Social and Emotional Learning

4 World Kindness Day Activities to Teach Tolerance and SEL Skills

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Looking to spread kindness in your classroom? With both World Kindness Day and the International Day for Tolerance coming up this month, it’s the perfect time to help students hone their social-emotional learning skills. To get students in the spirit, we’ve pulled together some activities for school to promote kindness and compassion—as well as foster respect and teamwork.

On November 13, you can celebrate World Kindness Day by sharing these ideas with students: Even the smallest gesture can make a difference in someone’s day. Something as simple as a smile, letting someone else go ahead of you in the lunch line, or giving someone a handwritten card can go a long way.

Below are four World Kindness Day activities and ideas for the International Day for Tolerance that you can try with your students to make every day a day that includes a little (or a lot of!) kindness. These social-emotional learning lessons are designed to show students that to be tolerant is to be accepting of other people and cultures. To be kind means being a good friend and working as a team with classmates—social-emotional skills that will serve well later in life.

World Kindness Day Ideas for School

1. How to Be a Good Friend: A World Kindness Day Classroom Activity

Try this World Kindness Day activity with students in Grades 1–5. Have students brainstorm the ways in which they can be a good friend to someone, such as:

  • Taking turns in games.
  • Sticking up for each other.
  • Cheering each other up when one is sad.

2. The Friendship Race: An SEL and Language Arts Activity

Looking for something to do for World Kindness Day with older students? Here’s a game that will get your class working together to explore qualities and attitudes that help make lasting friendships—or start new ones.

How to Celebrate International Day for Tolerance

3. Voices in Action: A Social Studies Activity

The International Day for Tolerance is a holiday embraced by the United Nations that falls on November 16. Fighting intolerance requires both human rights laws and local solutions. According to the United Nations, “Many people know that tomorrow's problems will be increasingly global, but few realize that solutions to global problems are mainly local, even individual.”

In this activity, students will choose important issues in their school or community and develop various peaceful strategies for making change.

4. We Can Work It Out: An SEL Activity

Conflict resolution and problem solving are a part of life. Whether you are a toddler on the playground learning to share or a middle school student learning how to best react to sticky situations, working it out is something everyone benefits from learning. In this middle school activity, students will discuss alternatives before reacting to a conflict.


How will you celebrate World Kindness Day and the International Day for Tolerance in your classroom? Share your ideas, activities, and successes with us on Facebook.

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Katie Risolo Radovich

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