Because families often spend so much time at work and school, away from one another, talking about our kind acts can be a wonderful way to reconnect.
As you'll see in the book, The Kindness Quilt by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace, taking time to focus on everyday acts of kindness makes us all strive to do more.
What you’ll need
Colored pencils, crayons, and pens
Colored paper and glue (optional)
First, read the book The Kindness Quilt by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace. When the students in Mrs. Cooper’s class are challenged to do acts of kindness and depict them in drawings, their work is so impressive, they create a “kindness quilt” that continues to grow. Don't let the cute, simple design of this book fool you. Children are universally inspired to mimic the activity in this book as soon as reading time ends!
Print your “Kindness is…” squares. Invite children to cut out the squares and place these and the drawing supplies where your kids can easily grab them whenever they have a kindness to add.
Notice that many of the squares are blank, but some have suggested acts on them. Take a moment to read these suggestions out loud with your children. Use them as prompts on days when you might need inspiration.
Choose one week when you can spend a few minutes each day focused on kindness. Have your whole family strive to do at least one intentional kind act every day. Use the squares to draw or write each kindness. Feel free to print more squares if you run out!
Then pick a time to share your kind acts with one another. Try to answer the following questions:
· How did you share kindness today?
· How did your action make you feel?
· How did it make others feel?
· How did someone share a kindness with you?
Display a quilt, like Minna in our story, gather scrap paper and glue to create backgrounds for the "Kindness is..." squares included in your packet. Then tape them on your wall to create a quilt just like in the story.
Did you enjoy focusing on kindness for a week? Do you think it changed the week for you in any way? If so, how? If not, why not?
Do you find it easier to recognize (and be thankful for) the kindness others do for you when you know you'll be talking about kind acts later with your family?
Can we brainstorm a list of new kindness ideas you might want to try?
The Three Questions by Jon J. Muth
Based on a short story by Leo Tolstoy, The Three Questions is the story of a little boy’s quest to discover the secret to being a good person. Members, visit our Exclusive Downloads Collection to print conversation cards for this story.
I Can Make a Difference: A Treasury to Inspire Our Children by Margaret Wright Edelman
This collection is exceptional with a wonderful combination of stories, poetry, and art. The works in this treasury do not simply teach and inspire. They are literary jewels, beautiful in and of themselves, making them a delight savor with your children.
Take it Further
To keep a daily focus on kindness, print a stack of our Pithy Placemats, now in several new versions. They help bring big-hearted conversations to every family meal.
Commit to a monthly family act of kindness tailored to book lovers like you. Send books each month to a child in need of reading materials with our Feed Hungry Minds project.
Check out collection of books and projects to promote quick acts of kindness.
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The recommendations we offer are based solely on our mission to empower parents to raise children who care and contribute.