For this February post, I’ve got 5 Valentine’s Day counseling activities for you and your kiddos! This is such a fun holiday that provides the perfect opportunity to give our struggling kiddos a little sparkle in their day.
Valentine’s Day Counseling Activities in Guidance Lessons
So, let’s kick off our valentine activities in the Tier One guidance lesson realm since that is where we are interacting with every student. As I’ve mentioned in other posts, the entire student body should see you regularly in guidance lessons, so they know who you are and how to get to you if they need help. If you’d like a bit more detail on this topic of tiered counseling supports, you can check out this post . Keep in mind that it is totally fine to start with baby steps- “regularly” for some SCs might mean beginning with just one fall and one spring guidance lesson. If that’s you- here are some ideas for your spring one…
- Katie Loves the Kittens– Read this magical picture book to your students (I promise it will charm even the HS’ers!) and discuss how/why, in relationships, good intentions are not always appreciated.
- The M&M Game– Use valentine-themed M&Ms with the colors red/pink/white/etc. and get to know your students better, no matter what the age! Post a group of get-to-know-you type questions (i.e.- favorite type of pet, characteristic you’re most proud of, best memory, etc.) for each color and then hand out a few M&Ms to each kiddo. Sit the class in a circle and go around it with everyone answering one (or more!) question/s about themselves based on an M&M color they have.
- Teen Dating Violence (TDV) Prevention– Your teens and preteens will be very consumed with the idea of love around this holiday! So take advantage of their attention to this subject and teach them about TDV. Two to three main points to highlight in your lesson are provided below. If you need a full lesson on this topic, here you go!
- There are 3 main kinds of TDV: physical, emotional, sexual.
- Certain risk factors can increase TDV experiences such as trauma, poverty, neighborhood violence, and early-age dating.
- Prevention begins with knowing the characteristics of a healthy vs. unhealthy relationship (youth.gov, n.d).
Valentine’s Day Counseling Activities in Group Sessions
For your group counseling sessions, here are 2 of my favorite activities:
- “Toxic People: How to End a Bad Relationship” by Watch Wellcast– This cartoon video works well at any age above 3rd grade and I make it a must-see for all my girls groups. And it works just as well for boys! Show it and then discuss each group member’s preferred way to end a toxic friendship.
- Messages from the Heart– This is a variation on an activity from my brand new print book, Sending Students Soaring (the ebook has been available for awhile if you already have it and it sounds familiar). Begin with a discussion of why we give compliments to each other. Next hand out a “valentine ” to each student- this can be as fancy or simple as you choose. I just cut out construction-paper hand-sized hearts in various colors and then give each student several heart cutouts, one cutout for each member of the group. For example- if there are 6 group members, each student should get 5 heart cut outs. Have students write the name of each group member on a separate cutout and then write a positive statement about that person on the cutout. End the activity by having students hand them out to each other and discuss the importance of positive feedback.
Valentine’s Day Counseling Activities in Individual Sessions
Last but not least, here is a delightful little gift-creation activity that you can use in a February individual session. Give the student a jar and tell them that they will be making a valentine gift for a friend or family member of their choosing. Next, give the student 10-20 small colored construction paper hearts, about the size of a silver dollar. On each heart, the student should write a caring message to their friend or family member. Finally, student can decorate their gift jar with craft materials such as tissue paper, pipe cleaners, sparkly paper, glitter, etc. And Viola! Your student now has a Valentine’s Day gift to give! You might wrap up the activity with a brief discussion about the positive mental health effects of giving to others.
That brings me to the end of this February counseling post. Please leave a comment because I’d love to hear about what your kiddos are doing for Valentine’s Day! You can catch up with me again in March for my monthly counseling post that I share during the first weekend of every month! In the meantime, you can find out about my latest promotions, free stuff, or counseling adventures by following me on my School Counselor Stephanie Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest pages!!