Inside: Use these acts of kindness links paper chain to celebrate kindness and encourage more of it.
Small acts of kindness can change the world.
How? Because even the smallest of kind acts show others how to be kind. They show others that kindness does in fact exist. And since kindness is contagious, it creates a ripple effect of sorts encouraging more kindness.
We don’t need grand, huge random acts of kindness like paying for everyone in the line behind us or donating large sums of money.
But to make kindness more of a habit, more of a knee-jerk behavior, what we do need more of are simple, normal, everyday acts of kindness: holding a door, greeting someone, giving a compliment, helping someone who is hurt, making room so someone can sit down, inviting over the new kid to play.
Nothing grand. No big show. But to the person, that one small act of kindness could make all the difference in the world for the person on the receiving end.
So how do we then encourage more of these small acts of kindness?
We have to recognize it when we see it. We have to praise it. We have to celebrate kindness.
Recognizing, praising, and celebrating kindness is the positive reinforcement so many kids need to encourage more of it.
How to Encourage More Acts of Kindness
If we want to encourage more kindness, we have to set kids up to want to be kind.
Many schools say they want more kindness and less bullying, and all they do is hang a few anti-bullying posters or kindness posters.
Some schools might even have a Kindness Week which is a nice start, but won’t be effective in changing behaviors.
And while kindness posters like these are lovely, alone they don’t work to prevent bullying.
We have to actively and intentionally encourage more kindness so we change habits.
And we use these Acts of Kindness Links paper chain to encourage more kindness.
How to Use the Acts of Kindness Paper Chain Links
1.Download and print these links on bright-colored paper. It will be a heartier paper chain if it is printed on bright-colored cardstock paper.
If you have ink but not colored paper, you can print the colored versions available in the download. (download them below)
2. Cut each of the links.
3. When you see someone doing an act of kindness, no matter how small, write it down on one of the links.
4. You can make it a big deal and celebrate each small act of kindness or you can acknowledge it quietly and make a link to show kids how easy it is to be kind.
There is no place to put the kids’ names on the link who performed the kind act because you’ll be celebrating all the acts of kindness collectively rather than individually. It is not a competition!
5. Loop the strip into a circle, and carefully staple the ends together.
6. When another act of kindness is done and you write on the strip, put it through the first circle, loop it into its own circle, and then staple the ends together.
7. Continue with each paper strip linking them all together.
8. Hang up the Kindness Links Paper Chain where it can be easily seen so it’s a visual representation of how many kind things have been done.
It can be hung up in a classroom, a home, a cafeteria, a meeting space, etc.
9. See how long your paper chain can get and celebrate all the small, simple, normal, everyday acts of kindness.
10. Hang the paper chain links around your classroom, meeting space, or school hallways/cafeteria to showcase how many acts of kindness you can do in a year.
Because when we celebrate even the smallest acts of kindness, we can change habits and behaviors.