World Kindness Day is this week, and I think everyone everywhere will agree that this world is desperately in need of more kindness. As a parent, I feel a huge responsibility to raise my children to be kind people.
It’s not always something you think about when they’re so young, but setting a good foundation can go a long way! That’s why I came up with this Kindness Rainbow as an activity encouraging kids to be kind.
The concept behind our Kindness Rainbow is simple, but the hands on approach will resonate more. Whenever I spot one of my kids (mainly Lulu since she’s a tad older) doing something kind, I write it down on a hand print. Then they get to add it to the rainbow!
Lu really responds to genuine praise, so being able to visually see the handprints for her sweet actions encourages her a lot. Over time, the rows will eventually fill up, and you’ll have a full rainbow!
The Kindness Rainbow would work well in either a home or classroom setting. Having this as a visual aid can help both the kids AND adults consider kinder approaches.
I’ve noticed something interesting in our household since putting the rainbow up. Rather than simply telling Lu something she did was wrong, I’ve made more of an effort to explain that it was unkind, and suggest a more thoughtful action to try next time. This has been amazingly effective for us!
Ready to start encouraging your kids to be kind? Here’s a simple breakdown of what we did for our Kindness Rainbow.
1. Get lots of colorful construction paper
We used white paper to make the clouds. Then we had red, orange, yellow, green, and blue to cut handprints out of.
Somehow we had not one single piece of purple paper in the house, probably because it’s Lulu’s favorite color so she used it all up haha. At any rate, use purple if you have it and want to!
2. Cut out clouds and handprints
We just attached 2 pieces of white paper to make a bigger cloud for each side. Then I took an outline of both kiddos’ hands and cut out a bunch of hand prints.
Another option is to take their outline and cut out the handprint AS they get one added to the wall. This way it makes more of a production to put one on, and may feel even more special to them.
3. Now the fun part!
Whenever you spot your little ones doing something kind or thoughtful, write it down on their hand print and add it to the Kindness Rainbow!
If you have more than 2 kids or a whole classroom, it would help to write their names on it to keep track. In our case, J’s hand is considerably smaller than Lu’s, so we could tell them apart easily. Another suggestion is if you’re putting this right on a painted wall- use painter’s tape! 🙂
4. Keep being kind
Once your kids complete their rainbow, it doesn’t have to end there! Let the rainbow serve as a reminder that they should always be thoughtful of others, and keep the discussion going.
If they seem to really enjoy this activity, you could even turn it into a continuous reward system! Each time they fill up the rainbow, they get a prize of some sort. Maybe a trip to the zoo, or cupcakes for the whole class!
Children are still learning how to manage their emotions, so it helps to have realistic expectations. Sharing, making a drawing for grandma, helping another student… there are so many simple ways for kids to show kindness.
I’ve attached a printable that lists some ideas for acts of kindness that we could expect from young children. Many of these are actions my 18 month old can do, as well as school-aged kids! Print one out and maybe even post it near the rainbow to give the kids some inspiration!
We loved this activity encouraging kids to be kind! Looking for more ways to teach kindness? Check out my post on Compliment Cards to make someone’s day!
If you decide to make your own Kindness Rainbow, I’d love to see it! Tag me on social media with the hashtag #GrowingKind so we can all encourage each other with the kind acts our little ones do! And don’t forget to sign up below for your Acts of Kindness printable 🙂