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Valentine's Day PE Games: 10 Heart-Pumping Activities for Physical Education


With Valentine's Day just around the corner, love is in the air, and it is the perfect time to add some fun and excitement to your physical education class. Valentine's Day is all about love and happiness, so what better way to celebrate than by playing some fun activities and games and doing some activities that get your students moving? Uncover your inner creativity this February and astound your PE classes with inspiring activities around a Valentine's Day theme! Incorporating physical activities that are seasonally-relevant can be both timely and effective in getting your students engaged, active and focused on learning.


Valentine's Day Fun in Physical Education: 10 Heart-Pumping Games & Activities for a PE Class

Pictures by Karen Sweazy @SweazyPE


In this blog post, I will discuss the reasons for including Valentine's Day physical education activities and games in your program, and I will provide tips for setting up them up and implementing them in your lessons. I will also be showcasing ten awesome movement experiences with a Valentine's Day twist that you can use in your PE classes this year. Let's get to the HEART of the matter!

 

Why include Valentine's Day Games in your PE lessons?


There are many benefits of adding in Valentine's-themed activities and games into your physical education lessons. In addition to being timely and relevant, incorporating seasonal events into your lessons will captivate students' attention, making them more engaged in the activities. When kids are actively involved in their education, they're more likely to remember the cognitive concepts and skill-based movements that they learn. By adding in a festive element to your lessons, you'll also create a positive and fun learning environment for your students.

Valentine's Day PE Stations

Pictures by Stephanie Newcombe @ILoveMyLabs4


As a physical education teacher, you can easily disguise fitness and motor-skill building activities into your elementary PE curriculum with Valentine's Day-inspired movement and games. The Valentine's Day activities you provide can help foster connection and collaboration among your students, as they work side-by-side to complete fun tasks. Seasonal activities can not only be an enjoyable experience, but they also open up opportunities for children to develop self-confidence and nurture their creativity.



Standards-Based Movement


By integrating some fun and engaging Valentine's Day movement-based games and activities, you can easily help your students meet SHAPE America Standard 5 which states: The physically literate individual recognizes the value of physical activity for health, enjoyment, challenge, self-expression and/or social interaction.*


Standards-Based Movement

Pic by Karen Sweazy @SweazyPE

 

Top 10 Tips for implementing the Valentine's Day PE activities


1 - To add more enthusiasm, start talking about the Valentine’s Day activities and experiences with your students in the weeks leading up to it


2 - Get everyone in the Valentine's Day spirit by decorating the gym or PE classroom with red and pink streamers, balloons, and other festive decorations. Involve your parents and invite them to help you decorate


3 - Use Valentine's Day-themed props (equipment) in your activities such as hula hoops for a "Heart Hula Hoop Relay" or beanbags for a "Heart Toss."


4 - Incorporate Valentine's-themed visuals and cards into your activities and games for a creatively interactive experience

Valentine's Day Exercise Cards

5 - Prior to your students entering the room, ensure that all necessary equipment is prepared and ready for use during the game or activity


6 - Incorporate a station-style layout to guarantee that students can engage with all the activities


7 - As students engage in the activities, make sure to fill the room with uplifting and motivating tunes that will truly speak "right to their hearts"


8 - Walk around during activity time to observe and help facilitate the movement process

Valentine's Day Exercise in PE

Pictures by Stephanie Newcombe @ILoveMyLabs4


9 - After all activities have been completed, encourage a few of your students to share their experiences with the class


10 - Encourage the current students to tidy up and collaborate with you in preparing for the upcoming class


Video by Christine Mason @LPESVB

 

Show your love of movement, skill-building and fitness this Valentine's Day with these10 fitness warm-ups, relays, games and stations ideas!


Fitness Warm-Ups and Activities



1- Pass it On Valentine (Instant Activity with Exercise Cards)


Game Set Up: Create and laminate some PE Valentine’s Day Exercise Cards and hand out the PE Valentine Exercise Cards to the students as they enter the gym. Direct the students to an “exercise area” somewhere in the learning space.

Valentine's Day Exercise Cards

Example exercise cards

Pass it On Valentine (Instant Activity with Exercise Cards)

Directions:

  • Hand out the exercise cards as an Instant Activity as the students enter for class

  • The students move to the center area of the gym (the “Exercise Area”) and begin performing the exercise written on the card for the number of repetitions listed

  • When one student finishes their exercise, they must find another student that has also finished their exercise and trade cards with that person

  • The student then performs the new exercise on the traded card

  • The students continue this activity, passing on their card to another student as they finish

  • Continue the Pass it on Valentine activity for 5 to 15 minutes


2- Move and Groove (Exercise Cards)


Game Set Up: Create and laminate some PE Valentine’s Day Exercise Cards (see examples in the pic above) and place the cards and place the cards inside the center basketball circle of a court or put them in multiple hula hoops located in in the middle of the room. Place 4 cones on the corners of a basketball court or use set gym lines for students to travel around.

