Heart-Healthy Fun Valentine's Day Party Games for Kids and the Family (2024)

Valentine's Day doesn't have to be all about flowers, sweet treats, and cute crafts. For a party or family fun, get kids' hearts pumping with active games instead.

Hearts and Showers

Heart-Healthy Fun Valentine's Day Party Games for Kids and the Family (1)

Make paper hearts and mark some with a special drawing, stamp, or sticker. Pile them all on a blanket or bedsheet. Players stand around the edges of the sheet and hold it in the air. Show them how moving the sheet (gently at first) gets the hearts moving, too. Then tell them to get ready for the Valentine shower.

On the count of five, everyone lifts the sheet and gives it a good tug, so the hearts go flying high. Drop the sheet and let the hearts rain down. Players pick up as many as they can. If you like, award a prize to the player with the most marked hearts, or to everyone who gets at least one.

Catch My Heart

A red ball or beanbag represents the heart in this fast-paced game for five to 12 players. Have kids stand in a circle, facing each other.

Give one player the heart. They must call out another player's name and toss the heart to that person. Then that player does the same thing, and so on.Use just one "heart" for small children. Gradually add more to challenge older kids.

Wrapped in Love

Borrow the "Wrap the Mummy" game from Halloween: Just substitute pink or red crepe paper streamers for toilet paper, and now you're on theme for Valentine's Day. The goal is for players to wrap a teammate as completely as possible, without breaking the crepe paper.

Heart-y Relay Races

Add a Valentine's Day twist to any relay race. For egg-and-spoon, for example, swap the egg for a jiggly gelatin heart. For drop-the-penny, try conversation hearts instead of coins. For a balloon relay, just use red or pink balloons or even a heart-shaped pillow.

Heart Beat

Here's another relay race option. Cut out a batch of paper hearts and write instructions on each one: Skip, crab-walk, link arms back-to-back with a teammate, and so on. Put these in a bowl or bucket at one end of the room. Split players into teams.

One at a time, a player from each team runs to the bowl and picks a heart. They then return to their team, following the instructions on the heart. Continue until everyone from one team has taken a turn, or until all players have had a chance to run.

Jump Rope for Heart

This February fundraiser gets kids skipping and hopping to benefit the American Heart Association. Even if your child's school isn't participating, you can still join a fundraising team. Then get out jump ropes and teach the kids classic jump rope rhymes. Not only will they be doing their hearts some good, but they will also be helping others.

Jump Rope Games and Activities for Kids

Hugs and Kisses

This one is a Valentine's Day version of Simon Says. A leader faces the players and calls out commands. "Hug" means hold your arms up over your head to form a circle (like the "O" in "XOXO" for kisses and hugs). "Kiss" means move into a jumping-jack position, with feet and arms out wide to form an X.

Any other command means stay still or you are out. Play several short rounds so that several kids get a chance to be the leader and no one sits out for long.

Heart-Healthy Beanbag Toss

This game is adapted from Marie LeBaron at Make and Takes. First, make a list of kid-friendly fitness activities—jumping jacks, frog hops, side kicks, arm circles, and so on. If you have access to gear like basketballs, jump ropes, or a mini-trampoline, include those, too.

Next, create a poster displaying your activities. They could be in list form, tic-tac-toe style, or even in concentric rings like a target. Place the poster on the floor. Then have kids toss a beanbag (make a heart-shaped one if you like) onto the poster, and do the matching activity.

You can have a set number of times to do each exercise, either overall or marked with the actions on the poster. Or you can have players roll a die or pick a playing card to give them a target number of jumps, kicks, and so on.

Heart-Scotch Hop

Outdoors, use sidewalk chalk to draw a hopscotch course using heart shapes instead of squares. Inside, you can achieve the same effect with painter's tape or sturdy foam cut-outs.

Amp up the game by adding extra instructions: "Blow three kisses," or "Pretend to shoot an arrow like Cupid," if you land on a certain space or if your marker lands outside the course boundaries.

Who's Your Valentine?

This spin on musical chairs gets party-goers moving, without excluding anyone as musical chairs can. Start with enough chairs for all players, minus one. Whoever is It asks one of the seated players,“Who's your Valentine?” The player gives a reply such as "My Valentine is everyone wearing stripes.”

Then everyone who is wearing stripes must stand up and switch to a new seat (at least two seats away from their old seat). The person playing It grabs a seat too, and whoever is left standing is the next It.

You can also play Musical Valentines. Use large heart shapes taped to the floor instead of chairs. To make the game inclusive, take away one heart each round, but don't make players sit out. Instead, everyone squeezes together onto fewer and fewer hearts until they're all crammed together on the last one.

Heart and Seek

Scatter paper hearts or other Valentine trinkets (like erasers or pencils) in a designated area and challenge kids to find them. This also works well as an outdoor game. In that case, you can even make Valentine ice cubes dyed with a little food coloring, and hide these as the treasure instead.

For another variation, use larger paper hearts in several colors, old Valentine cards, or pictures. Cut them into pieces and hide the pieces. Once the kids collect them all, they must work together to reassemble them.

Heart-Healthy Fun Valentine's Day Party Games for Kids and the Family (2)

By Catherine Holecko
Catherine Holecko is an experienced freelance writer and editor who specializes in pregnancy, parenting, health and fitness.

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