“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” – Aesop
The US election just ended and the whole world watched as rudeness, crudeness, and bullying became casual talk.
This has also presented us parents with an unexpected and unpleasant quandary: How on earth do we continue to impart compassion, courtesy, politeness and kindness to our kids when all they see and hear is Hatred.
World Kindness Day, November 13, provides us a great opportunity to remind ourselves that these good qualities are essential than ever.
After all, it is up to us practice & encourage values like kindness and acceptance in our kids. But how does one go about it? Well, with some kindness activities for kids, of course!
Check out our list of different ways you can celebrate this World Kindness day with your kids – they’re all simple, practical tasks that won’t cost anything and you can practice every day at home!
13 Kindness Activities for Kids
1. Acknowledge a Community Helper
Ask your kids to think of the people who make our community a better place. The list may include policemen and policewomen who keep us safe, the doctors and nurses who help us stay healthy, teachers who help us learn, postmen who deliver mail. This post from Coffee cups and Crayons shows us how to make a BIG (clearly visible) Thank You note for your local community helper. Hand it to them the next time you see them and watch their eyes light up!
2. Birthday Box
Your child’s birthday is a special day when he gets to eat, do and play whatever he wants. But shouldn’t everyone get to have a special day like this? Help your kids create a Birthday Box, as shown in I Can Teach My Child, for kids who can’t afford to celebrate their birthday. Fill it with cake mix, candles, decorations, balloons and little gifts – everything you need for a birthday!
3. Side Walk Messages
Everybody loves to be appreciated and cheered; I think Moms know this more than anyone else in the family! Do what Kindness Girl has done and leave a Happy message on the sidewalk to cheer up someone who you think needs it. This is such a simple gesture but such an effective one too – you may never realize how much it lifts someone’s spirits!
4. Blessing Bags
Let kids have the opportunity to help the less fortunate and learn to appreciate their blessings at the same time with this activity. Organize some care packages a la Today’s Creative Life and stow them in your car so you’re ready to help someone in need whenever the occasion arises. Include basics such as a water bottle, soap, sanitary essentials, etc.
A simple yet thoughtful activity from our archives includes making a Share the Love letter box. This is a cute activity that’s ideal even for little ones. Use Popsicle sticks to write random acts of kindness ideas to share some joy and cheer in this world. You can start with immediate family members for younger kids and expand the circle as they grow older.
6. Smile Cards
Print these free smile it forward cards from Kids Activities blog and place them around your city for people to find. This is so much fun and the possibilities to place them are endless – your bus, the cafe, the bus stop – anywhere! You never know – you just might make someone’s day!
7. Toothpaste Kindness Lesson
This kindness object lesson with toothpaste from Meaningful Mama teaches a very important lesson in today’s digital age when people say anything they like on social media without thinking. The activity is a visual demonstration on how words once spoken cannot be taken back and why it’s important for us to use kind words with everyone. This activity is very powerful with kids and is so much more effective than verbal instructions.
8. Save for a Special Cause
Collect spare change and donate it to an organization we want to support. You can even help your child set up a lemonade stand or neighborhood bake sale or garage sale. Explain that all the proceeds from sales will go towards a charity or NGO of his choice. Check out this incredible idea of a Charity Allowance from Kids Activities Blog.
9. Homemade Kindness Cards
These home made cards by Frogs & Snails & Puppy Dog Tail featured on All done Monkey are so simple; yet a wonderful way to show kindness to others. Kids will enjoy decorating the cards, making them all the more special to give out to someone.
10. Kindness Elves
The Elf on the Shelf is a pretty popular phenomenon around this time of the year, but the Kindness Elves from The Imagination Tree are different! They don’t focus on bad behavior or reporting back to Santa. Instead they emphasize kindness and love, in an attempt to help kids develop thoughtfulness and compassion for the world around them in a playful and fun way!
11. Family Kindness Jar
This kindness jar project from Kids Activities Blog is a lovely idea to show young minds that unkindness does a lot more damage than one small act of kindness. Start with a bowl full of beans and an empty jar. For each act of kindness that anyone in the family does or observes, place a bean in the Kindness Jar. For each unkind word or act, take two beans out and place them back in a bowl. When the jar becomes full, the family gets to do something special together!
12. Hug Coupons
There’s nothing like a hug that’s guaranteed to make any situation better! These homemade Hug coupons from Coffee, Cups and Crayons are so sweet and easy to make! Kids will have a blast making these hug coupons to give out as an act of kindness to friends and family members who could then could cash in their coupons whenever they need an hug!
13. Read Books about Kindness
Sometimes the best way to get a message across to kids is to read them a story. There is a nice little list over at Extremely Good Parenting that features books that encourage kids to practice kindness on a regular basis. You can also check out your local library for books about famous people whose lives were lessons in kindness – Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, Florence Nightingale, Dalai Lama, Mahatma Gandhi.
When teaching kids about kindness, try not to force it. Kindness isn’t a quick lesson for the next exam; it’s a basic value that needs to be at the core of who we are.
Let the kids realize that being kind isn’t only about giving – when we’re kind to another person, we feel good too. And don’t forget that we also need to be kind to ourselves!
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As the Dalai Lama says, “When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace.”
What acts of kindness have you done with your kids lately? If you have additional examples of Kindness Day activities to do with kids, please share them below!