5 Ways to Celebrate SEL Day

SEL Day is a global, grassroots campaign for social emotional learning to support children’s academic recovery, mental health, and well-being. Since its inception in 2020, #SELday has expanded its reach and been acknowledged by millions. Each year support for SEL Day grows, and with it, so do the creative ways schools and youth-serving organizations celebrate its importance. We’ve rounded up the top five ways we’ve seen supporters championing this special day with their students, staff, and community. Here’s hoping these ideas can inspire you for future SEL Day celebrations.

SEL Day Reading Challenge

SEL Day Bingo Card

BINGO! Teachers and youth-serving staff are getting creative by incorporating age-appropriate SEL-themed books into their daily activities. One popular approach involves crafting an SEL Day Bingo card, where adults can choose a different SEL-themed book for each square and students can enjoy exploring these titles and marking their BINGO cards to win a prize.

Alternatively, educators can compile a list of SEL-themed books and encourage parents and caregivers to read one or more titles with their children on SEL Day. This collaborative effort between educators and family members can promote meaningful discussions around emotions, relationships, and personal growth within the family unit.

SEL Spirit Week

Show your SPIRIT! One forward-thinking school district has decided to extend SEL Day into an entire week of celebration. Putting a creative spin on the traditional Spirit Week, students and staff collectively showcase their support for SEL through daily themes centered around the five core competencies of social emotional learning. To highlight each day’s competency, students, staff, and the school community are encouraged to sport themed attire. Try putting your creative spin on each competency to make it fresh and fun for your school’s culture.

SEL Week Activity Calendar

Mark your calendar! One state’s Department of Education has curated a comprehensive calendar of daily activities to celebrate the week. The activities, grounded in research from UC Berkley and Harvard, are thoughtfully designed to resonate with students of all ages and can be seamlessly integrated into various educational environments. This thoughtfully structured calendar is easy to share and makes coming up with age-appropriate celebration activities effortless for teachers and staff.

Family Fun Events

Family Event

Gather. Share. Play. What better way to get everyone on board with SEL than a family fun event? Sure, it takes a little extra planning, but your community will certainly reap the rewards. Enlist some volunteers, set up a few stations, invite your student families and have fun! Activities can include arts and crafts, quiz games, music, meditation, yoga, healing activities, drawing or painting, hands-on group activities, science demonstrations, creative writing, poetry reading, and SEL-focused games! (Hint: Make it virtual if in-person isn’t an option)

SEL Themed Webinars

Sign up and log on! In celebration of SEL Day, various youth-serving organizations are opting to share valuable insights and knowledge through informational webinars. These webinars serve as a platform for school leaders, teachers, and parents to gain a comprehensive understanding of the latest tips, techniques, and research in the field of SEL. By embracing this digital format, organizations make sharing ideas more accessible and foster a collaborative environment in communities—equipping educators and caregivers with the tools needed to promote emotional well-being in academic settings and beyond.

SEL Day webinar

Looking for more ways to incorporate SEL into family time? Check out these engaging and creative SEL Activities for Families.

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