SEL Day is around the corner, and we want to offer parents some easy ways to celebrate it, but first, let’s explain what it is and why it is important.

What is 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 been growing in popularity more and more every year

Why is SEL Day important to celebrate? 

SEL Day is important because it highlights the critical role that social and emotional skills play in the overall development and well=being of individuals, especially children. Celebrating SEL Day helps to raise awareness about the importance of these skills in education, work, and life in general. It also provides an opportunity to advocate for the integration of SEL into schools and communities, ensuring that children and adults alike have the support and resources they need to develop these vital skills.

  1. Read books about emotions. Choose books that explore feelings and emotions. After reading, discuss the characters’ emotions and how they cope with them. This can help children understand and express their own emotions better. Check out @maistorybooklibrary and @thekidlitmama on Instagram, both of them share amazing books for kids, including books that focus on SEL.   
  2. Play Emotion Charades. Play a game of charades where children act out different emotions (happy, sad, excited, scared, etc.) and another adult or sibling guess the emotion. This activity can help children recognize emotions in themselves and others.  
  3. Practice Mindfulness. Teach simple mindfulness exercises, such as deep breathing to help children learn to calm themselves then feeling overwhelmed or upset. One quick way to help them practice is to invite them on a walk and encouraging the child to pay attention to each step they take and the sensations in their body as they walk. This can help them feel more connected to their bodies and the world around them.
  4. Encourage Empathy. Help children understand empathy by talking how others might feel in different situations. For example, if a character in a story loses their toy, ask your child how they think the character feels and what they could do to help. One of the best ways to encourage empathy is to MODEL empathy. Children learn by example, so it’s important to model empathy in your own interactions with others. Show compassion and understanding in your actions and words.
  5. Incorporate toys that promote SEL. Miniland offers a variety of toys that can be used to promote social and emotional learning (SEL) in children. Below, we share three of our best sellers.
    • Emotiblocks.This best seller can be used to help children understand and express emotions through play. Parents can ask children to build a “person” using the blocks that represent how they are feeling in that moment or they can create stories using the blocks to explore different emotional scenarios.
    • Mindful Kids. Designed for kids ages 2 to 7, this spinning topper and cards include has 4 major themes: conscious breathing, muscle relaxation, yoga and meditation. The 36 mindfulness activities are based on nature, culture, animals, habits and everyday situations.                                  
    • Inclusion Puzzle. This set of 4 puzzles features images of diverse children which promotes and encourages values such as tolerance, empathy and diversity. Recently featured in Forbes on a “best toys list”, this set is washable and highly durable.                           
    • Emotions Puzzle. This set of 6 puzzles features different facial expressions presenting various emotions. By completing each puzzle, children learn to recognize and differentiate between different emotions, which is crucial for understanding their own feelings and empathizing with others. This set is also washable!  

SEL Day helps promote inclusivity and empathy, as these skills are essential for understanding and respecting the feelings and perspectives of others. By celebrating SEL Day, we can work towards creating a more compassionate and understanding society for everyone.