School Kids
Kids Blowing Bubbles

Our list of suggested activities for Elementary students and families focuses on building "Protective Factors", habits that protect against substance use and other negative outcomes.

Tip: Parents' opportunity to impact their children's choice to use or avoid drugs is greatest BEFORE their child has been exposed. RRW is the perfect opportunity to share information with parents and families about how to have these conversations.


Choose any 5 activities below to create a custom week-long Red Ribbon Week  program that works for your school!

2. Choose Activities

Dress Up Days

Use a theme day to create enthusiasm and start conversations.

Consider including one or more themed dress up days to kick-off or close your week:

  • “Sock it to drugs!” – Wear crazy socks

  • “Team up against drugs” – Wear sports jerseys

  • “Don’t get mixed up in drugs” – Wear mismatched clothes

  • “Too bright for drugs” – Wear neon clothes

  • “I dream of a drug-free world.” – Wear pajamas

  • “Don’t get tied up in drugs.” – Wear a tie

  • "My future is drug free" – Dress for your future profession or activity

Read Alouds

Use a read-aloud story to engage students in discussions of healthy choices and/or drug avoidance.

Discuss with your school administrator whether titles can be read in each classroom by a teacher or visitor, or whether a video-recorded read-aloud could be played in each classroom followed by discussion. The following a few titles you might consider:

  • “Title", Author. Summary/age range

Future Focus

Help students make connections between being drug-free and having a bright future.

Plan activities to get kids thinking and talking about their healthy future:

  • Talk about what students want to be when they grow up and how staying healthy will help them achieve it.

  • No-prep writing project

  • Coloring pages

  • For 4th and 5th graders, consider showing a Natural High video like Terry Kennedy – Pro Skateboarder and discussing what activities students find naturally exhilarating.


Help students appreciate what they have and focus on the positive.

Help students recognize all they have going for them and appreciate positive influences in their lives.

  • Have students write a thank you note to someone who has supported them

  • For 4th and 5th graders, consider Natural High's Brown Bag Challenge where students recognize their peers' positive traits

  • Have each student write one thing they are grateful for on this template and make a bulletin board out of them

  • Have each student draw something or someone they appreciate and talk about why. Allow them to take it home to discuss with their family.

Healthy Habits

Help students identify and practice healthy coping strategies, skills and habits.

Develop tools that increase resilience:

  • Watch a tutorial and practice the technique each day for a week: Mindfulness, calming breath, 

  • Build healthier relationships by identifying how friends can support each other.

  • Name adults in the school a student can go to if they have a problem.

Family Engagement

Inform parents of the critical influence their attitudes play, how to start conversations with kids and where to seek help.

Share information with parents and families:

  • Share "12 Things Parents Can Do"

  • How to start conversations

  • Share school resouces and contacts

  • Share local resources

3. Publicize Your Program

Happy Circle


Use all methods available to tell families about your program:

  • Customize and send home a Red Ribbon Week flyer 

  • Attach a PDF of your flyer to emails, newsletters, your website and social media

  •  Share additional resources with families so they can reinforce lessons at home

  • Share these graphics on social media to get attention

  • Use hashtag #RRW2021 on your social posts to increase exposure

Teacher and Kids in Library

Share your success!

We can't wait to see the program you design and the positive impact you have! Post photos and video on social media with #RRW2021 so we can find & amplify your successes!