On 17th of February it is the National Random Acts Of Kindness Day celebrated in the UK.
Kindness is contagious, so, any small, nice gesture makes you feel better about yourself and the world around you, but it also inspires other to follow your lead and spread the love. When you are a parent, is even more important to make sure you are setting the right role model for your children and that you are planting the kindness seeds for future generations to enjoy.
Children don’t always have a born instinct for showing easily their empathy and kindness, and sometimes they need guidance to learn how to do this. Besides learning to be polite, to say please, sorry, thank you, and offering compliments, we wanted to share with you the activities we have been doing with our daughter to teach her about kindness.
The Giving Basket
Arianna loves this basket we had for ages, and I could not wait to implement the giving basket idea in our house. Whenever we go out with her basket, we fill it with things to give to others without asking nothing in return. We have used it when sharing cards to our neighbours so far, but we have a lot of ideas for it, and some of them are underneath. This will teach my toddler to share, as she is struggling at times, and will make her become more confident in herself.
Thank The Community Services
It may be the fire station, a nursing home or hospital, police station, local shop or post office. A drawing or card made to thank them for their services it would mean a lot for the people working there, especially now, during the pandemic. This activity gives you the opportunity to make a whole day experience for your child and to teach them about the community services in your area and their importance. It usually ends in role play at the end of the day where we are trying different stories for same service to extend our learning.
Using chalk is very fun and could boost your little one’s creativity, so why not create a drawing meant to bring he smile on the walkers faces? On the same idea, I have seen trails drawn to the sidewalks for kids to do or motivational quotes. We did a smiley face, but we are working on Arianna’s drawing skills and aim to do better in future. Now she’s smiling as well when she sees it!
Holidays Cards For Neighbours
A few years ago, a muslim neighbour send us a Christmas card, and it brought so much joy to our family, I had to start doing this as well. For over 2 years now, me and Arianna make the cards from scratch and send them for Christmas, Easter, and Halloween to our neighbours. By doing this we introduced ourselves to our new neighbours and it brought us closer. Now Arianna can’t wait to go make new cards and to send them!
I have seen this in Italy in a train station, a simple note with a smiley face on a pole. This was so simple and cute, it made me smile instantly. This does not require any materials really, and it’s so easy to share with the world. We can use the giving basket and make small smile cards to give to strangers or leave them in public spaces, but which ever we are doing it, it will have the same effect on the society, and that’s what we are aiming for.
Donate To Charity Unused Toys, Books Or Clothes
We are a big fans of charity donations, as this way we are decluttering our home and support the charity foundations in our town. For Arianna is was a bit harder to decide which things to give up to, but managed to give them with a smile on her face at the end of this experience.
Bake for others
I must admit, we have never done this, as I am not a great baker, but as Arianna enjoys this activity, and as we are trying to cut down deserts as a family, we are planning on baking and offering our products to others. One time it might be for our next door neighbours, especially if it will be a romanian traditional desert, to introduce them to our specialties, other time might be for our friends or even our community services.
Empathy towards animals is a great virtue, so kids can easily learn it by doing small acts of kindness like making or refilling the birds feeders. We have a cat, so we do not have bird feeders as we do not want to put them in danger around our cat, but we like to make bird feeders out of toilet rolls with peanut butter and bird seeds or just apple slices and peanut butter and seeds. We usually take them in country side where we go to walk by the lake, but we left some in our park as well. If you want to create cute feeders, Baker Ross has cute ones.
How To Keep The Motivation Up
Build A Kindness Tree
PBS team is offering a great idea for kids to maintain their motivation to be kind by creating this tree that blooms every time the kid does a kind act. For each act of kindness, write a note on a paper flower or encourage your child to make drawings to illustrate her experience. Let your child add it to the tree, and watch the Kindness Tree bloom with colour! You can even do this on a 3D theme, by using branched from a tree in a vase and adding paper flowers to it!
Family Kindness Jar
I love the idea that Kids Activities are promoting about the kindness jar. All you need is a bowl of beans and a jar. For each act of kindness that anyone in the family witnessed or performed, a bean is placed in the Kindness Jar. For each unkind word or act, two beans were taken out and placed back in the bowl. I love that this activity involves all the family members and encourages to lead by example.
The Kindness Elves
The Imagination Tree is proposing this great idea of using the Elf on the Shelf tradition to motivate the little ones to be kind on a daily basis. This idea is so much cuter and interesting than the original one. Basically, instead of the elf being sent by Santa to watch children and to report back on their behaviour to see whether or not they will be good enough to receive presents this year, the kindness elf is there to emphasise kindness and love and hopefully help the kids to develop thoughtfulness and compassion for the world around them in a playful and fun way. I love this idea, and this idea can be used throughout the year, not just before Christmas, and you can buy or even make your own family elf.
It matters to be consistent at home as a family to share the same beliefs and show the children how it is correct to react in society. Children imitate the grown ups and if what they see you do is not the same as what you are telling them to do, they will get confused and find it harder to respond. Kindness can also be discussed after reading therapeutic metaphors found in books designed to help little ones understand better the notion and identify themselves with the characters.
Share in comments section down below which one is your favourite and what else you like to do with your children to teach them about compassion and kindness! If you liked our post, share it with your friends and family and follow us on social media, where you can find us with social handle @flosbubbleofjoy.