Make the world a little more beautiful today by keeping kindness at the front of your thoughts and actions! Did you know that by modeling and some simple ideas to make kindness visual, we can encourage empathy and kindness in our littles? Check out our list below for simple ideas to use with your children.
1. Kindness Bouquets
I first saw this idea in Judy Ged's classroom and I had to include it in Inspiring Innovation. Each time the child does or sees an act an act of kindness, they add a flower to their kindness bouquet. In the end they have a beautiful bouquet of kind needs and actions. She learned of this idea from the amazing evidence-based, Conscious Discipline.
2. Kindness Chain
Kindness chains are similar to kindness bouquets. The difference is they can be created with large groups over time. I first saw a kindness chain at Drakes Creek Middle School and it was truly amazing. Each link the chain represents an act of kindness done by a child in the school.
3. Empathy Reflection Sentence Starters
We can teach children, even young children, to reflect on the experiences of others by teaching them skills for empathy. A great sentence starter for littles (and not-so-littles) is "It bothers me when I see..." Kids may say, "It bothers me when I see a dog in the cold." or "It bothers me when I see a child alone at recess." These sentence starters help begin the conversation to discuss empathy and would naturally flow into how they could use those emotions to do an act of kindness to help solve the problem.
4. A Web of Kindness
In the words of Mr. Rogers, "Won't you be my neighbor?" Gather your class, or family, or friends. Grab a ball of yarn or string and sit in a circle together. Wrap one end of the yarn around your wrist, or hold it tightly in your hand. *Leave plenty of slack so it isn't too tight. Then share a time a neighbor did something kind to you, or something you have done for a neighbor. Then you will toss the yarn to another friend and they repeat the process. In the end you see how a web of kindness, helping your littles or not-so-littles to realize that how we are all connected... how we are all neighbors.
5. Kindness Reads