12 Activities and Ideas to Teach Children about Kindness this Summer

Teaching children about kindness should be a priority year-round for all child care providers and families. Utilize the sunshine this summer and get outside while participating in the following kindness activities:

1.  Make beautiful homemade bookmarks and give them out at the library. one

You can make many fun pictures using fingerprints!

2.  Leave out water for the birds

3.  Take a snack to an elderly neighbor

4.  Leave bubbles on someone’s doorstep

5.  Leave heads up pennies on the sidewalk

6.  Record a video message for parents or other family members

Doing this out in nature will make it even better

7.  Have a lemonade stand to raise money for charity or just give out cups of lemonade on a hot day

8.  Share what you are thankful for before snack or a meal

Have a picnic while you’re at it!

9.  Read stories about kindness on a blanket in the yard such as:

twoHave You Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud and David Messing
This book has won 24 awards! While using a simple metaphor of a bucket and a dipper, author Carol McCloud illustrates that when we choose to be kind, we not only fill the buckets of those around us, but also fill our OWN bucket! Conversely, when we choose to say or do mean things, we are dipping into other people’s buckets. All day long, we are either filling up or dipping into each other's buckets by what we say and what we do. When you're a bucket filler, you make the world a better place to be!

threeBe Kind by Pat Zietlow Miller and Jen Hill
From asking the new girl to play to standing up for someone being bullied, this moving story explores what kindness is, and how any act, big or small, can make a difference―or at least help a friend.Be Kind is an unforgettable story about how two simple words can change the world.

fourStrictly No Elephants by Lisa Mantcheve and Taeeun Yoo
Today is Pet Club day. There will be cats and dogs and fish, but strictly no elephants are allowed. The Pet Club doesn’t understand that pets come in all shapes and sizes, just like friends. Now it is time for a boy and his tiny pet elephant to show them what it means to be a true friend.

10.  Play empathy charades

Having empathy for others requires children to put themselves in someone else’s shoes and imagine how they feel. Get outside in the yard and take turns acting out different emotions and guess what people are feeling.

11.  fiveMake a Pinecone Bird Feeder

Materials:

  • Pinecones
  • Peanut Butter, or another nut butter, or vegetable shortening
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Birdseed
  • String Bowls

Instructions:

  • Put the nut butter and birdseed into separate bowls.
  • Have children choose a pine cone.
  • Roll the pinecone in nut butter and spread it over the pinecone using popsicle sticks.
  • Once covered in nut butter, roll the pinecone in the birdseed. Shake excess seed back into the bowl.
  • Let dry, then tie a string to the pinecone to hang it.
  • Make these other feeders to attract/support wildlife!

12.  Make Handmade Thank You Cards with Wax Resist Paint Technique

sixGreat to give to postal workers, sanitation workers, parents, etc. Make these outside and avoid the mess!

Materials:

  • watercolor paints
  • white crayon
  • white card stock or blank gift cards
  • paintbrushes
  • small cups or ice cube tray

Instructions:

  • Take the white crayon, and draw an image or write your words on your white paper. You won’t really be able to see what you’re writing because of the white-on-white, which might make it a little challenging, but don’t worry about being perfect here.
  • Add a couple of drops of each liquid watercolor into the sections of an ice cube tray. Fill a couple of sections with water for the children to wet and rinse their brushes in.
  • Have the children dip their brushes in the water and then in the watercolor and ask them to swipe over the front of the card to reveal the message. The results are beautiful!
  • Have the children help you with wording a special message for each recipient.

We need to be the adults now we want children to be someday. Teaching children about kindness and empathy from a young age and modelling it ourselves can make all the difference.