Yes, kindness can be taught. But it is important to start this at a young age so that your child can learn the importance of showing kindness and compassion to others. It’s a great way to reverse a child’s natural tendency to become selfish – a normal thing at their age. Discover fun and effective kindness activities for kids so they learn how to practice kindness and compassion towards others.
Tips Before Engaging in Kindness Activities for Kids
There are lots of activities that you can try if you want to encourage your kids to become kind and compassionate. The golden rule is to start with empathy. Let your child know that they should only treat others the way they want to be treated themselves. The more they understand this, the easier it is for them to show kindness to others.
Kids absorb information like sponges absorb water. They act and learn based on what they see from others. Simply put, they copy based on the example you set. Therefore, you cannot teach your child kindness and compassion if you don’t exhibit those behaviors yourself. Seeing you practice these qualities will have a bigger impact on their own behavior than if you were to preach them to them. Any other activities they are involved with are only designed to encourage this behavior – it should always start with you leading by example.
6 Kindness Activities for Kids
With that in mind, here are some of the top kindness activities for kids to develop this behavior as they grow older.
1. Team-Building Game with Friends
One of the practical settings that your child can learn and apply the act of kindness is in the play area – with their friends and playmates. You can encourage your child to participate in team-based games that require them to cooperate with others.
Exposing them to this setting will help them work with others and show compassion to their peers. Observe their behavior and encourage them when they exhibit positive behavior towards others.
2. Get them involved in a charitable cause.
If you and your family like to donate items such as toys and clothes to a charitable organization in your community, get your child involved. Ask them to pick out any toys or clothes that they no longer use and want to donate to the less fortunate. By getting them involved in the donation drive, they learn the value of sharing with others and giving back to the community.
Make sure that you explain to them what they are doing so they fully appreciate the importance of the act.
3. Ask them to volunteer.
There are several ways for your child to get involved in a volunteer program in your local community. Even preschoolers can get involved in this type of activity, which teaches them the value of kindness and compassion. Volunteering opens their eyes to the value of sharing with others by giving their time and effort to a greater cause.
You can let your child pick what they want to volunteer for. For example, they can volunteer in an animal shelter or the food bank. Make sure to discuss the experience with your child after the activity.
4. Helping other kids
This activity can be done in school or in the play area, or wherever they have the opportunity to socialize with other kids. Encourage your child to help other kids who are having difficulty performing a certain task. Promote the act of compassion by encouraging them to offer their help, no matter how big or small the task is.
5. Read books about kindness
Children love books and stories. One of the best ways that you can teach them about kindness and compassion is by reading them stories about kindness and compassion. There are several stories you can choose from that are appropriate for their age and development. These books have been designed to teach a lesson and to promote acts of kindness towards fellow humans (or animals, depending on the type of story).
Make sure to read at least one book per week. It is also a good idea to focus on one book at a time so they have the opportunity to fully absorb the lessons contained in each book.
6. Give them a kindness jar
The concept of a kindness jar is a very helpful tool when teaching your kid about kindness and compassion. It is also positive reinforcement and gives your child more motivation to do something good for others. It is more effective to promote positive behavior in your child rather than discipline them for doing something negative.
How do you teach kindness and compassion to your child? If you have no idea, you can start with any of the kindness activities for kids listed above and see what method delivers the best results for you.