There are so many meaningful ways to sprinkle the world with kindness. World Kindness Day is right around the corner on November 13th - what better excuse to teach our children some simple ways of being thoughtful and kind!
As their first educators, parents already explore the topic of kindness daily, by assisting their children in navigating the world around them, helping them with their social development, forging friendships and modelling compassionate relationships.
If you want to celebrate World Kindness Day or develop this essential social skill with your little learner, we’ve put together some of the activities we explore in our centres below.
Random Acts of Kindness
Teaching the value of random kindness is a beautiful lifelong skill. A random act of appreciation shows someone you care about them for no reason or reward. Parents and educators can model this behaviour through their interactions and relationships with the people around them. It might be 'paying it forward’, purchasing a coffee for the next customer in line at your local café or putting your neighbour's bins out for no reason, just to help. You could create a 'Random Acts of Kindness calendar’ with your little one. Each day of the month, there can be an unexpected challenge for them, such as sending a friend a lovely card, smiling at a stranger, sitting next to someone they feel may be lonely or giving someone a hug. Your calendar could include 'free choice' days where your child can choose how they would like to randomly show kindness that day.
Kindness Rock Garden
Creating a kindness rock garden is a creative activity which can spread happiness at home and in the local community. Your child can collect some smooth rocks from their garden or the local park and get creative with paints and pens from home. Your child can paint the rocks in bright colours and write warm-hearted sayings and words onto the stones using permanent markers. Some ideas might be 'you’re special' 'have a great day’ 'smile' or 'be kind'. The concept of this one is to make someone feel special and make them smile. To make this activity super interactive, you can place your rocks around local parks to make someone's day. This activity spreads kindness and gets your family out into the spring sunshine to see if someone has collected or moved their rock when admiring it. Another way to do this is to write positive affirmations in sand at the beach! You might even find someone writes back to you.
No matter how small the act may seem, rewarding your child for their kindness is always important. If your little one offers someone a hug, gives a lovely card or helps a friend with something, it's always important to let your little learner know that you are so proud of them for being so beautiful. It's also important to teach your child that even though you may offer kindness, you may not always get a thank you or see how your gesture made that person feel. Kindness is not something to always be rewarded but more a sign to make others feel special and loved. In doing so you can feel happy and fulfilled in yourself knowing you may have had a positive impact on someone else. These things are essential life skills that we as educators, are there to teach.
Kindness Display Chain
This activity is beneficial when your little learners might be having a bad day or feeling a little low. Think of the paper chains we all made as children. Each time your child receives a gesture of kindness, ask them to write or draw this on a strip of paper. Fasten the strip of paper in the loop; the next act is written onto another strip of paper and fastened through the centre of the first one, and so, the kindness display chain is created. Each gesture of appreciation is a loop in the chain and can be displayed in a child’s bedroom to remind them to be nice but also to remember that they receive kindness in their lives. How long your chain can get by the time Christmas comes?
MORE: Exploring gratitude with your little learner
Footpath Kindness Walk
As the weather is warming up, it's the perfect time for you and your child to get outside and spread some joy through some footpath drawings. Each square of the footpath could be a beautiful piece of artwork simply to make someone smile. You could draw a beautiful rainbow with all the colours imaginable, a big bright sunny sun or a giant smiley face to make someone's day. Everyone who passes by will love this brilliant sign of love and spend the rest of their day happy from one simple act.
This world kindness day, or any day for that matter, we hope you will love engaging in one or all of these kindness activities, sprinkling joy around your community!