4 cards?? That’s not gonna work.)
These Would You Rather questions would be great as a waiting activity, or as an icebreaker. You could also use them in the Gym, as in having everyone start in the middle and then run to one end for the first answer, the other end for the second.
This printable I Spy game is perfect as a Power Hour activity for those who finish their homework early.
Looks like you do have to sign up for a mailing list to get this free download, but the finished hearts would be perfect for a bulletin board display.
While this is a pretty simple craft, I like that it includes a writing component.
At my Club, my teen girls ESPECIALLY always wanting to be drawing with Sharpies. I could see this being fun to do as we sit and have some music on and just chat.
Origami hearts! You could do them with the suckers or without.
These robots are SO CUTE.
This is a long list of active games, including relay races, beanbag tosses, and more.
Soooo most of these Minute to Win It games do actually involve candy, but would be great to use with older youth who maybe didn’t have a party at school.
Be sure to comment YOUR favorite Valentine’s Day activities in the comments on this post or on Facebook so that we can get even more inspiration!