Valentine’s Day: Origin, Activities & Books for Children

Valentine’s Day has been celebrated for many, many years.  I remember when I was a child, a relative told me about her childhood when one of her classmates stole her Valentine cards that she was going to pass out.  As a child (and now too), I thought that was sad for someone to do that.   That happened back in the 1920’s, so that just goes to show how long children have been passing out Valentine’s Day cards at school.


The first recorded mention of Valentine’s Day was by Geoffrey Chaucer in 1382 when he wrote about “Volantynys Day.”  Later in 1400, a High Court of Love was established in Paris on Valentine’s Day.  Modern Valentine’s Day, as we know it, was celebrated in the 1840s, and Valentine cards made from paper lace were mass produced as early as 1847.


  • Make Valentine’s Day cards for parents or someone special using paper lace doilies and construction paper.  Talk about how over one hundred and fifty years ago people made paper lace cards.
  • Make a Valentine’s Day Zoo.  Using all different sizes of heart shaped cut-outs, let the students glue them together to make different animals.
  • Make or buy heart shaped sugar cookies.  Let children decorate their edible Valentine cards.
  • Have children make up their own Valentine poem and write it on a heart shaped piece of paper.
  • Have children make Valentine Card Pouches (easy to make)


  • Arthur’s Valentine by Marc Brown
  • Barney’s Happy Valentines’ Day by Gus davis & June Valentine-Ruppe
  • Bee My Valentine by Miriam Cohen
  • Clifford’s First Valentine’s Day by Norman Bridwell
  • Dinosaur Valentines by Liza Donnelly
  • Disney’s Winnie the Pooh’s Valentine by Bruce Talkington
  • It’s Valentine’s Day! (Blue’s Clues Series)  by Brooke Lindner
  • Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney
  • Guess Who Loves Blue! by Deborah Reber
  • Heart to Heart by George Shannon
  • Love, Splat by Rob Scotten
  • Nate the Great and the Mushy Valentine by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat
  • Pepper’s Valentine Surprise by Linda Bleck
  • Queen of Hearts by Mary Engelbreit
  • Richard Scarry’s Best Holiday Books Ever Be My Valentine! by Richard Scarry
  • Roses are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink by Diane de Groat
  • Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch by Eileen Spinelli
  • Too Many Valentines by Margaret McNamara
  • Valentine Cats by Jean Marzollo
  • Valentine Surprise by Corinne Demas
  • Valentine’s Day by Anne and Lizzy Rockwell   (good for ESL)


  • Valentine’s Day DVD  ( Holidays for Children DVD Series) by Library Video Company