I love thinking of new ways to teach my kids about kindness. My son is still too young to understand, but my daughter is almost 4 and she is definitely old enough to get it! That’s why I created a Holiday Kindness Challenge for the whole family! But it got me thinking, wouldn’t it be great to have a similar kindness challenge just for kids? What a great way for kids to feel a sense of responsibility and to take ownership for their acts of kindness!
Behold, the Holiday Kindness Challenge – KIDS edition:
How to introduce the kindness challenge to your kids
- Start by asking your kids what it means to be kind – Talk about some examples they may have experienced (e.g., sharing toys, cleaning up your mess, playing with new friends, letting other kids have a turn first, inviting kids to play who are by themselves, etc.).
- Have your kids reflect on how they felt when someone was kind to them (and when someone wasn’t kind to them) – When I asked my daughter this, she said that sometimes nobody played with her on the playground and she seemed sad about it. So we talked about how that made her feel and would she want someone else to feel like that? It was sort of an “aha” moment for her, when she realized that she could have that effect on someone else.
- Read through all the acts of kindness together – Ask your kids if they think they could do each act. Each task is relatively simple; there are only a few that would require parental involvement. So it’s empowering for them to know they can complete the challenge mostly on their own. My daughter was pretty excited about it and wanted to get started right away! She even seemed (almost) excited when I asked her if she thought she could find 3 toys to donate so that other boys and girls could play with them. There was only the tiniest hint of reluctance when she realized that meant parting with her toys, but she didn’t try to negotiate once!
- Put the challenge in a place where they will see it every day – Make sure that if you’re putting the challenge on the fridge or on a bulletin board, that it is at eye level. Even if your kid can’t read yet, they can still look at the challenge to pick which tasks they want to complete, and they are able to understand which tasks have been completed by crossing them off or using stickers.
- Get some stickers! – Make it fun for your kids! Kids of all ages love stickers (though markers/crayons work too!) And they might already have some experience using stickers to indicate their achievements (maybe with potty training, chores, etc,). So get some fun stickers for them to put on each completed act of kindness and let them experience that feeling of accomplishment!
Feel free to follow along on our kindness journey this month on Instagram stories. And if you and/or your kids are doing the challenge(s) too (there is a family-friendly version that’s not just for kids available here), be sure to tag me (@heartprojectca) so that I can follow along on your kindness journey too!
Thanks for spreading kindness!
With love and gratitude,