Inside: Challenge and encourage kids to speak and act with kindness on a daily basis with this Monthly Kindness Challenge activity.
As summer was about to come to a close, I decided to pack the kids up and do a last-minute trip to the lake.
The kids were excited for the surprise trip and I was excited for the extra family time… and for a change of scenery.
My youngest gets car sick easily, so I had to get creative as to what would occupy her during the drive.
My oldest suggest that we play “categories,” where one person selects a category and everyone takes a turn saying something that belongs in that category until someone is stumped and unable to come up with an answer.
When is was my son’s turn, he picked his favorite topic, “Superheroes.”
After we went through the most common superheroes, like Batman, Superman, and Captain America, my youngest said, “brave.”
We were able to keep ourselves occupied, as we continued to shout out all of the amazing attributes we associate with Superheroes, from the characteristics that define them to the superpowers they possess.
We all have the ability to be a superhero every day by being kind to others.
When we acknowledge and reward kids for daily acts of kindness, we encourage these behaviors to continue. With positive reinforcement and repetition, kindness becomes a habit both in and out of the classroom.
And we can use our Monthly Kindness Challenge to encourage and challenge our kids to speak and act with kindness more often, both at school and at home.
Why It’s Necessary to Teach SEL
Social Emotional Learning, or SEL, is just as crucial as reading, writing, or math.
SEL helps children to understand and manage emotions. In addition, social emotional learning creates and helps maintain healthy friendships, empathy, goal-setting, and self-regulation skills.
When students have limited social-emotional skills, they are more likely to struggle when faced with new challenges or conflict both in and out of our classrooms.
So, children must be taught how to be kind because it is a learned skill.
Related: 10 Easy Ways to Teach SEL
Here are some of our favorite kindness books:
How to Use the Monthly Kindness Challenge Pages
1. Print out a copy of the record sheet for each child (download below).
2. Go over the ideas for each day of the week and make sure they understand what each one means.
3. Encourage kids to do at least one kind thing a day, following the record sheet. So on the Monday of the first week, they’ll use their manners with a classmate or friend. On Tuesday of the second week, they’ll be helpful to someone younger than them, and so on.
A great idea for parents to modify the Monthly Kindness Challenge pages to use at home, would be to change it to, “Neighbor or Teammate” for Week 1 and “Sibling or Relative” for Week 2. For Week 3, you could use “Parent” or another adult that your child regularly interacts with like a coach, grandparent or music instructor.
4. Once they’ve been kind for the day at least once, they can color in the box, put a stamp in it, or a sticker. Remind them they can always do more acts of kindness if they’d like.
At the end of each day or week, we can ask students to share their acts of kindness with the class.
5. When the month is up, and they’ve filled in their kindness boxes, print out another recording sheet and start again because building a kind act a day will make kindness a habit.
When our students act with more kindness and activate their superpowers, it’s a win for everyone.