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Get SEL certified through the National STEAM Association.

Certifications for toys, games, and books meeting SEM standards.

We are thrilled to announce that the National STEAM Association is expanding its horizons by introducing a new initiative – the provision of Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) certificates for toys, books, and games. In our ongoing commitment to holistic education, these certificates will recognize products that foster vital social and emotional competencies in children. This exciting addition aligns with our mission to promote comprehensive learning experiences, equipping young minds with the knowledge and emotional intelligence needed for success in an ever-evolving world.

SEL Certification Badge shown with watermark.

An SEL (Social Emotional Learning) certificate is a validation or certification awarded to products such as toys, books, and games, indicating that they have been designed and developed with a focus on promoting emotional intelligence, empathy, and interpersonal skills in users, particularly children. Displaying an SEL certificate on these items is essential for several reasons:

  1. Quality Assurance: It assures parents, caregivers, and educators that the product has been designed with the well-being and emotional development of children in mind.
  2. Educational Value: An SEL certificate highlights the educational and emotional benefits of the product, making it easier for consumers to identify materials that support not only cognitive development but also social and emotional growth.
  3. Consumer Guidance: It offers guidance to consumers who wish to make informed choices about the content and impact of the products they provide to children.
  4. Social and Emotional Development: By emphasizing social and emotional learning, these products can help children develop essential life skills, including empathy, self-awareness, and effective communication, which are crucial for success in school and life.
  5. Promoting Positive Play: Displaying an SEL certificate encourages the creation of toys, books, and games that contribute positively to a child’s emotional and social development, fostering more meaningful and constructive play experiences.

Criteria for SEL Certification

1. Content Alignment

Requirement: The product’s content must align with the principles of Social Emotional Learning, focusing on topics such as self-awareness, self-regulation, empathy, and effective communication.

Evidence: Detailed content descriptions and/or sample content illustrating alignment with SEL principles, along with references to recognized SEL frameworks or guidelines.

2. Age-Appropriate Design

Requirement: The product must be age-appropriate, with content, themes, and activities tailored to the developmental stage of the target audience.

Evidence: Clear age recommendations, including research or expert consultations, that support the product’s appropriateness for the designated age group.

3. Diverse and Inclusive Representation

Requirement: The product should include diverse and inclusive characters, themes, and perspectives to reflect the multicultural and multiracial world in which children live.

Evidence: Descriptions or samples showcasing diverse characters, themes, or scenarios, accompanied by statements on the intention to promote inclusivity.

4. Skill-Building Opportunities

Requirement: The product must provide opportunities for skill-building in areas such as emotional regulation, problem-solving, teamwork, and conflict resolution.

Evidence: Clear descriptions of the skills the product aims to develop and how it facilitates this development.

5. Supportive Resources

Requirement: The product should be accompanied by supplementary resources or guidance for parents, caregivers, and educators to help them maximize the product’s SEL potential.

Evidence: Accessible resources such as guides, activity ideas, or recommendations for how to use the product to enhance social and emotional learning.

6. Feedback Mechanism

Requirement: The product should encourage interaction and reflection, such as feedback, discussions, or journaling, to help children process their emotions and experiences.

Evidence: Description of interactive elements and how they encourage feedback and self-reflection.

SEL Certification Submission Fees

$250 per product submission

Our thorough product review generally takes 3 to 4 weeks to complete. Please check your email after submission regularly for updates from the National STEAM Association.

Submit your toy, book, or game for official SEL certification through the National Steam Association. Only use this submission for products which have an emphasis in social emotional learning. Each certified product will receive our official SEL Badge of Approval to use on packaging, websites, printed material and throughout all digital and traditional marketing platforms.

Submit a Product for SEL Certification