We all recognize the importance of kindness – it is a vital character trait we want to develop in ourselves and in our children. Here are some quick ways to build the kindness muscles in the your kids and students:
Post It Notes – This is a fun activity to spread kindness in your class! It’s especially good if you are having difficulty building a community in your class. Each child is given Post-It notes for the number of children in the group. Quietly they come up with one nice thing about each person. For example, one child could write “Ashley is a caring friend.” When you say go, they stick Post-Its on everyone in the group! Everyone is decorated by the qualities that make them special and loved. It’s like visual “Namaste” – the good in me sees the good in you.
Human Knot – Everyone holds hands with someone on the other side of the circle. Keeping their hands held, the group must untie the knot by turning, climbing over arms and legs, and walking under arms. I always remind the children to use kind words and work as a team. Communicate and cooperate.
Read a Story about Kindness – I prefer How Full is Your Bucket: For Kids by Tom Rath. The children will learn about being kind to others and being a bucket-filler!
Loving Kindness Meditation – Send loving kindness to yourself. Think in your mind, “May I be free and happy. May I be free from pain. May I be healthy and peaceful.” Send loving kindness to someone you love. Think in your mind, “May they be free and happy. May they be free from pain. May they be healthy and peaceful.” Send loving kindness to someone you dislike. Think in your mind, “May they be free and happy. May they be free from pain. May they be healthy and peaceful.” Send loving kindness to everyone. Think in your mind, “May everyone be free and happy. May everyone be free from pain. May everyone be healthy and peaceful.” For more information on the power of this meditation, check out this article.
Everyday Acts of Kindness – Kindness doesn’t end in yoga class! I like to have a mini discussion with my students and have them bring up ways to be kind in daily life! Click here for more ideas and activities.
Be a good role model – This might be the most important one! Remember to be kind to others! Remind children that true kindness is shown when no one else is watching and you wont be rewarded for your efforts. You might want to introduce the idea of Karma, or the Golden Rule.