Valentine's Day Math
Will you be my math-en-tine?
Love is like Pi, natural, irrational and very important!
— Lisa Hoffman
The time of year approaches when symmetrical Valentine hearts flourish, Fibonacci flowers are sold by the dozen, sweetheart candies are sorted, and you can count up all the ways you love your Valentine... and math!
Click on the pictures to see bigger versions!
Special thanks to the Port Moody Crazy 4 Math Club!
Here are some Valentine ideas to inspire the love of math and enjoy your time together with your students or family.
- Make your own chocolate and practice measuring ingredients and temperature (with the help of an adult).
- Tempering Chocolate
- Weigh chocolate pieces on a balancing scale and record your results.
- Make a graph of the favorite chocolate bars for your friends or class.
- Share a chocolate bar and explore fractions.
- Figure out how the Chocolate Math puzzle works.
- Estimate the number of sweetheart candies in a box or jar. Count all the candies by grouping into tens or higher. Estimate the percentages of different colors or messages. Sort, count and graph candies by message, color or both.
- Use small cinnamon hearts to estimate the area and perimeter of a heart, circle and square.
- Learn about variations in temperature and candy hardness. Check out the Candi-o-matic thermometer.
- Candy Sales Statistics
Did you know that Valentine's Day is the fourth largest holiday for candy sales after Halloween, Easter and Christmas?
- Candy Math Lesson (Grade 2)
- Candy Count Lesson (Grade 1-4)
- Another Candy Count Lesson
- Design and build a better candy bag lesson (Ages 8-14)
- The Science of Making Fudge
- Play a Valentine Nim Game
This game is for two players and can be played with candies and a grid drawn on paper. The first player places either one or two candies down on a grid. Players take turns playing one or two pieces. The goal is to be the last person to place a piece on the board. Try to describe a winning strategy.
- Play Valentine Candy Battleship
This activity can be used to teach plotting coordinates and latitude and longitude. Using graph paper, label the lines horizontal axis with numbers (1,2,3 etc) and the lines on the vertical axis with letters (A, B, C etc). Play in pairs with each child having their own grid. (A smaller grid such as 10x10 or 15x15 is good to start because the game will not take as long). Put a barrier between the grids and place 10 heart candies on 10 intersecting lines. Each player takes a turn calling out the coordinates and tries to find (or "hit") the other player's candy. The object is to get all the opponents candies.
- Make your own symmetrical heart.
- Calculate the perimeter of a heart.
- Learn about the area and perimeter of hearts and other shapes.
- Calculate the area of a heart.
- Practice math facts with heart shaped flash cards. Here is a free printable set of multiplication flash cards for the times tables 2-13. There's also a blank template at the end that can be used for addition, subtraction and division.
- How many lines of symmetry can you find in a heart, square and a circle?
- Understand multiplication with heart arrays.
- Use cinnamon hearts as counters to practice addition, grouping and building arrays.
- Make a number-line out of hearts.
- Write skip counting numbers on hearts and sort in order. Make it a game by racing against a partner.
- Broken Heart Math: Play a matching game or concentration with halves of math hearts. Another variation on this with a larger group would be to hand out all halves and have the students try to find their matching partner. Here's a worksheet for the 3x table and blank ones to make up your own.
Learn About Your Own Heart
- What is your resting heart rate?
- How many beats does it beat in a minute, an hour, a day and your life so far?
- Graph your heart rate through the day.
- How much blood is pumped through your heart in an hour?
- Heart Statistics: Play games and learn about your heart.
- Watch PBS video of a real heart!
- How many Valentine's are exchanged in your class? (See the sample question and answer in the tricky problem below).
- Sort and graph your valentines you received by different criteria (type of card, size of card, homemade versus bought etc).
- Valentine Exchange Lesson
- Make you own valentine card and envelope. Estimate the size of the envelope you will need for your card.
The Cost of Valentine's Day
- Estimate the cost of Valentine's Day for your family, your school, your city, your country?
- Cost of Sample Gifts
- Population Statistics
Solve Some Tricky Valentine's Math Problems
How Many Hugs?
Figure out a formula (or algorithm) that will calculate the following problem: Your mom gives you on hug on February 1st, 2 hugs on the 2nd, 3 hugs on the 3rd and so on. How many hugs will you have received in all of the month of February? (Get answer!)
How Many Kisses?
You want to give your mom one kiss on February 1st, 2 kisses on the 2nd, 4 kisses on the 3rd, 8 kisses on the 4th, and keep doubling for the month of February. How many kisses will you need to give her? (Get answer!)
The florist sells 150 bouquets of flowers. Each bouquet has a dozen roses. Five bouquets were returned because the flowers had ants. How many flowers were sold in all? (Get answer!)
February 14th is Valentine's day. How many ways can you add up two numbers to make 14? (Get answer!) (What about if you use negative numbers or fractions?)
Add up all the ways you love your Valentine!
Here are some links to get your started!
- I love you more than all the people on our planet!
- + all the insects in the world!
- + all the grains of sand in the world!
- + all of the atoms on earth!
- + all the stars in the universe!
Teach Your Child About Infinity!
More Valentine Math Ideas
- Chocolate Trivia Test
- More Valentine's Day Statistics
- Heart Bingo Cards
- Play Bingo With Heart Candies
- Valentine's Day Word Problems
- More Valentine's Day Word Problems
- Addition and Subtraction Valentine's Day Word Problems
- Heart Theme Dominos
- Heart Multiplication Worksheet
- Valentine's Day Concentration Game
- Valentine Shape Book