Kindness. An intrinsic reaction of showing gratitude and generosity to those around us. Kindness changes everything. These kindness activities for kids will inspire your families or classroom to offer kind words and kind acts to family members, friends, or classmates.
Recent events in my life have left me to consider that definition of kindness. Kindness used to be something I took for granted. In my little conservative Christian bubble, I had not been exposed to unkindness on a daily level. It was common to experience the unkindness of circumstances and society, but the unkindness of Christianity has crept into my life over the last year and truly shaken my foundation.
The interesting thing is that I’m truly starting to understand that the unkindness that I’m seeing will have a direct effect on how my children are modeled kindness. Kindness seems to be fading in our world and I’ve decided that kindness is something that we need to start intentionally modeling for our children. Kindness changes everything, but it must be modeled.
“Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.”1 John 3:18 (ESV)
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”Ephesians 4:29 (ESV)
Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.1 Peter 3:8-9 (ESV)
The importance of kindness cannot be understated. Let’s dive into how we can teach kindness to our children and 8 of the top kindness activities for kids!
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Kindness Changes Everything
Selfish pursuit leads to unkindness. But when someone is truly kind, kindness changes everything. Why do we need to teach kindness to our children? Although circumstances vary, I find that adults are often subtly teaching children unkindness.
Let’s take an example.
A mechanic that you trust has severely messed up your car. There’s no doubt that the problem is the mechanic’s fault. They fixed the problem, but due to their improper use of equipment, the parts of your car have been damaged.
You pay your bill without an angry word to the company. Good job you tell yourself, my Christian attitude was on par. I held it together even though they deserved my anger for ruining a valuable possession. Inside you are boiling at the injustice done.
At home, you slam your car door and walk inside only to find your spouse and children waiting for dinner. These are your trusted allies, and they will understand the injustice done to you. Calmly you spew out all the negativity your heart has towards the incompetence of the company that ruined the parts of your car. Your spouse sympathizes and even feels the unfairness of the situation. Your children listen with rapt attention.
Later that week you drive by the mechanic with your family and again tell your story of how that company is not to be trusted. Confidently you tell your family we will not be taking our vehicles back there again. Someone at work hears the story, you chat about it with friends at church, and share your experience with family. Not once do you raise your voice or call out a specific person. An injustice has been done and you are just sharing your experience.
Then one day you hear your young son talking to a friend at church, my family will never take our cars to ______ again, they are idiots there and none of them will probably go to heaven.
This story is fictitious, but the essence of it is an actual real-life story. The ripple effect of selfishness leads to unkindness and that ripple has far-reaching consequences. Unkindness does not have to be directed at a specific person; unkindness is a ripple effect.
For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.James 3:16 (ESV)
Teaching our kids kindness is a task that starts with us. It starts with adults.
Kindness Activities for Kids
These are some of the best activities there are for teaching kindness to little ones and reinforcing what Biblical kindness means. There are so many ways to explain the concept of kindness to children, so use these resources as you incorporate kindness into your family’s daily life!
Remember, one of the best ways to teach your kids kindness is to be an example yourself! Show them, yourself, and others kindness and your children will notice!
Let’s dive into these top 8 kindness activities for kids!
1. Use Kindness Coloring Pages
Using kindness coloring pages is a fun activity and a fun way to engage children in the verbiage and culture of kindness. They can be used at a free art table, to reinforce a lesson, or even in conjunction with a Fruits of the Spirit lesson!
Here are a few options for finding kindness coloring pages.
- Bible Verse Coloring Pages from Kingdom Bloggers
- Clothe Yourself with Kindness Coloring Pages
- Kindness Coloring Pages by Lisa Markle Sparkles
- Kindness Coloring Pages from Healing Home
Coloring pages would be a great thing to have out in a classroom during World Kindness Day!
2. Read Books about Kindness
There are so many books out there that demonstrate kind behavior. Here are just some of our favorite books that include a kindness element. These are specifically great for young children.
Kindness is My Superpower by Alica Ortego – Did you know that 90% of parents say that one of their top goals is for their children to be caring? What a goal! This kind of positive behavior does not just appear overnight. This is a lovely story with rhymes and charm. It is a great book to reinforce good behaviors and manners.
Tomas Looks Up & Out – This book published by New Growth Press is a new release and it’s adorable! Follow Tomas as he learns what is means to truly be a good friend and put aside selfish desires.
The Gratitude Jar – Gratitude and kindness go hand-in-hand. The concept of the gratitude jar can easily be changed to a kindness jar. The story is about Mina and how she always feels sorry for herself until her family starts a gratitude jar and she begins to realize just how blessed she is.
I love this jar that is specifically made for these types of activities. Have your children do kind things and fill up the jar time and time again!
Order any of these books through the images below.
3. Create Kindness Rocks
Around a nearby town kindness rocks are everywhere! We find them on the street, inside doorways, and by the hospital. My kids love it. They love picking up these rocks, reading the message, taking them home, and then dropping them off at a new location.
The concept of kindness rocks is that children paint rocks with messages and encouragement and give or hide them for others to find. It’s a wonderful way to show kindness to strangers!
An excellent book to pair with this activity is Scribble Stones or Kindness Rocks. Although you can paint on any rock, I find it helpful when you have flat rocks like these. Learn more at the Kindness Rocks Project.
4. Write Thank You Notes
You wouldn’t believe what a simple act like writing a Thank You note does. I find that my boys are resistant to this task and I find that fascinating. As a society, we have let go of many of the basic manners that our ancestors considered essential. Something like a thank-you note demonstrates not only kindness but proper etiquette.
It does not have to be fancy, it could be as simple as having your child write a thank you note or sticky notes, or as extravagant as as real paper thank you note.
