Every year from October 23rd to the 31st, schools around the country observe Red Ribbon Week, the largest and longest-running annual campaign dedicated to drug prevention. With a curriculum based on building lifelong healthy habits, Red Ribbon Week in kindergarten is an excellent opportunity to teach young students about the importance of living drug-free. In this article, we’ll look at six ways to incorporate kindergarten Red Ribbon Week activities into your classroom and Red Ribbon Week curriculum for the end of the month.
October can be a pretty crazy month in a kindergarten classroom. Between parent-teacher conferences, Halloween costume contests and your fall curriculum, teachers can get overwhelmed. It’s understandable why some have trouble figuring out how to explain red ribbon week to kindergarten students. Luckily, there are plenty of easy ways to include drug awareness activities in your lesson plans – without spending a ton of time planning.
Finding Red Ribbon Week activities for kindergarten students might seem like another stressor this time of year, but it’s an opportunity to start planting seeds for your class to make healthy choices later in life.
1. Hold a Door Decorating Contest
Red Ribbon Week in kindergarten should be focused on education through having fun. Many kindergarten classes hold door decorating contests to express their creativity and deliver a positive message centered around the theme for the year. 2022’s Red Ribbon Week theme is “Celebrate Life. Live Drug-Free.”
With a fully decorated door greeting them every day, students get a chance to absorb the message and admire their unique additions. You can coordinate with your other teachers to hold a personal door decorating contest amongst the classes, or decorate the entire school and enter the National Red Ribbon Photo Contest for a chance to win some pretty incredible prizes.
2. Incorporate Classroom Dress-Up Days
Whether your whole school gets involved or you decide to run this activity on your own, classroom dress-up days are a fun way to get your students excited about Red Ribbon Week. When it comes to Red Ribbon Week in kindergarten, you want to get creative while ensuring the silly outfits won’t distract from learning.
Here are just a few fun ideas you can use for Red Ribbon Week dress-up days:
- “Wake Up Drug-Free”: Your kids can come in wearing their favorite pajamas and keep comfy all day.
- “Don’t Get Mixed Up in Drugs”: Students can mismatch their clothes from head to toe.
- “Lei Off Drugs”: Give your kids a traditional Hawaiian lei at the beginning of the day.
- “Say Peace Out to Drugs”: Students can come to class wearing their favorite tie-dye shirts.
- “I’m Red-y to Say No to Drugs”: Have your kids wear official Red Ribbon Week products (or as much red as they can).
3. Plant the Promise
There are plenty of Red Ribbon Week activities for kindergarten students to enjoy outside the classroom. Stepping outside into the crisp fall air is the perfect opportunity to connect with your kids. The Plant the Promise campaign is a wonderful way to honor Red Ribbon Week in a non-traditional and engaging way. Students can plant red or yellow flower bulbs during Red Ribbon Week, which will bloom in the springtime and serve as a physical reminder of the importance and beauty of a drug-free life. Students will remember the hard work they put into planting their flowers, similar to the hard work they’ll put into staying drug-free, and see how it can transform into something beautiful.
This kindergarten Red Ribbon Week activity is also beneficial for kids to stay more attentive once they come back to class and provides a chance for your students to enjoy the outdoors, connect with nature and take a break from the daily stress of the classroom.
4. Make Video PSAs
If you want to make your Red Ribbon Week in kindergarten a truly interactive experience, have your class develop some video PSAs. After your kids have learned about some of the dangers of drugs, you can put them into groups to create their very own public service announcement about saying no.
Interactive kindergarten Red Ribbon Week activities are great for establishing fundamental skills. You can have your students write 30-second scripts built around facts you research together and give them a chance to practice their public speaking skills.
5. Play Red Ribbon Week Themed Games
Continuing the theme of interactive learning, drug awareness games are the perfect chance for kids to have fun while learning about the dangers of drugs. All Red Ribbon Week games are designed to be fun for children of all ages and can help your kindergarten class absorb a wealth of information through proven educational methods.
6. Sign the Red Ribbon Week Pledge
Our final kindergarten Red Ribbon Week activity is simple: let your students pledge to stay drug-free! Print out the Red Ribbon pledge and discuss it with all your students to help them understand what it really means to be a part of the campaign. It’s a simple gesture, but one that will stick with them year after year.
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