With the Christmas season fast approaching, it seemed appropriate to write a post about children, appreciation and kindness.
One idea I particularly like is to help the children create a Kindness Calendar. The children brainstorm for 25 simple ways to show appreciation or kindness. You can choose the form this takes from a variety of ideas. The type of activity will depend on the age of the child. There is a variety of ideas on Pinterest. You can view one example-Random Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar on Coffee Cups and Crayons (coffeecupsandcrayons.com).
Activities with toddlers and pre-schoolers are always so much fun. Here is a link to a lovely kindness calendar for pre-schoolers. http://momsmessymiracles.com/acts-of-kindness-for-preschoolers/
Kindness Kits are another wonderful way to encourage gratitude, kindness and sharing with older children. The kit or container could be an inexpensive backpack, shoebox, or reusable shopping bag, etc. The idea is to pack the kit with items to give to a homeless person or to donate to a shelter. Items might include: soap, shampoo, deodorant, comb, toothbrush and toothpaste, socks, and gloves. Small food items such as granola bars, raisins and pre-packaged cookies could be included.
Younger school-age children might prefer packing school supplies and snacks. Create a teachable moment by having children brainstorm for possible items. Asking the children to print the words is also a way to practice some spelling. (Oops, once a teacher, always a teacher.) When I was a kindergarten teacher, some of the students did not have anything to eat at snack time. I always stocked a cupboard with cereal packs and granola bars.
Reading the charming children’s book The Mitten by Jan Brett is a delightful way to introduce talking about being homeless, sharing warmth, and being kind to others.
Have fun and please share your ideas in the comments section. Thanks with gratitude!