Bullying Prevention Month is a campaign that is truly important to me and the entire S&S team. I genuinely enjoy coming up with new and creative ways that kids can use our products to gain a greater understanding of what bullying is, raise awareness, and ultimately put an end to bullying.
This year, while thinking about what type of projects to create and share, I remembered an article I had read on the Parents Magazine website on social and emotional skills and dramatic play. The article talked about the importance of dramatic and cooperative play, reinforcing children learn how to take turns, share responsibility, and problem solve when engaging in these activities. What undoubtedly stood out in this article was simple, but resonated with me all these months later. “When children pretend to be different characters, they have the experience of walking in someone else’s shoes, which helps teach the moral skill of empathy.” Continue reading →
In order to prevent bullying in your classrooms and communities, you need to actively get children involved and engaged in anti-bullying activities, games, and crafts. In addition to our 7 Tips to Help You Prevent Bullying, we’ve listed some products below that can be used collaboratively within your group, class, or school to bring awareness to the harmful effects of bullying and continue the conversation about how to help prevent it.
Promote awareness through creativity. This quilt comes with 25 squares and assorted cords to piece it all together once individuals have created their anti-bullying square. With paint, markers, embellishments, and even glitter, children will design and build a quilt that reinforces the important message that your group stands for. This can be hung in an area where the children can be reminded of its meaning.
October is National Bullying Prevention Month. It’s a time when parents, educators, and their community work together to raise awareness about bullying, and the negative impact it has on students. Since children are inspired by their favorite superhero, this is the perfect theme to incorporate into your bullying prevention program. They understand the difference between heroes and villains, which will help teach some important lessons when it comes to bullying. Here are some activity ideas for your classroom or afterschool program.
Characteristics of Superheroes vs Villains
Draw a chart on your whiteboard, message board, or poster board with Villains written on the left, and Superheros on the right. You can also write the word “bully” under Villains, but cover it with a piece of paper. Have students think of words that describe villains. When they raise their hand and say the word, write it under that column. Many common characteristics they think of are evil, mean, violent, and scary. Now have them raise their hands and say words that describe superheros, and write them under that column. They will say words like strong, helpful, kind, and brave. Now ask them which they’d like to be, a villain or superhero? Reveal the word “bully” under villains. This is a perfect way to lead a discussion about bullies and how they make others feel.
Back in October, S&S donated a Buddy Bench to the Colchester Elementary School in honor of Bully Prevention month. We wanted to continue spreading awareness by sharing the meaning behind the Buddy Bench, and acknowledging that friendship can be encouraged throughout the school year.
Friendships Buddy Bench
Colchester Elementary School is now using their Buddy Bench in their kindergarten wing, so that kids just starting out in school can learn the importance of kindness and friendship. Recognizing safe spaces and teaching empathy is crucial in the early years. The bench also makes it easier for staff to visually recognize when kids may be struggling during unstructured time at the school.
A few years ago, I spent some time volunteering with a local Girl Scout Troop. The six girls within the troop were in 4th and 5th grade at the time. As the year progressed, the troop leader and I recognized some bullying starting between some of the girls in our troop. What we saw was that some of our girls had stronger personalities and seemed to be overpowering the other girls. Two of the girls displayed “bossy” characteristics, causing some of the other girls in the troop to stop participating as much as they had been. The troop leader and I decided to take action and address the issue during one of our meetings.
We created a chart on poster board with different examples of bullying written on it. As a group we read the examples out loud, talked about how someone being bullied might feel and had them come up with ways to address each example. We used examples like a new kid at school and someone being bullied for looking different or acting different. We also used some of the exchanges we had seen between the girls as examples: taking things from others because they want to use them, name calling, and using hurtful words towards others.
During our discussion we had the girls brainstorm as a group to come up with ideas on how they could take action to prevent and stop bullying. We talked about why respecting others, regardless of differences, was so important.
We then used the Anti-Bullying Toss & Talk Ball. This helped the girls talk more about bullying and prompted them in a fun “playful” way. We combined that activity with the Positive Attitude Toss & Talk Ball to help the girls come up with positive ways to counter bullying like making friends with that new kid so they don’t feel so left out, and standing up for the person being bullied because they are different. We discussed how to get a teacher or parent involved. Mixed within the discussions, we addressed and had them discuss the exchanges they’ve had, and how they might do things differently next time. By the following week, we saw the girls were working better together and being kinder to each other.
Bullying isn’t just about physical violence, it is about teaching children to work positively together and to be nice to one another. Sometimes it is just talking about it and making them aware of the way their actions can make others feel. For more activities on Bully Prevention head here.
Submitted by: Crystal Jeka – Account Representative at S&S Worldwide