Move and Groove (Exercise Cards)

Directions:

  • Discuss and demonstrate (or has some students demonstrate) some of the locomotor and fitness exercises that will be utilized in the activity

  • Show students how to read the valentine cards and quickly move back out to perimeter locomotor area

  • The activity begins on a cue (preferably music) with participants moving in a counter clockwise motion around the room using a suggested locomotor movement such as skipping, crab walking, hopping, jogging, etc.

  • Stop the music and direct the students to the middle of the room where they perform a Valentine fitness exercise/movement for a valentines minute. They will get a card from the center circle or hula hoop and perform the exercise somewhere in the middle of the playing area

  • After completing the exercise, students resume a teacher-directed locomotor movement around the room

  • Repeat the process and vary the locomotor movement used for traveling the perimeter


3- Heart-Filled Fitness


Game Set Up: Create several hearts using construction paper and write down simple exercises on each one of them. Include the reps or time that you'd like your participants to perform. Laminate them so that you can use them multiple times. You’ll need at least twice as many Hearts as students in the class. The exercises could include, jumping jacks, running in place, squats, lunges and more! Place the hearts in the middle of the playing area, face down

Heart-Filled Fitness

Directions:

  • Strategically arranging 6 to 12 cones ( or use painter's tape) around the gymnasium's borders, divide your students into small teams that can begin from their respective cone

  • On the teacher's cue (preferably music), the initial student in line quickly dashes to a Heart, flips it over and carries out the exercise listed on it for a specified quantity of repetitions or time

  • After executing the exercise in the center, the students return to their assigned line.

  • After the student comes back to their original spot, they tag the hand of the person next in line and that individual moves out to find a new Heart, flip it and exercise

  • For a predetermined length of either 5 or 10 minutes - as decided by the teacher - this practice should be repeated


Games and Relays


4- Valentine Tag (Exercise Cards- Chasing and Fleeing Game)


Game Set Up: Create and laminate some PE Valentine’s Day Exercise Cards and place the cards inside hula hoops located outside the lines of an indoor court or “coned off” playing area. Assign about 20% of your group as taggers and give them a red squishy heart, beanbag or foam ball.

Valentine Tag (Exercise Cards- Chasing and Fleeing Game)

Directions:

  • Let your students know what type of locomotor movement they will perform before each game (I.e. walking, skipping, hopping, jogging, etc.)

  • The tag game begins on a cue (preferably music) and students move around tagging (with the heart, beanbag or ball) or avoiding being tagged

  • If a student is tagged, he/she must “FREEZE” and get in the shape of a half “HEART” by putting their arms above their head, curled in a heart shape

  • To become freed, another student (not a tagger) must go over to a hula hoop, grab a Valentine Exercise Card and hand it to the “frozen” student

  • The frozen student must then perform the exercise that is listed on the card for the set number of repetitions and then return the card back to a hula hoop

  • The frozen student is then free to get back in the game- The game continues while the tagged students work their way back in


5- Have a Heart Relay


Game Set Up: Place a regular deck of cards, face down in a hula hoop across the gym or classroom for every 2 lines of students you have in your class. Try to keep the lines short (3 is ideal, if possible) so that students get more movement time. Place cones on the opposite side of the room as the cards as a starting point for each line of students.

Have a Heart Relay

Directions:

  • When you give the start cue (ideally with music), the first student in line moves to where the playing cards are located, grabs a card and returns to their starting cone.

  • Note: they cannot look at the card and switch it...whatever card they pick up, they must keep

  • The card is laid on the ground somewhere near the cone

  • The next student repeats the process

  • When all the cards in the hoop are completely picked up and returned to the starting cones (all 52), each groups tabulates the number of conversation hearts they have in their pile

  • The team with the most hearts wins the game

  • Play again with a different locomotor movement designated each game


6- Valentine Concentration- Memory Game


Game Set Up: Copy, laminate and cut out some PE Concentration- Valentine’s Day Memory cards. There must be a match for each card. Double or Triple up the memory Cards if you have a large group. Place the Valentine’s Day Memory Cards face down and if possible, under cones, Polyspots or Frisbees throughout the gym.

Valentine Concentration- Memory Game

Example Concentration memory cards

Directions:

  • Place 6 – 12 cones around the gym perimeter and group the students into even clusters

  • A short line of students stand behind each cone to start the game

  • On a teacher signal (preferably music), the first person in line runs (or uses a teacher-directed locomotor movement) to a cone, grabs an icon card and brings it back to their line

  • The group looks at the card and immediately the next student in line goes out and lifts up another cone or spot and looks at the card. If it is a match they bring it back to the group

  • If the card is not a match, the student leaves the card at the cone and returns to tell everyone the icon they looked at

  • The next student then goes out on the Valentine’s Day “matching” venture checking out a new memory card

  • For a set period, the process continues to see which group is able to match up the most memory cards


7- Valentine Fitness Relay (Exercise Cards)


Game Set Up: Create and laminate some PE Valentine’s Day Exercise Cards and place the cards inside the center basketball circle of a court or put them in multiple hula hoops located in in the middle of the room. Break the students into small groups of 3 to 4 students and put them in lines on the perimeter of a large gym court.

