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Family Activities that Teach Kindness

If you are like most people, you may be discouraged by feelings of division right now. Fortunately, it only takes a bit of kindness to remind you that we are all in this life together. If you are hoping to infuse a bit of kindness into your family, you may wonder how to involve your young children. Kids of any age can participate in being kind to others, and when they learn different ways to be kind, they can grow up to have more empathy for others. Here are just a few ideas you might want to try at home.

Pick Some Flowers
While you may have missed May Day on the first of this month, you don’t need a designated day to surprise your neighbors with flowers. Simply tie a few blooms together (use yarn you already have lying around or ribbon from your Christmas decorations), put them on a neighbor’s step, ring the doorbell, and run away to hide. Your kids will love seeing the surprise on your neighbor’s face, and the hiding part just makes everything more exciting. Besides, you are teaching your child that kindness doesn’t have to be recognized in order to be meaningful.

Write a Note
Have a grandparent that lives far away? Take time one afternoon to draw a picture and write a note to stick in the mailbox. This is a great way to brighten the day of someone who lives far away, and going to the mailbox is a fun experience for your child as well.

Make Two
The next time you are working on a craft at home, encourage your child to make two of them – one to keep and one to give away. Let your child choose who they want to give the second craft to. This allows them to have a choice over who they are going to be kind to, and it is almost always a great way to take a glimpse into the mind of your child.

Use Your Money
If your child is old enough to make their own money, whether through chores or other odd jobs, consider having them put some of their earnings in an envelope to give to an organization they care about. After they save it up, you can take them into the organization to make their donation. Even a few dollars from a child can make a huge difference and lift everyone’s spirits.

Birthday Fun
Finally, consider making a birthday a time to encourage giving in others. You can ask guests to bring money to donate to a cause in lieu of gifts, or collect spare change in baggies to give to a favorite organization. Write letters or color pictures to send to the local children’s hospital, or make painted rocks to hide throughout the neighborhood.

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