As we ride the coattails of Valentine’s Day and Random Acts of Kindness Day, it’s the perfect time of year to remind kids that kindness isn’t just for special holidays. Studies have shown that when kids incorporate acts of kindness into their daily lives, they tend to be happier, to be more self-confident, and to have an increased sense of belonging as a result. And just like those winter colds that have taken over your classroom, kindness is catchy! Being kind to someone usually inspires that person to be kind to others. So go ahead and try out some of these simple classroom activities to create a culture of kindness that lasts all year.
“Tootling” is the opposite of tattling—it’s a fun way to get students to report on positive peer behaviors that they observe throughout the day instead of focusing on the negative. Via A+ Solutions
This is a simple way to acknowledge the small acts of kindness we experience each day. Whenever a student does or experiences an act of kindness, they write it down on a strip of construction paper and add a “link” to the chain of kindness. Students can try to make the chain go all the way around the classroom! Via Sugar, Spice, and Glitter
This fun activity encourages students to reflect on (and share) the positive qualities of their individual classmates. Print and distribute “I’m thankful for you because…” note cards and a reclosable slider bag to each student. Ask children to write their names on their own bags, along with a personal thank-you note for each classmate; this could be as simple as writing down a positive attribute, a nice memory, or something a classmate did that he or she is thankful for. Students then pass out completed note cards to classmates, and use their slider bags to bring them home (happy reading!). Via Organizing Made Fun
This is a fun way for students to “catch” other students being kind. When an act of kindness is observed, the students fill out a slip (download this free printable) to put in the kindness catcher bin. Teachers can read them aloud or send them home for parents to see. Via Teaching with Haley
Great for younger kids, this activity lets students showcase their artistic talents and work on fine motor skills by decorating postcards to brighten up a stranger’s day. Via Growing Book By Book
Many teachers encourage “bucket-filling” throughout the year (filling other students’ invisible buckets by saying or doing nice things for each other) . Having this bucket-filling board is an easy way to remind students to fill each other’s buckets with words of encouragement every day. Via My Everyday Classroom
Always a classroom favorite, this bingo game board is a great way to get kids thinking about different acts of kindness that they can try. Once the game is over, cut out each idea on the bingo board and put them all into a reclosable slider bag. Have each student draw a card for their “secret kindness mission.” Students love seeing who can complete their mission first. Via The School Counselor Kind
See an activity you’d like to try? Create a wish list on TeacherLists (it’s free!). You’ll automatically be entered into our Wish it to Win it Wednesdays Sweepstakes, and you could win your wish list (a $200 value)! We’ll be drawing one lucky teacher every Wednesday to win his or her wish list. Ends Feb. 29!