The beautiful thing about one kind act is that it can inspire a wave of kindness. It also teaches children at any stage about the importance of sharing, generosity, and compassion, and doesn’t require any special equipment or knowledge. There are hundreds of ways, big and small, to show kindness each day. Try one of these activities, to encourage more kindness in your family’s daily life.
Make a kindness jar. Every day brings opportunities for kind deeds at home. To help kids find inspiration, create a jar filled with ideas. To get started, sit down as a family and brainstorm a list of small ways to show kindness, such as: help clear the table, make your sibling’s bed, share the last cookie. Write each idea on a strip of paper, fold it, and put it in a jar. Each family member can draw an idea, then share the results of their actions with the rest of the family.
In the Neighborhood
Show you care. Mister Rogers taught us about being good neighbors and being kind to others we encounter each day. Make and bring a special treat to a neighbor you haven’t met before or one that could use a visit. We baked and decorated Mister Rogers-inspired sugar cookies using an ugly Christmas sweater cookie cutter and royal icing. But any of your family’s favorite cookies or treats will be a nice way to say, hi neighbor.
Need a soundtrack while you prepare to deliver your treats? The new album, Thank You, Mister Rogers: Music & Memories is a delightful (and sometimes tissue-worthy) collection of Fred Rogers’ songs reimagined and recorded by award-winning musicians. Mister Rogers fans are also invited to share their own happy memories of the show at thankyoumisterrogers.com.
Share compliments. Encourage the kids to craft simple bookmarks for their classmates, sharing what they like about each person.
- Large pre-cut tags from the craft store
- Scraps of decorative paper
- Adhesive (glue stick or tape runner)
- Decorative fibers (yarn, twine, ribbon, etc.)
- At the top of each tag, have kids write one of their classmates’ names.
- Tear thin strips from the decorative paper; no need to be perfect, you are going for a rustic look.
- For each bookmark, pick three or four decorative paper strips. Have the kids use a marker to write one thing per strip that they like about that classmate.
- Adhere the strips to the tag. Tie twine, ribbon, or yarn through the hole at the top.
Around Your Community
The new book, Be Kind by Naomi Shulman, shares 125 simple, meaningful ways that kids can make a difference around their community. Try one of these ideas from the book:
- Paint kindness rocks. Use nontoxic paint to add a light, bright message on a few large rocks. Put them somewhere unexpected so people will get a little surprise smile.
- Get your friends together for a community clean-up day. Pick up trash around your neighborhood—and don’t forget to recycle.
- Put the grocery cart away in the store parking lot and take back another cart while you’re at it. (It’s actually kind of fun.)
- Found a scarf on the sidewalk? Tie it to a lamppost so the owner might notice it when walking by.
- When you use a public restroom, wipe the counter with a paper towel so it’s nice and neat for the next person.