With the holiday season fast approaching your little ones are probably excited about all the good food and presents they will soon be getting. Now is the perfect time to teach your children the importance of kindness and giving back. Inspired by, The Home Grown Preschooler, we’ve gone through 10 great ways to teach your children about kindness and paying it forward with different ways they can get involved.
- A great opportunity for children to have a hand in spreading kindness is creating “Pass Them On” cookies. The idea is to create a couple batches of cookies and bag them up with a few cookies in each bag. Put a blank gift tag on each bag. When you or your little one sees someone they think could really use a smile, give them two bags of cookies. On one bag write their name and then leave the other tag blank. This way, whoever you chose can enjoy the cookies and then pass on the blank bag the way you have and hopefully the kindness will start to spread.
- Write out some thank you notes! Have your children write out and decorate, or just decorate depending on how old they are, some thank you notes to people they think really deserve a thank you. Mail out the notes or hand deliver them if you can! This is a great activity to pair with the Pass Them On cookies.
- This Thanksgiving set an extra plate at the table. Choose someone in your neighborhood or community that doesn’t have anyone to celebrate Thanksgiving with and invite them over to your house for dinner! Even if they don’t accept, an invitation can go a long way!
- Be helpful! If you and your children see someone that needs help whether its an elderly neighbor struggling to rake their leaves or a stressed out mom that needs help getting her shopping done, offer to help! Your little ones will probably be able to come up with a few clever ways to help out people in need.
- This is a simple and easy way to show kindness to a stranger! When you’re in line at the grocery store, offer up your spot to the person behind you! If you’re not in a hurry then this is a great, easy way to pass on the kindness.
- Give out gift cards. Buy some gift cards to coffee shops and hand them out to stressed out parents in stores or let your children give them to their favorite grocery store clerk. Also, if you live in an area with a large homeless population, give out some grocery store gift cards to people that you frequently pass.
- A completely free but effective way to spread kindness and cheer is through a smile! Explain to your little ones the joy that they can spread through simply offering someone a smile!
- Another easy way to do a good deed is to offer to take someone’s cart back for them after they’ve finished using it. If you and your little one see someone finishing unloading their cart into their car, offer to put their cart away for them. This is especially nice for the elderly or moms that are swarmed with little ones. It’s also nice for the workers at the grocery store!
- Create a Thankful Tree. Whether it’s made in paint on a big window or with construction paper on your kitchen wall, have your little ones help you create a large tree. Then, either on Thanksgiving or throughout the holiday season, have everyone in the family write things they are thankful for on leaves and put them on the tree.
- Keep reaching out! Encourage your children to always reach out to those who need help! Let them use their hearts and creativity to find ways to spread kindness and cheer while also teaching them the safe and appropriate ways to do so.
Please tell us in the comments how you and your family teach and spread kindness to the people in your community. If you liked these ideas and want to share them with your family and friends, please click the share button on the side of the blog!