I love the fact that we have a national World Kindness Day, but it also bothers me. I could go into a long rant about how this world has become so unkind, but I’ll spare you. It bothers me that we need to have a day to remind us to be kind to each other.
It makes my heart happy when I’m scrolling through my Facebook feed to see all the random kind things people have done for each other. I’m a member of several groups for my town, and there isn’t a week that goes by without someone posting about a kind gesture they encountered.
November 13 is World Kindness Day. I’ll be spending that day talking to Sicily about being kind and having her help me do some kind things around our town. I wanted to stop by today to give you some ideas on how to incorporate your preschooler and toddler into World Kindness Day and help them understand what it means to be kind. Hopefully this generation won’t need a World Kindness Day to remind them to be kind every day.
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Random Acts of Kindness
The best way to teach kindness is to be a good role model. Take some time this week to do a few random acts of kindness with your child.
1. Pay for a Meal
Next time you’re going through the drive thru, pay for the person behind you. As you are doing so talk to your child about what you are doing. You could say “I think I’m going to be kind to the guy behind us and pay for his meal. What do you think?”
2. Visit a Nursing Home or Hospital
Take your child to a nursing home or hospital to visit the elderly. You could stop at the front desk and ask if there is any resident who doesn’t get a lot of visitors. Bring games or a treat to share with the residents. After the visit, talk to your child about the experience. Have a conversation about being kind and how it makes others feel. Ask questions like:
How do you think the residents felt today?
How do you feel today?
3. Pick Up Trash
Head to your local park or walk through your neighborhood to pick up trash. Talk about how the trash can harm the animals and our water supply.
4. Bring Your Neighbor the Paper
Do you have an elderly neighbor? Have your child get his mail and bring it to their door.
5. Help a Wounded Warrior
There are programs that you can find where you can send care packages or cards to veterans, active soldiers, and wounded warriors. Take time to create a care package and write a card for one these people.
Bucket Filling Activity
This is a great activity to show kindness between family members. Read the book, How Full is Your Bucket? or for younger kids, Bucket Filling from A to Z: The Key to Being Happy. Talk about how kindness makes others feel.
You can do this two ways. The first way is to have a bucket or jar with marbles. Every time a family member does a kind thing, they put a marble in the jar.
The second way is to cut out a bucket to tape to the wall or hang on the refrigerator. Then cut out some circles. Every time someone does something kind, write it down on a circle and tape it into the bucket.
At the end of every week, spend time sharing all the kind things you did for each other.
Books about Kindness
The Berenstain Bears Think of Those in Need by Stan Berenstain
How Full is Your Bucket? by Tom Rath
Stick and Stone by Beth Ferry
Kindness is Cooler, Mrs. Ruler by Margery Cuyler
The Kindness Quilt by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace
How Kind by Mary Murphy
What Does it Mean to be Kind? by Rana DiOrio
Bucket Filling from A to Z: The Key to Being Happy by Carol McCloud
Take time out this week to show your little ones what it means to be kind.