Learning to Be Kind {Kindness for Kids}

Learning to be kind is an essential life skill for kids.  Not only can kindness for kids help them behave better, but it allows them to cope with more knowledge when they are not shown kindness by others.

Kids Activities Blog loves this fill a bucket concept which is the perfect kindness activities for kids.

learning to be kind

Learning to Be Kind

In an effort to be more mindful, I have discovered amazing resources aimed at guiding children to mindfulness.  It “educates the heart” to react kindly and to embrace happiness.

Being present isn’t tough for young children but the longevity of that ‘skill’ (yes, it is a skill that we’re all born with but lose over time because most of us don’t exercise the brilliance of it) is lost as the business of life takes over our bodies and our minds.

haveyoufilledyourbuckettoday

Kindness for Kids

Have You Filled a Bucket Today? is a children’s book that has particularly resonated with my 3.5 year old son.  The idea behind the book is that each of us carry an invisible bucket. We can choose to keep it full by being kind or we can choose to empty it by being unkind.

We need each other to keep our buckets full.

For example, if I’m walking down the street and I smile at a neighbor, my bucket fills up and my neighbor’s bucket fills up. On the other hand if a playground bully knocks another child down, not only is the bullied child’s bucket empty, the bully is left feeling sad, alone and, well, empty.

The point being is that when we’re unkind, the actions don’t make us feel good. Being kind brings happiness not only to those people around us but to ourselves also.

Kindness Activities for Kids

Although I clearly adore this book, one part that bothers me is that the bucket is invisible, a fairly abstract concept for a 3-6 year old!

Here is how I mitigated that concern. We pulled out our own REAL bucket.

kindness activities for kids

Then, together, we brainstormed words to describe the ways to fill and to empty our buckets. On small pieces of paper, we wrote words like, ‘smile’, ‘hugs,’ ‘helpful’, ‘gratitude’, ‘listen’ and on the other end, ‘rude’, ‘impolite’, ‘using our bodies when we’re angry’, ‘raising our voices,’ ‘ignoring’, ‘throwing our things’, etc.

You get the point.

Doing the activity together is key. That time gives us the opportunity to have a discussion with our children about big words like ‘gratitude’. Chances are as you begin to list things which define ‘gratitude’ in your family’s life your child will act likes faucet and begin to the think of endless things for which to be grateful and ways to be kind.

Kids and Kindness

This book has significantly impacted my son’s behavior (and self regulation of that behavior). If he is not treating his brother well, he’ll stop, look at me and ask, ‘Is my bucket emptying, mom?’ Before nodding, I always make sure to ask him, ‘What do you think?’ He will immediately shift his behavior. I also make a point to ask, “How did that make our body feel?’ Inevitably he says, ‘Not good.’ Followed by, ‘How could you have dealt with the problem differently?”

More Kids Activities

Learning life skills is as important for our children as academic knowledge.  Teach kindness for kids when they are young and they will grow up to be better and happier adults.  Here are a few more kids activities for teaching these important life skills:




Marnie Craycroft About Marnie Craycroft

Marnie writes Carrots Are Orange, a Montessori inspired homeschooling blog she started in 2010 after the birth of her first son. She hails from Maine, a wonderfully down to earth place to grow up. Marnie moved to the west coast in 1999, currently living in Seattle with her husband and two young boys. She is pursuing Montessori certification. Marnie can be found on Facebook, Twitter @OrangeCarrots, Pinterest and Google +.