It’s the start of a new school year! The kids are diving into their studies and adding a new stepping stone to their academic paths. There will, of course, be a lot of focus on sharpening those reading and math skills, BUT…
Why not take some time to teach kindness? Kindness? Yes, that’s right! Let’s throw a little kindness in there too!
Lessons on kindness begin at home, and they begin with your example. Lead the way by doing one or more of these random acts of kindness with your child. You’ll not only brighten someone’s day, but you’ll teach your child a beautiful lesson on serving others and provide an opportunity to spend quality time together.
Begin at Home: Have your child draw a picture, make something, or pick a special prize out for their sibling(s) or other family member(s).
Donate: Go through old toys and books with your child and decide on ones that can be donated. We all know how quickly these items can pile up in our homes. This is especially a great idea to do right before the influx of toys comes at the holidays. Many fire and police stations collect stuffed animals to keep on hand when a child they are helping needs comforting. And libraries are always willing to accept book donations.
Write a Letter: Provide the paper and supplies for your child to write a letter to someone who could use a little cheering up.
Spare Change: Tape bags of change to the vending machines at your local hospital. What a blessing it will be to someone who is probably there visiting a sick friend or family member. The vending machines near the ICU waiting area are a great place to start. When my dad was battling pancreatic cancer, my family spent a lot of time in that part of the hospital. I know from experience the impact a gesture like that can have.
Care Package: Put together a care package with your child. Give it to someone who just had a baby, a sick family member or friend, or an elderly neighbor. The kids can help with the entire process of shopping for the items, boxing them up, and giving them away.
Be a Good Neighbor: Bake treats or make cards for your neighbors. Most kids love to help in the kitchen, so put that desire to good use.
Cookies: Bake cookies to deliver to your community’s fire department, police station, library, nurse’s station at the hospital, or assisted living/nursing home.
Treat a Teacher: Help your child make or purchase a small gift for their teacher at school or their Sunday school teacher at church. If your kids kids aren’t in school yet or they homeschool, give a treat to any teacher that you know.
Buried Treasure: This is one that will get a lot of giggles. Have the kids bury coins or small prizes in the mulch or sandbox at the playground. Other kids will be delighted when they discover the “buried treasure.”
Trash Pick-Up: Armed with trash bags, clean up your neighborhood by gathering trash from the ground. Don’t forget to wear gloves!
Make it Beautiful: Plant flowers or trees in your subdivision or anywhere else in your community where it’s permissible.
Help the Homeless: Put together food gift cards or care packages to hand out to the homeless in your area. The kids and I keep fast food gift cards in the glove box of the car to hand out when we pass by someone in need of a meal. This also provides an opportunity to teach your child an age appropriate lesson on homelessness. Care packages and gift cards can also be donated to a church that will be able to get them to the right place for you.
Something So Simple: Visit the park with extra bubbles to hand out to other kids.
These are just a few suggestions to get your started. Have you tried any of these? Do you have other ideas? How do you teach your kids about kindness? As always, we’d love to hear from you.