February is American Heart Month. So why not get your students thinking about their real hearts instead of just candy ones for Valentine’s Day? It’s the perfect time of year to focus on good health and physical activity, and the theme can culminate in a Valentine’s Day celebration full of healthy snacks for a change of pace.
Not sure where to start? Check out our favorite ideas for heart-themed activities to try with your students this February.
Gather Heart and Health Data
For older students, wearing a heart rate monitor during physical education class or recess and comparing results to sedentary class time can be eye-opening. You can also conduct similar experiments with a wearable fitness tracker. Then have students brainstorm ways to get more heart-healthy activities into your classroom routines throughout the day.
After a long holiday season of suboptimal eating habits, your students could use a refresher on nutrition and healthy food choices! Get the ball rolling by studying MyPlate and other visual resources and having students brainstorm healthy meals that cover all the food groups. A bit of internet research makes it easy to put together a heart-healthy classroom cookbook for students to take home.
Don’t forget to plan some fun science lessons that show what a real heart looks like and how it works. Kids love learning about the human body, and you could even make some anatomically correct valentines for a fun final project!