Valentine Fitness Relay (Exercise Cards)

Directions:

  • Students must wait their turn to move to the Valentine Exercise Card Area (groups of 3 or 4 work best)

  • The activity begins with a teacher cue (preferably music)

  • The 1st player in each lines runs to the center Valentine Exercise Card Area, grabs an exercise card and returns to the group

  • They read the card to the group and the entire group performs the exercise simultaneously

  • After each student finishes the exercise listed on their card, they place it in a pile at the end of the line and then the next person runs to select another Valentine Exercise Card from the designated area.

  • This process continues for a set time (i.e. 5 to 10 minutes) and each team tries to collect the most Valentine Exercise Cards



Valentine Stations



8- Heart Target Throw


Game Set Up: Draw out, paint or print some large hearts. laminate the hearts and place them on a learning area wall or on a cone or mat.

Heart Target Throw

Directions:

  • Place some polyspots or cones at set distances from the heart targets

  • Students line up in small groups behind the polyspots and take turns throwing a yarn ball, gator skin ball, or bean bag at the target

  • To expand their hand-eye coordination, students should experiment with tossing and throwing a variety of different objects from various distances.


9- Valentine Limbo


Game Set Up: Group students together in teams of three or four and provide each team with a wand, pool noodle, or jump rope to use as their limbo rod. Let the fun begin!

Valentine Limbo

Directions:

  • Students take turns holding the limbo stick and going under it one at a time as the music plays (musical hearts game)

  • When going under the limbo rod, students can move their arms and legs in a Valentine Day inspired movement while they pass under (e.g. flapping of wings like Cupid, slow motion leaps like a frog, etc.)


10- Jump Rope for Heart


Game Set Up: Assemble students in small teams of four or five and distribute long jump ropes to each squad

Jump Rope for Heart

Directions:

  • Students take turns jumping over the jump rope and turning it from the handles (for a valentine minute)

  • Jump challenges can consist of 1) jumping over a stationary rope, 2) jumping over slanted rope, 3) Jumping over a pendulum swing, 4) Running through without getting hit by the rope, 5) performing single jumps, and 6) jumping with a partner

 

Final thoughts


I hope this article has provided you with some creative and fun Valentine's Day movement experiences that your students can truly enjoy. These activities are designed to bring a sense of joy, laughter, and friendly competition into your lessons while also providing quality physical activity for everyone involved. Each game encourages teamwork, hand-eye coordination skills and physical literacy development in different ways so there is something suitable for every age group! With these 10 Valentine’s Day Games at your disposal, you have everything you need to create lasting memories with your students during this special holiday season. So why wait? Do a heart hopscotch and get out there and start having some fun today!


What are some of your favorite Valentine's Day-themed PE activities? Does anyone do anything using Bingo cards? Share in the comments below! And, as always, if you found this article helpful, please share it with your fellow PE teachers and followers on social media. Thanks for reading!


*SHAPE America. (2013). National Standards for K-12 Physical Education. Reston, VA: Author.

 

Need some FREE Valentine's Day Instant Activities to start your classes?

Looking for some fun, Valentine activities to keep your students physically active and engaged as they enter your learning area? If so, Cap'n Pete has you covered!



Fill in the form below to download a FREE PE Valentine's Day Instant Activities- 10 Actions Visual Set to use in your PE program! This package contains 10 combo movements or manipulative skill activities that are simple and quick for students to do at the start of PE class. They're also Valentine-themed--making them more enjoyable for your students during the weeks leading up to this special day! The packet is designed for a wide range of ages and work great to simplify an IA experience!



 

If you're looking for several Valentine's Day games and activities that are ideal for large, medium or small-sized groups, check out Cap'n Pete's Valentine's Day PE Stations and Fitness- 7 Product Super Bundle!



This Super Bundle includes 7 ACTIVE and ENGAGING, large or small group Christmas game and fitness activities that you can use for your physical education classes, school classrooms, or camp situations. The Valentine's Day Super Bundle is a combination of 7 of Cap’n Pete’s DYNAMIC, fitness, and movement-based activity sets for teachers to utilize to get students moving in fun and interesting ways, incorporating a Valentine’s Day theme. Together these 7 products will give you several weeks’ worth of movement experiences that you can copy, laminate, and use during the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day, for years!


You can download them from either of the following platforms: Cap'n Pete's Power PE Website or Teachers Pay Teachers- Cap'n Pete's TPT Store




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