In my ongoing search for rewarding and FUN ways to share kindness this summer, Kindness Girl, Patience Selgado, and her Magic Wand Project for Kids is one I just have to share. This was such a great way to spend a summer afternoon... especially with friends!
The project was inspired by seven-year-old Jack when he told his sister, "Magic doesn’t come from the world, it comes from people, and their kindness, that’s where magic comes from."
That alone is enough to inspire a day full of random acts of kindness.
But I am embarrassed to admit.... I'm not a huge fan of random acts of kindness. I'm much more inspired by targeted (though often anonymous) acts of compassion and kindness.
And this project, a combination of crafty wand-making and a thoughtful pledge to carry out 3 Acts of Kindness led to a lot of big conversations and some powerful (targeted) acts of kindness.
First we assembled our materials:
- wands from Oriental Trading Company (though you could easily make your own)
- labels from the Kindness Girl site (since I was out of colored ink, we glued them to blue paper to make them pretty)
- ribbon to attach the two
Then we assembled the wands. Between my two girls and their four friends from next door (and both of us moms, of course), the wand-making took about 40 minutes. We tried to get them talking about kindness and the concept of paying it forward. Mostly the kids enjoyed the glue sticks, the ribbon curling, and swinging wands around. They had a great time.
Then it was time for some real contemplation. Each kid was asked to pledge three acts of kindness. The youngest in our crew (four and five year olds) thought of a few small acts they could do for their families. The older ones (7 and 9) added the food shelf, Meals on Wheels, writing more thank you notes and all sorts of other things to their pledges. If you read the note below closely, you'll notice that #2 says "do not be mean to my sisters for a week." I'll have to ask his mom how that went!
We had them turn their pledges into driveway art with the sidewalk chalk.
They had a wonderful time hiding wands in a local park. The hope is that others will find our wands, read about the pledge, and pay forward their own acts of kindness.
The most endearing moment was watching one fearless, seven-year-old girl explain her mission to a rather skeptical gentleman. He declined to accept the wand from her, but she did an awesome job of explaining how kindness can be passed on and on and on and ultimately change the world!
This all makes me think of Extraordinary Mary (a book I originally reviewed as rather dull, but it has become a favorite over the years!)
The kids are still adding kindness ideas to their "pledge" lists, even though they have far exceeded their mandatory three acts.
Plus, we still have a few more wands to hide. What, a great project to have on hand.
Have you participated in the Magic Wand Project? Let us know how your experience has gone!