Last year I did a post listing Valentine activities for classrooms. Lots of them are good for families, too, so be sure to take a look. But here are 5 more heart-centered activities for the month that will help you create, investigate, and have fun–plus one more I just couldn’t resist. Most of these would work equally well for families or school activities.
- Go on a photographic or just-for-fun scavenger hunt looking for hearts. You might identify heart-shaped rocks, shadows, curved branches or (if you don’t live in Michigan!) heart-shaped leaves or flowers. Or if need be, you can create some hearts from natural materials, perhaps forming a snow heart or building a heart sand castle. For a little inspiration, check out Eric Telchin’s website, or watch this trailer for his wonderful book, See a Heart, Share a Heart.
- The human heart is an amazing thing. Over 170 years ago, a French physician named René Laennec invented the first stethoscope. Check the drawing to see what an early stethescope looked like. It was a wooden tube about 1 inch in diameter and about 10 inches long. Try using a paper towel tube to listen to someone’s heart. Then think about how you could improve on the paper-towel-tube model.Experiment with counting beats before and after exercise, or after walking slowly, then after running. How much difference does it make?
- Want some more exercise? The American Heart Association has a heart-healthy scavenger hunt that will send you scampering all over your home. When you’ve finished, check out the other children’s activities on their website.
- I just bought a Valentine book for young friends that could be an advertisement for the “Reverse” strategy in SCAMPER. It is called I Loathe You, and is full of expressions of affectionate loathing from Big Monster to Little Monster, such as, “I loathe you more than slimy rates, more than frostbite, skunks, or bats!” It made me think how much fun it could be to create valentines for monsters, or for any characters for whom traditional expressions of love would be repulsive. Create new valentines of loathing, or perhaps a different kind of love. What valentine might Frankenstein send to his bride, or the Loch Ness Monster send to her mate at the depths of the Loch?
- Of course hearts and February lead us to thoughts of romance! I’ve finally decided I need to enter the world of Twitter, so I have tweeting on the brain. Imagine any fairy tale love story (or Shakespeare, for that matter) as a series of tweets. What might Cinderella be tweeting after the ball? Older children might have fun creating Twitter feeds without names and exchanging them to see if someone can guess the story. Oh, and if you want to know when there’s a new Creativiteach post, follow me @alanestarko. Now if I can just figure out those hashtags….
- How many foods can you make heart-shaped? More than you’d guess at first. Here’s one place to start, or check the heart-shaped options on Pinterest, then see how many more you can invent. Heart-shaped eggs and bacon, anyone?