Kindness Rainbow: Encouraging Kids to be Kind

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.

Encouraging Kindness

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!

Kindness Rainbow: an activity to teach kindness to kids |

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

Kindness Rainbow: an activity to teach kindness to kids |

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! 🙂

Kindness Rainbow: an activity to teach kindness to kids |

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!

Kindness Rainbow: an activity to teach kindness to kids |

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 🙂


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Kindness Rainbow: an activity to teach kindness to kids |

21 thoughts on “Kindness Rainbow: Encouraging Kids to be Kind

  1. Be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud? Are you kidding me? This is the sweetest cutest thing I’ve seen. I love that it’s more than just empty praise telling your kids good job for being kind (which research shows actually can discourage). Whereas, with this, they get to do something physical – put the hand up on the wall, and truly watch their kindness grow. I couldn’t love this more!

  2. I love this idea! Such a fun (and colorful!) way to teach kids about kindness. Such an important lesson and it’s never too early to start!

  3. This is literally the cutest thing ive ever seen! Its also really creative! I need to try this with my daughter

  4. I absolutely love this idea! Kindness is so important and I feel like acknowledging it definitely helps to reinforce it. I’m going to plan to start this with my kids – my daughter especially will love it!

  5. This is so creative and such a get way to get kids involved! Such an important thing for kids to learn and see modeled. Thanks for a fun idea!

  6. This is one of the cutest ideas I’ve seen yet! I’ve been working hard on trying to tech my kids kindness and it’s not always that easy. I’m seriously considering doing this with them. I bet they would love it and it would be a great way of showing them how much kindness they can hand out to the world around. Thank you for sharing this!

  7. What a great idea! Teaching kids to be kind can sometimes seem like no one is making any progress, so this is a great way to give everyone a visual reminder (and encouragement).

    Thank you for sharing!

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