Creative Valentines Day Games
Making Valentines with the kids out of construction paper, doilies, buttons, and ribbons is probably a cherished tradition in many households, but Valentine’s Day is also a great time to play some “heart-centric” games with the kids. Here are three games to get you started.
“Heart-to-Heart” Board Game
Who doesn’t love a board game? In this game, every player gets his or her own board (as in Bingo), and any number can play.
To prepare for this game, you’ll need:
- A token for each player – a candy heart would be appropriate or a token from another board game, such as Monopoly.
- One or two dice. (Older children can use two dice and the game will progress faster and be more interesting for them.)
- One game board for each player, as shown below. You could draw the game board on paper, but you’ll save yourself a lot of work if you download and print the PDF file we have provided. (Just click the image below to download the file.)
- The first player rolls the die/dice and moves his or her token forward the corresponding number of hearts rolled.
- The remaining players each roll the die, in turn, moving their tokens on their own game boards.
- Play progresses until one player wins by reaching the Finish first.
- After the game, the children can color the hearts as an art project for the refrigerator.
“Pounding Heart” Card Game
This is a spin on the classic “Slap Jack” card game. Any number can play. To prepare for the game, you’ll need one or two decks of playing cards.
- Remove all the hearts except the Ace, King, Queen, and Jack of hearts.
- If playing with very young children, it might be easier for them if you also remove all the aces and face cards in the other three suits. This will make a greater difference between the other cards and the hearts. In this case, you should use two decks of cards.
- Deal one card face down to each player in turn until all cards are dealt.
- Each player should hold the cards in a stack, face down, without looking at the cards.
- The first player plays the top card of his stack face up in the middle of the playing surface. (Teach children how to play the card without looking at it and how to lightly toss the card on the stack in the middle. The player’s hand should not be touching the card when it hits the stack because this would give the player an advantage.)
- Each person in the game plays a card to the middle in turn, creating a stack of cards in the middle.
- If a heart is played, everyone tries to “pound the heart” by slapping the stack first.
- The player who slaps the stack first, gets the entire stack and must add it to the bottom of the stack in his or her hand.
- If a player slaps the stack in error (when a heart has not been played), that player must give each of the other players one card from his or her own stack.
- If a player loses all his or her cards, the player can still be in the game and try to “pound a heart,” thus getting more cards to play.
- Play progresses until one player wins by acquiring all the cards.
The “Twisted Heart” Game
This is a game that is played like Twister™ and as many as four children can play at once.
To prepare for the game, you’ll need:
- 16 pieces of 8.5 x 11-inch construction paper in at least 4 different colors
- Tape that will stick the paper hearts to the floor
- A small brown paper bag or other container (large enough to hold 16 small pieces of paper and still have enough room for a child’s hand to reach into)
- Cut the largest heart possible from each piece of 8.5 x 11-inch construction paper.
- Cut one small heart (approximately 1.5-inches square) from the scrap left from each large heart.
- Tape the large hearts to the floor in a grid of four columns and four rows, mixing the colors up, and keeping the hearts fairly close together.
- Place the small hearts in the bag or container.
- The first player draws a colored heart from the bag/container and places a foot on any heart on the floor that matches the color drawn from the bag. (Do not put the small heart back in the bag.)
- Each of the remaining players repeat step 1, placing one foot on the heart that matches the heart drawn from the bag.
- In the second round, players draw from the bag again and place their other foot on the heart that matches the heart they draw from the bag.
- Rounds three and four are for placing hands on the hearts on the floor.
- If a player cannot reach the color drawn or can’t hold the pose as play progresses, he or she is out.
- All players who are able to hold their poses win the game.