Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Random Acts of Kindness

What a great day we had learning and being kind to each other. The children truly embraced and understood the meaning of Random Acts of Kindness.

As each child entered the classroom I gave them a big hug, told them how nice it was to see them and said something nice about what they were wearing, how they looked, smiled, laughed or talked.

Ephesians 4:32 says:
"Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you."

If you haven’t picked up the book “Sharing, How Kindness Grows”, by Fran Shaw (ISBN 0794411436) it is a must read to children, they really enjoyed it.

After our story time, I asked the children if they experienced anyone being kind to them today. The responses I received were wonderful:

“My mommy kissed me and said she loves me”

“Daddy put on my shoes”

“Mommy made me cereal for breakfast”

“Miss Barb gave me a hug at the door”, then there was a chorus of “me too!” a whole bunch of times.

“My brother shared his toys with me”

“My big sister brushed my hair and helped me get dressed”

Before class I had put out several different centers to inspire the children to make kindness gifts for others.

· One table had blank cards, envelopes, markers, stickers, and real postage stamps
(one for each child)

· I set up easels with large paper, paint and brushes

· There was a center set up with string, beads and jewels

· The last center was set up with collage material, a wooden plank for the base, glue,
glue brushes and paint

I explained to the children that they get to create kindness gifts for whoever they wanted and could chose one or all of the centers to create from.

By the end of class we had an abundance of gifts and the children were giddy about giving their gifts away. The children that made the cards were so excited that I was going to mail them. I encouraged them to keep it a secret from whomever they wrote the card to, but I am guessing this will be a hard request for a 3 year old J

There was one little girl that wanted to make a gift from each station for a different person. In addition, she made a painting for her dog, Barney.

Before the parents arrived, I asked the children how it felt about making kindness gifts and they said it was so much fun and could they do it again tomorrow? I explained that they could do kind things every day and that it didn’t just have to be gifts. I shared they could be kind by:

· Picking up their toys

· Putting their clothes in the hamper

· Making sure their dog or cat had water and food

· Sharing with their brothers, sisters and friends

· Saying their prayers and praying for the poor, sick and elderly

I think we sometimes forget to be kind to others in our busy lives. But, I truly believe that when we practice random acts of kindness it is contagious and others want to do the same. What better way to start it than with 3 and 4 year old children?

Next week I will be writing about one of my favorite and passionate lessons. “Be Kind to Our Earth”, I know you will enjoy it.

Have a peaceful, joyful and kind week!