Inside: Use these Thanksgiving Kindness Role Playing Cards with kids to practice how to be kind towards others on Thanksgiving.
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, they can quickly get labeled as rude.
So to prepare our kids for Thanksgiving, we can intentionally teach them ways to be kind and polite during November 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 Thanksgiving Kindness Role Playing to intentionally practice different ways to be kind during November to set our kids up for more kindness “success” during Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving 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 Thanksgiving with kindness.
And since kids already love holidays, it’s a perfect conduit to teach other important skills: like Social Emotional Learning and kindness.
We can use the holiday and the pumpkins and the Pilgrims to our advantage to encourage more kindness
We can use kindness resources like these:
You can read a Fall Kindness Book like The Scarecrow about friendship and helping others:
Read this Thanksgiving Kindness Emergent Reader that goes through all the different ways to be kind on Thanksgiving.
And we can intentionally practice being kind in different ways with these Thanksgiving Kindness Role Playing Cards.
How to Use these Thanksgiving Kindness Role Playing Cards
1. Print out the Thanksgiving 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 on Thanksgiving (sharing, turn-taking, giving compliments, using manners).
3. Read a scenario on the card such as: “After Thanksgiving dinner is over.” The idea on the card is to say, “Dinner was delicious!” Brainstorm other things to say since there’s never just one way to be kind. (ie: Dinner was yummy, I really liked the potatoes, It was sooo good.)
5. Invite kids who are interested to practice acting it out. After they say “May I have more bread please?” hand them a pretend piece of bread and have them practice saying one of the brainstormed ways to react.
6. Practice with other scenarios/role playing cards. Have them practice complimenting your dinner or act out how to greet family members and let them practice setting the table or giving a compliment. They can brainstorm ways they can be helpful before, during, and after Thanksgiving dinner.
7. As kids get more confident, invite other students to act out the scenarios and take on the role of passing out the extra food as well as receiving the food.
7. You can also brainstorm things to NOT say that would be unkind or unintentionally rude on Thanksgiving (Ew, I hate this dinner, I won’t eat that, That’s disgusting, 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.