Inside: Use these Hanukkah Kindness Role Playing Cards with kids to practice how to be kind towards others during Hanukkah.
While there is no one way to be kind, there are many ways to be unkind.
And when kids are around family they haven’t seen in a while or are expected to sit still through a long, formal dinner with food they’re not used to eating, or don’t react to a gift in an expected way, they can quickly get labeled as rude.
So to prepare our kids for Hanukkah, we can intentionally teach them ways to be kind and polite during December and give them time to practice these new skills.
Role Playing gives children a safe space to practice new skills they’re learning that may otherwise feel overwhelming if they were not given time to practice.
So families and classrooms can use these Hanukkah Kindness Role Playing to intentionally practice different ways to be kind during December to set our kids up for more kindness “success” during the eight nights of Hanukkah.
Hanukkah Kindness Activities for Social Emotional Learning
We could teach kindness as an isolated moment, but that’s not the reality. The real power of kindness is we can be kind every day, every month in our simple normal everyday interactions with others.
So the best way to teach kindness is alongside other lessons and holidays: reading with kindness, writing with kindness, and Hanukkah with kindness.
And since kids already love Hanukkah, it’s a perfect conduit to teach other important skills: like Social Emotional Learning and kindness.
We can use the holiday and the menorah and the dreidels and the gifts to our advantage to encourage more kindness.
And we can use Hanukkah and winter-themed kindness resources like these:
You can play our Hanukkah Kind or Unkind Sort Game and write about the ways we can be kind during Hanukkah and winter.
You can read Hanukkah Kindness Books like these:
We also spread kindness throughout the eight nights with this Countdown to Hanukkah Kindness Advent Calendar
Or you can read this Emergent Reader: We All Celebrate Differently
And we can intentionally practice being kind in different ways with these Hanukkah Kindness Role Playing Cards.
How to Use these Hanukkah Kindness Role Playing Cards
1. Print out the Hanukkah Kindness Role Playing Cards on cardstock and cut them apart (download them below).
2. Tell the kids you are going to practice acting out ways to be kind during Hanukkah (sharing, turn-taking, giving compliments, using manners).
3. Read a scenario on the card such as: “When you see someone’s menorah.” The idea on the card is to say, “Your menorah is so pretty!” Brainstorm other things to say since there’s never just one way to be kind. (ie: I love your menorah, Your menorah is so shiny.)
4. Invite kids who are interested to practice acting it out. Hand them a pretend present and have them practice saying one of the brainstormed ways to react when they open a gift.
5. Practice with other scenarios/role playing cards. Have them practice complimenting decorations or act out how to greet family members and let them practice asking for the gifts they want in a polite way. They can brainstorm ways they can be helpful during Hanukkah.
6. As kids get more confident, invite other students to act out the scenarios and take on the roll of passing out the pretend gifts as well as receiving the gifts or greeting people they see in public.
7. You can also brainstorm things to NOT say that would be unkind or unintentionally rude during Hanukkah (Ew, I hate this dinner, I don’t like this gift, These latkes are disgusting, Why didn’t I get everything on my list?, Forgetting to say thank you if they’re able to, etc) You can act out the unkind actions and have them try it again in a kind way.