Valentine Shoebox Project Ideas

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

Elementary students love exchanging cards on Valentine's Day. These projects provide fun, creative ways to decorate collection boxes for the big event.

Valentine Shoebox

With high-stakes testing looming right around the corner, Valentine's Day offers a nice reprieve for students and teachers to engage in art projects, have parties, and exchange cards. These projects will help make the most of this opportunity with unique and memorable Valentine shoebox ideas.

Valentine Shoebox Projects

Book Settings

Grade levels: K-5

Length: 45-60 minutes

Materials needed: shoeboxes (1 per student), butcher paper, paint/brushes, craft sticks, rocks, twigs, construction paper, tape/glue, markers, pipe cleaners

Have students think about their favorite book. Have students turn and talk with a partner to answer the questions:

  • When does the story take place?
  • Where does most of the action take place? Are there other locations the characters travel to within the setting?

Have students select their favorite location within the setting and decorate their box to match. Depending on their story, students may transform their box into a castle, the ocean, a cottage in the woods, a school, or something completely different.

Have students cut a rectangle in the top of their box lid where other students can deliver cards.

Students will cover their shoebox in butcher paper and secure with tape before decorating.

Have students write their name, the title/author of the book, and a description of the setting on their box.

Have students take turns explaining their box and why they decorated it the way they did before the exchange.

Hungry Animals

Grade levels: K-5

Length: 45-120 minutes

Materials needed: shoeboxes (1 per student), butcher paper, tape/glue, felt, pipe cleaners, markers, construction paper, scissors, googly eyes

Students will transform their shoeboxes into a hungry animal that will 'eat' the Valentine's Day cards that are delivered. Students may choose sharks, bears, lions, alligators, wolves, or any other carnivorous animal with teeth.

Have students cut an oval for the mouth on one end of the box.

Have students cover the box with butcher paper to match the color of the animal's skin/fur/scales.

Have students cut out triangles from white felt to create teeth to attach to the opening of the mouth.

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