If you would like to print something off for your kids, here is a simple Canva template for a basic thank-you note.
Here are a few more resources for proper manners.
Madame Chic has an excellent book for teaching manners to children called Connoisseur Kids.
My friend LeeAnn at Bible Study Printables has a wonderful gratitude journal for kids printable that you could also use as a thank-you note in certain situations.
5. Use a Kindness Calendar
Using a kindness calendar is a great way to show others in your community or sphere of influence what kindness means to your family. This can especially be effective for younger children. A great time of the year for this is during the Christmas holidays.
My friend LeeAnn at Bible Study Printables has a Kindness calendar with random acts of kindness ideas throughout the month of December.
Not Consumed also has some wonderful resources for doing random acts of kindness during the holidays with a beautiful kindness tree. Here idea of being “RACKED” is super cute and would be great to do with older kids!
Lastly, my friend Books by Corrine has an editable love and kindness calendar that you can use time and time again!
6. Create Kindness Cards
There are so many types of kindness cards out there. You could search for hours and still not reach the bottom of the amount of kindness cards there are! This kindness activity is great for elementary students and young students alike. These cards have simple acts of kindness or kindness phrases of encouragement.
If you are looking to print your own kindness cards, Kids Activities has a great and FREE printable!
7. Start a Gratitude/Kindness Jar
As I’m writing this, we are in the midst of creating our Thanksgiving Turkey. Each year I love this activity, but I wish it could continue year-round! As I’ve stated before, kindness and gratitude go hand in hand. Doing a kindness jar similar to the type explained in the Gratitude Jar book would be a way of incorporating kind actions into your home!
I have been tempted many times to grab this very pretty jar and create our own kindness jar that we as a family would fill each year. It would be a blast in January to look back at all the intentionally kind things we did for each other.
Here is a basic template that you can modify on Canva if you would like to start your own kindness jar!
8. Participate in a Kindness Challenge
There are ample kindness challenges out there. Here are a few challenges that I have found over the years and feel like I can recommend them to you and your family. It would be a powerful practice to do a yearly kindness challenge as a family. Start at an early age and it will be a tradition that lasts a lifetime.
Often the best kindness activities take place during a kindness challenge. During a consistent challenge, we encourage children to practice kindness on a daily basis. This is an excellent way to teach children to show kindness on a regular basis.
- Random Acts of Kindness for February by Joyful Life Magazine (comes with a printable!)
- Specific to Kids is this adorable Kindness Challenge printable by Natural Beach Living
- I love Not Consumed’s Kindness printable, which is perfect for a kindness challenge!
Kindness In the Bible
Little children cry when their toys break because they know intrinsically that brokenness is wrong. Yet we teach our children not to throw the toy in anger, but to work through the emotions that plague their little hearts with compassion and love. We might help them repair the toy, or even buy a new one, but most of our energy is not focused on fixing the problem as much as it is guiding our children in how to work through the disappointment of brokenness in a constructive manner.
Yet, when we face adult brokenness, how do we respond? The car mechanic is dishonest, so we let everyone know that they are not to be trusted. We get cut off on the road, and we honk our horns. We see a person who has been difficult at the store, and we quickly dash into the next section to avoid contact. A social media post gets misinterpreted, and we harbor resentment and anger. Our Church isn’t operating how we think it should, so we pull our tithing.
Dear people of God, we can still approach brokenness with sorrow and regret without an outpour of unkindness in our hearts. Kindness is not just an outward act, but an intrinsic reaction. When done right, kindness changes everything.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.Galatians 5:22-23 (ESV)
Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.1 John 3:18 (ESV)
You brood of vipers! How can you speak good things, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.Matthew 12:34 (ESV)
More Kindness Resources
Are you as convinced as I am that kindness changes everything? I am even more convinced that I need to start looking deeper at teaching my kids to be kind. In fact, there is an entire book on this matter called “Teaching Kids to be Kind” by psychologist Rachael Tomlinson.
Rachel is an experienced psychologist and parenting expert who has worked with children and families in general counseling, play therapy, women’s refuge, education settings, children’s care, domestic violence, and trauma counseling. She has also delivered presentations at national conferences on topics relating to playing therapy and trauma and provides expert commentary to the media on parenting and mental health topics. You can read more about Rachel on her website Toward Well Being.
There are so many other books about kindness that are great to read and meditate on. Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World was one of the best books on the subject of kindness and gratitude that I have ever read.
Listen to one of my favorite quotes from Rachael Tomlinson:
“It’s easy to believe that simply being kind to our child is enough; however we may forget to apply this ideal to others in our lives (family, friends, strangers), and all this does is confuse our children.”Rachel Tomlinson, Teaching Kids to be Kind
Here are some other kindness resources that I have found helpful.
- Best Random Acts of Kindness by One Exceptional Life
- 101 Simple Ways to Spread Kindness by One Exceptional Life
- Christmas Kindness Activities by Families with Grace
How can we Show Kindness to Others?
Biblically speaking kindness should become a natural instinct to us as Christians. Learning gratitude as children also can lead us to be kinder. As we understand how much we are grateful for, kindness towards others will naturally well up inside and spill over into good deeds and good works.
Maybe this post has made you do some thinking. How can you incorporate more kindness into your kid’s lives? There are so many different ways to show kindness to others. Something as simple as a ‘thank you’ can make someone’s day.
We’ve covered a lot of ground in this post, haven’t we? From the acknowledgment that kindness changes everything, to a discussion about biblical kindness, over to the kindness of Jesus, and finally landing on teaching kids to be kind. Goodness, this was a lot!
Kindness can truly change your life, let’s start a revolution of kindness! What other kindness practices do you do with your family? I hope these kindness activities for kids have inspired you to add more kindness to your home!
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