Kindness can make a world of difference in someone’s day. We can all think of a time when a kind word or gesture put a smile on our face, and in contrast, how we felt when on the receiving end of actions that were not so kind. Creating and sharing the good feelings that come with both receiving and giving kindness can be contagious, and in turn can lead to a ripple effect of positive outcomes.
Like so many other skills in life, kindness can be taught, encouraged and passed on to others. Along with empathy and compassion, kindness is an important component in healthy social-emotional development for children and can be incorporated into lessons in the classroom. Just like with math and reading, with some practice and encouragement, kindness can become second-nature.
Kindness Activities for Students of All Ages
Kindness counts whether you’re big or small, young or old, short or tall. KIndness counts for all. But how can we teach kindness to students? Here are a few favorite kindness activities for students of any age to get the positive vibes flowing:
Have students paint uplifting messages and pictures on rocks that can be hidden around the school, playground, park or neighborhood for others to discover and keep.
Post a note
Write short notes like, “smile, someone loves you” or “have a great day,” on sticky notes that students can place randomly around the classroom or throughout the school.
Send a card
Bring in a stack of blank greeting cards for students to fill out with kind messages and send them to family, friends, service members, essential workers, senior centers or a children’s hospital.
Write a gratitude letter
Encourage students to think of someone who has made a difference in their lives, such as a parent, grandparent, former teacher, and write a letter expressing their gratitude.
Pay it forward
Paying for the next person’s coffee isn’t the only way to pay it forward. Students can think of a task that another student might be assigned to and complete it for them, or do a chore at home that another sibling is usually responsible for and spread the good feelings.
If there is “student of the month” award or a recognition program at your school, students can anonymously nominate someone they would like to be honored.
Make a kindness calendar
Create a calendar full of ideas that exemplify and demonstrate kindness and have students complete the designated activity each day.
Read a book about kindness
Hearing stories about kindness in action can help bring the concept to life for students.
Volunteering can be one of the most fulfilling ways to spread kindness. Activities can range for all ages, including a park clean-up day, making gift boxes or school supply backpacks for children, helping an animal shelter or planning a concert at a senior center.
Organize a donation drive
Students can work together to plan and host a donation drive for any number of needs, such as books, clothes, pet food and canned goods.
Plant a seed of kindness
Watch how kindness can grow when you plant a seed and give it what it needs to thrive. Students can plant a tree, flower bulb or any type of seed and provide the care it needs as they truly bring this lesson to life.
Check Out Prizes and School Supplies
Kindness is a gift that comes from the heart, but sometimes it helps to have a little guidance and encouragement. As you share these kindness activities with your students, let GEDDES help with ideas to reward their special gestures. Shop online at Raymond Geddes for prizes and novelty items, or contact us today to learn more. School supply catalogs are also available to request.