Valentine’s Day Escape Room Students Will Love

One of the latest trends making waves in the education world (and in the outside world too), is escape rooms. If you don’t already know, escape rooms are a game where people (or in our case students) work together to solve clues, puzzles, or complete designated tasks in order to “escape the room” in a set amount of time. Sounds fun, right?!

These games are so exciting because they are very immersive. The interactive aspect really makes you feel like you are living the story of the escape room! 

In the classroom, escape rooms can include puzzles or tasks related to the skills you are working on in your lessons. This makes it an educational activity for students that feels like fun, not work! 

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I wanted an escape room that had a fun and festive Valentine’s Day theme while still being an engaging way to work on skills in the classroom. 

So, I created this Valentine’s Day Escape Room! 

Valentine's Day escape room activity

This Valentine’s Day mystery requires little prep and includes detailed directions, 3 clues to solve, a video hook, and set-up photos to help you put it all together. The set-up checklist will help you ensure that everything runs smoothly for the activity. 

To start, students will watch the video hook or introduction to learn about their mission. Then they will be tasked with solving 3 clues using comprehension skills. If you find that any of the activities are too easy for your students, there are additional activities included to differentiate. Students will practice teamwork skills while solving clues to help learn about holiday vocabulary and number patterns. 

Valentine's Day escape room activity

The clues will help them unlock the box and claim their prize. For prizes, you can use candy, homework passes, or bookmarks. Whatever you choose! 

The supplies needed are simple. You’ll need a box , some surprises to put inside the box (homework passes and bookmarks are provided), pencils, 6 large file folders (or regular folders), candy hearts (paper ones are provided if you don’t want to use real candy) and magnifying glasses (2 or more). 

Valentine's Day escape room

This activity is so engaging! It’s so fun to see how excited students get to put their detective skills to work so they can solve the clues. 

What are your favorite Valentine’s Day activities for elementary? Let me know in the comments!

Valentine's Day escape room

The Best Winter Writing Activities For Elementary

Around the holidays, I usually like to try and come up with some really unique holiday or winter writing activities that will be different from the stuff that students have become used to. Adding in a variety of lessons, crafts, and activities never fails to get students excited and engaged in our writing practice. 

With many teachers and students still learning virtually this year, I have been thinking about winter writing activities that students can get really engaged with whether they are learning in person or online. 

winter writing activities

This Trapped In A Snow Globe writing activity has to be my favorite this year! 

Students will get to create a photo of them trapped in a snow globe and write about it. It comes with 14 background slides to choose from and 4 slides of movable parts to add. Just choose a background, palace a picture of your student “trapped”, and then add your accessories! 

After that, there are 6 slides for students to brainstorm, organize thoughts, and write a story about their snow globe. What I love about this is that it is designed for distance learning so you can easily add gifs in place of photos. 

You’ll also get black and white slides for students to digitally or handwrite their stories. You can choose from narrative, persuasive, or opinion writing. You’ll get 4 writing prompts to choose from or 2 pages that are left blank so you can create your own prompt. 

There is also a Google Form so you can do a “Favorite Design Contest” with your students! 

Step 1. Choose a background

winter writing activity

Step 2. Add your photo or gif

winter writing activity

Step 3. Add your accessories

winter writing activities

Step 4. Write about it! 

winter writing activities

Afterward, you can create a slideshow with music that includes all of your students’ creations! 

Another fun twist to this activity is that students can all trap the teacher! Add your photo to each of their designs and they can write about how you got trapped. 

Check out the video here

What are your favorite winter writing activities? Let me know in the comments!


 

Winter Activity Ideas For Your Classroom

Are your lesson plans ready for wintertime? After the excitement of the holidays, it can be difficult to plan for activities that get your students excited and engaged. Luckily, the cold weather provides plenty of opportunities for learning that is fun! There’s building a snowman together, drinking hot chocolate, and winter creative writing activities, just to name a few. 

Here are some of my favorite winter activity ideas, and I hope they’ll inspire you to get creative in your lesson planning!

One of my favorite topics for wintertime lessons is ICE!

The frozen water kids see on the ground, hanging from eaves, or on the local pond is a perfect springboard for science lessons. 

Ask your students about their observations outside if you have ice around your school. Then, lead them into a discussion of different forms of matter. Even younger students can begin to understand the relationship between water and ice, preparing them for more in depth learning about the water cycle in future years. 

winter activity

You can also grab some ice from outside (or from the freezer), and observe what happens as time passes at room temperature. This is a perfect opportunity for students to record observations and make hypotheses about why ice melts. Students will be engaged, and you’ll be covering important science and writing skills!

Another of my favorite winter activity ideas is creating beautiful snowscapes with puffy paint.

You will need to mix equal parts shaving cream and white glue to create the paint, and provide students dark blue or black construction paper for their canvas.

This activity is hands-on and a little messy, but so much fun! Students can create a scene using their puffy paint, or a snowman picture. They can then write a narrative to match their picture. You can have students share their narrative with the class or with a partner. Art, tactile learning, and writing skills are all involved in this one lesson! 

winter activity

A true student favorite for winter is my Stop Motion Animation resource.

Using a snowman animation from a real Disney animator, this activity gets kids super excited about creative writing. They will also get to create their own stop motion animation. This is an exciting and unique activity that they may never have experienced before.

winter activity

Included in this resource, you’ll find over three weeks of writing lessons and engaging activities. Your students will be thrilled to get creative with animation and writing!

Another favorite is having students (especially if you are teaching virtual), build a digital snowman and write about it! Google slides make it simple for students to copy and paste items to design the snowman.  Then, let their creative juices flow with writing about their snowman!

build a snowman writing

 I hope these ideas get you excited about winter learning, and ready to enjoy the season with your students!

winter activity

Check out these digital holiday centers for more winter activity ideas!


 

Christmas Gift Ideas For Parents

Nothing says Christmas time like sweet handmade gifts from children. As a teacher, you probably want to help your students create gifts for their families in the classroom, but it can be difficult to find gifts that are useful and truly created by the kids. 

Guided artwork activities can be a perfect way to make heartwarming gifts that are adorable keepsakes. Creating gifts with your students teaches them the value of giving instead of getting. 

Here are some examples of creative gift ideas for parents that your elementary students can make: 

  1. Handmade ornaments for the tree 
  2. Painted flower pots or bowls
  3. Handprint crafts
  4. Pictures of your students with handmade frames
  5. Handmade jewelry 

Ideas abound for creative gifts kids can make, but some items can become clutter for families. The key is to find a gift that is useful and adorable! 

One of my favorite gifts ideas for parents is the Fingerprint Art Calendar. There is also a Virtual Art Calendar Gift available now.

In creating the gift, students will learn math skills such as months, days of the week, and counting. They use their own fingerprints to create art for each calendar page, which families will love because it reminds parents of how small their children are. 

gift ideas for parents

For each month, a sample art activity is provided- or you can come up with your own. When you purchase the calendar activity, lifetime updates are included. So your family gift from your students is planned and ready forever! 

 

gift ideas for parents

Perhaps most importantly, this activity makes a useful gift that will keep a smile on their parents’ face all year long. It would be beautiful on the family fridge, or in a parent’s office. Families will be excited to receive this gift, and students will be excited to give a gift that they made with their own little fingers.

What are your favoriteChristmas  gift ideas for parents? Let me know in the comments!

For more holiday activities, check out my post here!

gift ideas for parents