SPRING INTO KINDNESS
If you live in Minnesota as I do, it's been a long and particularly harsh winter. We're all desperate for spring-and not only for the balmy weather. Spring also brings light, optimism and lots of opportunities to bring joy to others.
In that spirit, we offer some of our favorite spring-themed kindness projects. So gather your kids and spend a few minutes being helpful during this most hopeful of seasons.
-Jenny Friedman, Executive Director
KIND-SPIRITED IDEAS FOR SPRING
Make a Difference.....
Here are fun ways to celebrate spring with a little kindheartedness.
- Bake birdseed cookies. Share a treat with feathered friends in your own backyard.
- Turn spring cleaning into a kindness project. When you put away winter clothes and pull out your summer duds, donate those that don't fit or that you no longer use. (Be sure they're in good shape.) Here's a Spring Cleaning Donation Guide.
- Celebrate Earth Day. The best way to get kids to care about the earth is to encourage them to love nature. Go on a nature scavenger hunt, explore your backyard with a magnifying glass, visit a nature center, start a nature journal and play in the rain.
- Stuff eggs and leave them for other kids to find. Fill plastic Easter eggs with goodies and hide them at a local park.
- Celebrate May Day by ordering our April Big-Hearted Book Club packet. You'll receive a kindness-themed book to discuss, a May Day project, an original springtime recipe, and stickers!
- Spend an hour on an outdoor clean-up project. As the snow melts, trash appears. Armed with gloves and garbage bag, "adopt" your local park, creek or neighborhood.
- Inspire passersby with chalk. Order sidewalk chalk. Then draw bright, colorful pictures- or write happy quotes. Some examples:
- Think happy. Be happy.
- Be silly, be honest, be kind.
- A kind word is like a Spring day.
- Kind people are the best kind of people.
- Always be kinder than necessary.
LET THE ESSENCE OF SPRING BLOSSOM
Talk About It.....
What better time to talk about putting a new focus on kindness than during the blooming of spring? Here are some dinner-table conversation starters:
What's one small act of kindness our family could take on?
What can we give to someone that doesn't cost money?
What's the best gift you ever gave to someone? Why was it so special?
What's your favorite way to make someone smile?
What's the best compliment you ever gave or received? How does it make you feel to get a compliment? To give a compliment?
Learn About It.....
These two children's books celebrate hopefulness and our deep connection to the planet.
Good People Everywhere by Lynea Gillen, illustrated by Kristina Swarner. Ages 3 and up. A beautifully inspiring book filled with examples and activities that encourage children to live with kindness and gratitude as they look for the good in all people.
The Earth & I by Frank Asch. Ages 4-8. A sweet story celebrating the reciprocal relationship between a young boy and the earth. Filled with bright, dreamy watercolor illustrations.
"It's not our job to toughen our children up to face a cruel and heartless world. It's our job to raise children who will make the world a little less cruel and heartless."
- L.R. Knost, parenting and children's book author