Creative Random Acts of Kindness Activities for Teachers and Counselors in the Classroom

Whether we’re seeing frequent conflicts, a general lack of enthusiasm for learning, or a lapse in social etiquette, I’ve got some creative ways of integrating kindness into your primary (K-3) programs in fun, low-prep ways.
“Put the I in Kind!”, “Use the golden rule!”, “Be the change you want to see in the world!”, “Throw kindness around like confetti!”.
We preach these one-liners and try to implement positive reinforcement as fervently as we’d baste a turkey, yet most of us still find that our classroom management is missing something. Using colloquial expressions is a good place to start, however, primary-aged children are not programmed to understand concepts without being given hands-on, concrete opportunities.

Here are some whole-group or schoolwide ideas to foster kindness in your programs:

- Create a kindness rock garden

I am loving this set from FaveCrafts

- Work on STEM + Empathy Challenges

- Have a kindness fashion show during which everyone shows up as their superpower (e.g., Comedy Kid, Manners Man, Door-Opener Darian, etc.)

- Inspired by this initiative in Baltimore, ask your local coffee shop for a class set of cup sleeves and have students decorate them with kind, uplifting messages

- Have students bring in small items (notebooks, balloons + flour to make stress balls, bubbles, etc.) to assemble regulation kits for local youth mental health organizations

These cards for peers and community helpers are a fan favorite- nothing makes a child light up more than creating something for those who mean the most to them. This is a powerful way to encourage students to look for opportunities to pay it forward, wherever they go.
Have students sneak them in library books, send as a batch to local hospitals, fire stations, to teachers or students around the school or nursing homes.

A child’s superpower is their ability to learn through observation so the number one action that we could take to foster a kind, inclusive environment is to do so by modeling. I loved connecting emotional intelligence to community circles.

“I feel happy today because I met someone new! I helped them carry out their groceries and felt good that I was able to do that for them.”

“I felt sad today for a friend whose dog has run away.”

"I felt my heart beating fast when I knew my big work presentation was coming up. I think my body was telling me that I was nervous, so I watched some funny videos to try and relax."

Students are then invited to share their own experiences, which can bring up a multitude of ways to help, that some children might not have even considered!

 

Pro tip: You can extend the community circle, by having students write their idea on a sticky note to add to an Acts of Kindness anchor chart. I would add Kind to Self, Kind to Others and Kind to the Planet columns.

Random Acts of Kindness Day - 17 February

Pay It Forward Day - 28 April

World Kindness Day - 13 November

There are so many opportunities to have fun with random acts of kindness but it can be overwhelming to come up with ideas. I suggest this FREE random acts of kindness challenges that you can customize to best fit your program and instil a sense of excitement for each daily, weekly or monthly challenge.

Click the image below to grab this freebie

 

Empathy is at the core of random acts of kindness as it presents the why behind the actions. Intentionally carving out time to recognize and sit with these emotions and to see perspective through the eyes of a friend is what will foster long-term, heart-centered change-makers. 

In this free Empathetic Elephant mini lesson, primary students and counseling groups will discuss what being empathetic looks, sounds and feels like. It will also give them an opportunity to explore a variety of social skills scenarios to make the learning authentic.

 

In addition, you can check out some of our favorite YouTube videos on empathy and compassion below:

 

 World Kindness Day Videos

 

 

 

 

When in doubt, share a story. There is a plethora of read alouds that focus on the meaning of friendship: from respecting personal space, including and encouraging others, helping those in need or celebrating differences. See the collage below for some of my very favorites!

 

 

To extend their thinking, encourage your children or students to find evidence of kindness in ANY picture book, with this free set of Kind Finders:

Shout-out to Erika @torontoteacher for her overwhelming support & for sharing  the SEL activities that she tries with her class. This beauty gets all the credit for this gorgeous shot of our free Kind Finders in the blog thumbnail.

 

Visual reminders in primary classrooms and counseling offices are a give-in. 

Try:

Collaborative Kindness Poster

Kindness Matters Collaborative Poster

 

A Kindness Lesson

 

Tell your little ones that the heart represents one kind act and the waves show the impact of this action or these words. You can even have them label the colors with emotions (e.g., gratitude, joy, excitement, pride).

To re-create this experiment, simply add milk to a shallow plate and add food coloring spots. Next, dip a foam piece in some dish soap and watch the magic as you drop it into the milk mixture!

Bucket Fillers

 

 

RAOK Random acts of kindness day ideas

 

Make your early finisher and morning work activities meaningful, by seamlessly weaving kindness into your programs. 

Kindness Coloring Pages

 

Make My Heart Go Boom Activity Pack

Kind acts craft for kids for random acts of kindness on TPT

Kind Words Stick Craft

kindness activity for social emotional learning for random acts of kindness week

Super Friend Flip Craft

Looking to SAVE on kindness activities for the year?

Check out the growing bundle:

 

What's your favorite read aloud to teach kindness to your child/ class?
Let me know in the comments below!
You might also like the blog post for: Anti-Bullying Activities for Elementary

 

Lots of love,
Namaste in School

 


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