Having compassion for others and treating those around us with kindness doesn’t have to be taught. It’s often learned through model behavior and comes naturally to many kids. But there are many activities for kids that further encourage a ‘kindness mindset’. In bringing awareness to situations that require compassion and empathy, children will begin to view others with a more understanding lens.
These activities and acts of kindness will help children interact and engage with the world around them in a compassionate and empathetic way:
1. Play a cooperative, team-building game with friends.
Playworks is a non-profit organization that supports learning and physical health among children. It’s a great resource with a number of examples of team-based games for kids.
2. Volunteer at an animal shelter.
Teaching compassion for animals is a great way to practice empathy, kids are naturally drawn to animals and love to help them.
3. Visit the elderly.
Your children can sing songs, perform a short skit, or play an instrument.
4. Join a family fun run that donates money to a charitable cause.
Discuss and research the cause with your children beforehand.
5. Volunteer at a food bank.
This is an excellent hands-on way for kids to help out and also get a better sense of the struggles that some face.
6. Make a family Kindness Jar.
The Kindness Jar is a simple system of positive reinforcement that promotes kind behavior and acknowledges the effects of unkind behaviors.
7. Write a kind note for a family member.
Having your child take a moment for positive considerations and then articulate it in a note does well to foster kindness.
8. Make a homemade bird feeder to put in your yard.
Check out some interesting ways to create your own bird feeder from everyday recycled materials.
9. Bring your teacher a drawing or small gift.
It will show how much your child appreciates their hard work and dedication!
10. Sponsor a child from another country.
You can help children living in underprivileged communities through organizations like World Vision.
11. Read stories from the Make-a-Wish website or watch some of their YouTube videos.
Make-a-Wish has a collection of touching stories for you and your children to read through on their website.
12. Read books about friendship.
Here are a number of books about friendship and love – perfect for children of toddler-to-preschool age.
13. Host a lemonade stand.
Donate the earnings to a worthy organization you and your children have picked together.
14. Write a letter to a soldier.
Operation Gratitude is a great organization to check out to thank soldiers for their commitment and bravery.
15. Bake treats for local firefighters or police officers.
These banana breakfast cookies are a healthy and delicious recipe to go with.
16. Donate pre-loved items to those in need.
Old clothing and toys are two great places to start!
17. Act it out!
Here are 10 scenarios that help kids develop compassion.
These activities will help children gain a deeper understanding for others while teaching them to spread kindness and compassion. Plus, they will feel really good while doing them!