“Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.” – Princess Diana
Whether you are teaching children kindness in the classroom or want to be an example of how to be more kind, kindness benefits everyone. Kindness make us feel good and makes others feel good. Couldn’t we all use more good feelings right now? Consider these acts of kindness ideas:
Take a “thank you” moment to acknowledge someone who did something kind today. It could be a friend who shared their doll, or a mom who made a sandwich. Teachers can guide children toward saying thanks for a kindness someone did for them today or recently. Taking the time to notice and acknowledge an act of kindness is time well spent and helps children learn to “record” those good feelings. – Bari Koral, Yoga & Mindfulness Instructor
Help children spread a little kindness while also practicing empathy by creating a We Care Bag. Use a small tote bag and gather items that can help when a child is feeling hurt, sad, or scared. Some ideas include: adhesive bandages, stickers, tissues, a small blanket, stuffed toy, or a book. Encourage children to use the We Care Bag to help comfort a child in need. – Celestte Dills, Early Childhood Educator
Make a card for someone: While we are having to keep our distance from our friends and family, making a simple card is a lovely way for children to reach out to others and stay connected. Children could also make cards for those who are isolated during this difficult time. – Sabrina Olizar-Smoke, Play of the Wild
Forget the Golden Rule, which implores you to “treat others as you’d like to be treated” and, instead, adhere to the Platinum Rule, which guides you to “treat others as they would like to be treated”. With the Platinum Rule in mind, we are forced to let go of our biases and expectations surrounding others (in our community, our family, and our classroom), and, instead, to engage with them to find out about their wants, needs, and preferences. The Platinum Rule demonstrates the utmost respect and kindness, taking our focus off ourselves, and onto others. – Zaina Cahill, School District of Philadelphia
Kindness is an unprompted response from one entity to another. It can be person to person, person to animal, animal to animal and so forth. Foster kindness by catching children doing good and praising the action. It could be students assisting each other with their coats, assisting with putting sheets on each others' cots, comforting one another, and offering help in many ways. – Frances Wolf and Lucila Barrios of Gateway Community Action Partnership
The best way to teach kindness is to create a classroom community where it is the expectation. Model kindness to yourself and to the students. Positively reinforce kind acts and always point out kindness in read alouds or videos. You can also explicitly teach ways to be kind in different situations. Here is a freebie to have students discuss how they can be kind to themselves, their friends & family, their school & class, their community and their world! - Sarah McGowan, SEL Teacher
While we’re on the topic of teaching kindness, the pandemic has brought to light the hard work and dedication of teachers, administrators, coworkers, and families. It’s important we show kindness to others so that children can observe and emulate.
Here are some ways to show kindness to each other:
- Notes of appreciation - Write out a note or send a card. Handwritten notes are very special and often appreciated.
- Donate Supplies - Donate necessities such as: hand sanitizer, glue sticks, colored pencils, markers, dry-erase markers, pencils, and pens.
- Lunch or Dinner – Folks are busier than ever managing their careers and their families too. Offering a lunch or dinner gift card can be a great way to show that you care. Treating them to lunch or dinner is such a sweet gesture.
- Create a thank you video - Create a video easily with free and easy to use software for all ages such as; Animoto. This program will allow you to import video, pictures, and clipart easily and send via email. You pick a theme, import images or video, choose music, and the program does all the animating for you.
- Send an ecard - Send your teacher an animated ecard to their email through services including; Paperless Post, American Greetings, or A digital note of appreciation can surely brighten your teacher’s day.
Teachers, administrators, and families are under an immense amount of stress these days. The kind acts mentioned above are great ways to show appreciation. Taking some time to express your gratitude can go a long way and lift spirits during an intense time in the education field.
Let’s demonstrate and teach kindness every day!