Valentine Secret Pals


  • Paper
  • Envelopes
  • Pencils or pens
  • Hat
  • Tape
  • 1- 3 x 3 x 3 empty gift box (one for each member of the family)
  • 1 package of candy conversation hearts.


  • On the first day of February, discuss with your children how Valentine’s Day is a time to express our love and kindness to those we care about.
  • Tell children that they will draw a family member’s name from a hat. That person will be their Secret Pal. Remind them not to reveal their Pal.
  • Tell the kids to look for ways to show kindness and love to their Secret Pal, but to keep it a secret. For example, if they notice the Pal’s coat on the floor, they could hang it up without telling. Or they could write a sweet note to the person and leave it on their pillow.
  • On Valentine’s Day, have a special meal together
  • Earlier in the day, provide everyone with one small empty gift box.
  • Have each Secret Pal open the box and place a small note and a handful of candy conversation hearts inside announcing whose Secret Pal they are. (Younger children may need help.)

For example:

Happy Valentine’s Day Natalie!
Your Secret Pal

  • Then ask them to tape their Secret Pal’s name to the top of the box and hide the box somewhere in the house. (Parents: You may want to limit the search to just a few rooms.)
  • Give each family member a piece of paper and an envelope and have them write down a clue that leads to the location of the surprise that will reveal their Secret Pal!

For example:

Look in the pocket of your favorite jacket.

If you don’t find the surprise, you won’t sleep well tonight.

  • Have each family member place the envelope with the clue inside at their Secret Pal’s plate before the special meal begins.
  • After the meal is over, have everyone open their envelopes using the clues to hunt for the identity of their Secret Pal!
  • When everyone has found their surprise, go back to the table to enjoy this special treat and talk about all of the nice things that were done by each Secret Pal.


  • Suggest to your kids that they choose someone in the neighborhood or at their school to be a Secret Pal. Remind them that they don’t need to reveal their identity this time. They can just make someone’s day sweeter!