WorkybooksELAInstilling Kindness in Kids: 5 Classroom Strategies for Effective Teaching

Instilling Kindness in Kids: 5 Classroom Strategies for Effective Teaching

teaching kindness

We all know that teaching kindness to children is an important part of parenting and education. It’s never too early to start instilling values of compassion and empathy in children, and the more we can do to foster kindness in kids, the better off our society will be.

How do you define ‘Kindness’

Kindness is when you do something nice or helpful for someone else, like helping them, smiling at them, or sharing your toys.

Click here for dictionary definition of  kindness 

Here are a few proven kindness strategies for teaching young kids:

Strategy 1:  Lead by example and show your kid what kindness looks like!

One of the best ways to teach kindness to elementary school kids is through example. Parents and teachers should lead by example and be kind to others, both in front of their kids and when they’re not around. Kids learn from what they see, so if they see adults being kind to others, they’re more likely to follow suit.

Strategy 2: Create a culture of kindness in the classroom with these awesome ideas!

Teaching kids to be kind to others not only helps them develop important social skills, but it also helps foster a stronger sense of community. The importance of being kind to others can not be stated enough.

One of the best ways to encourage kindness in the classroom is to create a kindness jar. This is a simple activity that can be done with any age group. All you need is a jar, some slips of paper, and a pen. Have each student write down at least one kind deed they can do for another student, such as helping someone with their homework or sharing a snack. Place all of the slips of paper into the jar and encourage students to do one kind deed each day.

Another fun way to teach kindness is through role playing. Have students act out different scenarios where they must choose between being kind or unkind. Discuss the different outcomes of each scenario and how being kind can make a positive difference.

You can also encourage random acts of kindness outside of the classroom. Have students brainstorm ideas for kind deeds they can do for others, such as helping the elderly in their community or making cards for the homeless. Then, give them the opportunity to carry out their ideas and make a positive impact on the world.

Many schools have programs that are designed to help kids learn about compassion and empathy. These activities range from discussions to role-playing scenarios. They’re a great way for kids to learn about kindness in a fun and interactive way.


Strategy 3: Dive into these heartwarming books on Kindness

You can also teach kindness to elementary school kids through books and stories. Reading books that emphasize kindness and empathy can help kids understand the importance of being kind to others. It’s an easy way to get the message across without having to lecture them.

1. “The Kindness Quilt” by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace – This beautifully illustrated book follows a group of animal friends as they each contribute a patch to a kindness quilt. The quilt becomes a symbol of the love and care they have for each other, and teaches readers about the power of small acts of kindness.
2. “Have You Filled a Bucket Today?: A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids” by Carol McCloud – This book encourages children to “fill buckets” by showing kindness and love to others. It teaches the concept of an “emotional bucket” and how important it is to fill others’ buckets by being kind, and how good it feels to have our own buckets filled by the kindness of others.
3. “Random Acts of Kindness” by Dawn Huebner – This interactive book prompts readers to think about different ways they can show kindness to others and includes ideas for simple acts of kindness that kids can do every day.
4. “Roses are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink” by Diane deGroat – This humorous book tells the story of Gilbert the opossum, who learns the value of kindness when he realizes the hurtful things he has been saying to his friends. It’s a fun way to teach kids about the importance of using kind words.
5. “The Invisible Boy” by Trudy Ludwig – This book tells the story of a boy named Brian who is often overlooked by his classmates. When a new student named Justin arrives, Brian finds the courage to show kindness and be a good friend to him. It’s a heartwarming reminder that everyone has something special to offer, and that a little kindness can go a long way.
6. “The Giving Tree ” by Shel Silverstein – This classic children’s book tells the story of a tree that selflessly gives to a young boy throughout his life. It’s a poignant reminder of the power of generosity and the importance of giving back to others.
7. “The Jelly That Wouldn’t Wobble” by Michael Rosen – In this fun and imaginative story, a group of friends work together to save a wobbly jelly from falling off the table. The book teaches kids about teamwork, friendship, and the importance of helping others in need.
8. “The Golden Rule” by Ilene Cooper – This book introduces the concept of the Golden Rule – “treat others the way you want to be treated” – to young readers. It’s a simple yet powerful message that teaches kids about kindness and empathy towards others.
9. “How Full Is Your Bucket?” by Tom Rath and Mary Reckmeyer – This book teaches kids about the importance of filling others’ “emotional buckets” through acts of kindness and appreciation. It’s a great way to help kids understand the impact they can have on the people around them.
10. “The Giving Book: Open the Door to a Lifetime of Giving” by Ellen Sabin – This interactive book encourages kids to think about the different ways they can give back to their communities and make a positive impact on the world. It includes ideas for small acts of kindness, as well as bigger projects that kids can get involved in.

 Reading these books together as a family or in classroom can be a great way to reinforce these important values and help children develop a sense of kindness and generosity towards others.When reading these books, discuss the stories with your kids and ask them questions about what they think and feel. This will help them internalize the lessons of kindness and build their empathy and understanding. It will also give them a chance to think about how they can show kindness to others in their own lives.

I hope these book suggestions help spark a love of kindness in young readers! There are so many more  wonderful children’s books that teach valuable lessons about empathy, compassion, and understanding towards others.

Strategy 4: Spread  love by rewarding kind actions

Finally, it’s important to reward and recognize kind behavior. Whenever you see a child being kind to another, it’s important to acknowledge it. Here are a few ways to reward good behavior to elementary kids:

Rewarding good behavior is a great way to encourage children to be kind and caring to others:
1. Praise: Praise is an effective way to reinforce positive behaviors. When children show kindness or helpfulness, it should be acknowledged and praised. This will encourage them to continue to be kind and generous.
2. Rewards: Rewards can be physical or non-physical. Physical rewards can include toys, books, or small treats. Non-physical rewards can include compliments, extra playtime, or a special activity.
3. Recognition: Recognition can be a great way to reward kindness. Acknowledging a child’s kind behavior in front of peers or other adults can make them feel special and appreciated.

Strategy 5: Celebrate World kindness day

November 13th marks World Kindness Day, a global celebration of kindness and its power to bring people from all walks of life together in a spirit of understanding and compassion. On this day, people are encouraged to take the time to do something nice for someone else, such as donating to a charity, volunteering, or simply holding the door open for someone. Celebrate World Kindness Day by being kind to someone that day. It can be as simple as smiling at someone you pass on the street, or as complex as taking on a leadership role in your community.

Here is another useful article on raising kind kids.

30 Kindness synonyms
1. Sweet
2. Nice
3. Caring
4. Polite
5. Gentle
6. Attentive
7. Gracious
8. Forgiving
9. Tactful
10. Tolerant
11. Friendly
12. Generous
13. Gracious
14. Benevolent
15. Sympathetic
16. Charitable
17. Hospitable
18. Respectful
19. Good-natured
20. Amiable
21. Cordial
22. Tender
23. Considerate
24. Thoughtful
25. Courteous
26. Humane
27. Altruistic
28. Philanthropic
29. Magnanimous
30. Compassionate

Let’s take the time to spread kindness through our actions and words!

Wishing you all a happy and kind 2023 from the Workybooks Team!

Neha Goel Tripathi, PhD

Accomplished sustainability educationist with over 20 years of experience in city planning, architecture and teaching. Experienced in research and consultancy on various projects covering climate change, sustainability, eco-sensitive zones, and smart cities. Passionate educator currently working on innovating climate change curriculum for K-12 students. I am driven to nurture students' critical thinking and awareness on environmental sustainability.

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