American Heart Month - February

It seems very appropriate to celebrate the heart this month! Our heart health is very important. Let's do some fun activities that will help kids learn how to take care of their hearts. This lesson plan is a great way to break away from the Valentine's Day norm while keeping with the heart theme!


Begin by talking about your heart. Our heart is the strongest muscle in our body! This is the organ that pumps our blood through our bodies. In order for our heart to pump blood correctly, it must be a healthy heart! We can take steps to make sure our heart stays healthy.

1. Get lots of exercise. When we exercise, it makes our heart work harder. This is good for our heart and keeps it healthy.

2. Eat heart healthy foods. Usually, the brighter in color the better! Foods that are great for your heart include salmon, oatmeal, black beans, almonds & walnuts, tuna, blueberries, spinach, broccoli, sweet potatoes, asparagus, oranges, tomatoes and papaya. Try to include as many of these types of foods in your daily diet. Only eat "junk food", such as cookies, candy, cheeseburgers, and chips, occasionally. I like to call the healthy foods "all the time foods" and the junk foods "sometimes foods".

You can review more information on the American Heart Association's website. Click HERE to check it out.

Wear Red Day is the first Friday in February. Everyone should wear something red on this day to promote heart healthy habits!

Circle Time Activity:

Find pictures of heart healthy foods such as brightly colored fruits and vegetables, salmon and tuna, oatmeal, yogurt, almond and walnuts, etc. Also find pictures of junk foods, particularly things like greasy fried chicken, cheeseburgers, French fries, etc.

Draw a big red heart with a smiley face on one paper and a big black heart with a frown on another paper. Post those on the wall near your circle time place.

After you discuss the good and bad foods, ask the kids if the food you are showing them is heart healthy or bad for your heart. Go through each item and talk about it.


Make your own stethoscope and listen to each other's heart!

You can make a simple stethoscope! You will need:
Paper towel tubes
Small funnels
Duct tape
Medium balloons

Duct tape the funnel as tightly as you can to the paper towel tube with the big end facing out. Cut the balloon's end off and pull tightly over the top of the big end of the funnel. This creates a "tympanic membrane" which will help to amplify or make the sound louder.

Place the balloon end against the chest of one of the kids and place the open end of the paper towel tube to your ear and listen for their heartbeat. Of course, you can do this activity without using your home made stethoscope if you want!

What do you hear? How does the heart sound? How many beats do you hear? Have the kids reproduce the sound the are hearing. What do they think the heart is doing? Why are there 2 beats?

Now have the kids do some jumping around. Get those heart rates up a bit. Now listen to the hearts again. What changed? Why do they think that happened?

Discuss what is happening inside their bodies.

Watch this video for a great explanation:


Happy Heart Says:

Just like "Simon Says". Line the kids up. Tell them they need to listen closely to the directions. You will say "Happy Heart Says" and then give them an exercise such as jumping up and down. Make sure they listen, if you don't say "Happy Heart Says" then they will have to sit out. You may want to make it to where they sit out for 2 turns and then get back in the game. Get them moving!

Find the Hearts
Get some heart stickers. Pour rice (you can use colored rice if you wish) into a large tub. Place stickers in the rice. Have the kids use tongs or tweezers to pull the stickers out of the rice. Let them keep what they find!


Math Scavenger Hunt

You Will Need:
Index Cards
Sheets of Paper

The index cards will be the clues. The sheets of paper will be the markers for the next clue. The idea is to make them do some simple addition in order to get to the next clue marker.

Draw some simple addition problems (also do some subtraction if the kids are ready for that) on index cards. I like to write out the number problem and then also include a representation of the problem in dots. For example I would write 5 + 2 = at the top in big print. Then I would draw 5 dots + 2 dots = at the bottom in smaller print. This helps them to work the problem. Write the answers on the papers. So the sheet of paper that would correspond to the above index card would have a big 7 written on it.

Place the papers with the answers in random places around the room. Place the next index card with that answer sheet. Once they have found that correct answer, they can solve the next index card problem and move on to the next answer sheet. For completing the hunt, there should be some kind of prize. Examples of prizes are valentine pencils, heart sunglasses from the dollar store, a little baggie of Kashi Heart to Heart cereal...


Torn Paper Hearts

You Will Need:
Red, Pink, White, Purple Construction Paper
Glue (best is school glue, put some in a little bowl for the younger kids)

Cut the white paper into a large heart. Provide the other colors of paper and glue to the kids. Allow the kids to tear the paper into pieces, which they will then glue all over the white heart. The end results are pretty!

These look awesome hanging on the walls!


"Night and day, whether you're asleep or awake, your heart is always beating. Read and find out how your heart works and how to keep it healthy."

On Amazon:

"Ms. Frizzle's class is learning about the heart. They get in the Magic School Bus because they are going to see a movie. But they find themselves on a heart-pounding adventure!"

On Amazon:


My Heart - by Jennifer Fixman

Follow the link for the lyrics and tune!


Heart Muffins

These muffins are tasty and heart healthy! They are high in protein and low in sugar.

2 1/4 Cups All-Purpose Flour
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
2/3 Cup Brown Sugar
6 Tablespoons Butter, melted and cooled
1/2 Cup Chunky Peanut Butter (you can use smooth, that's fine)
2 Eggs
1 Cup Milk
3/4 Cup Mini Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and brown sugar. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the butter, peanut butter, eggs, and milk until smooth. (if the peanut butter is in clumps within the liquid that is fine, it will all work out in the end) Pour liquid mixture into flour mixture and mix until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips. In a paper lined muffin tin, scoop 3 tablespoon size scoops into each muffin cup (I used my cookie scoop). Bake in a pre-heated 375 degree oven for 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

**To make them heart shaped, place a marble between the muffin cup and the paper liner before baking.

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