“The basis of all good human behavior is kindness.” Eleanor Roosevelt
Throughout the month of February, the children at Stepping Stone School will learn that kindness matters, as they read stories, identify acts of kindness, and participate in age-appropriate activities to help them understand this important attribute as part of our Kindness & Empathy™curriculum.
To continue your child’s learning at home, try some of the following:
1. Exchange Pleasantries. Role-play how to greet someone. Even very young children can participate as you encourage them to smile or wave. As they get older, teach children to use polite phrases like, “Nice to meet you” and “Have a nice day” to practice kind and friendly interactions in everyday situations.
2. Invite others to Participate. Practice noticing with children. Notice the children who are new or may seem shy and encourage your child to invite them into their play. Inviting others not only promotes kindness, it also builds social skills and secures friendships.
3. Give of Your Time. Often when we think of giving a gift, we think about something physical or financial. However, time is a gift which has become increasingly more valuable. Pause other distractions momentarily to give your time to what is needed. Encourage older children to give of their time to read or help with younger children or around the house.
4. Give Creatively and Generously. Creative giving may include baking cookies for community helpers like fire fighters, donating unused toys, books, or clothing. Children may choose to make cards for local children’s hospitals and nursing homes. Creative giving opens doors to new ideas about what it means to give generously to others.
5. Encourage Manners Daily. Begin your days the same way we will be beginning our days. Thanks to our new Proud to be Polite™ focus! Children are learning that kindness is at the heart of manners and etiquette as they begin each day with this special song:
We say, “Thank you.”
We say, “Please.”
We don’t interrupt or tease.
We don’t argue. We don’t fuss.
We listen when folks talk to us.
We share our toys and take our turn.
Good manners aren’t too hard to learn.
It’s really easy, when you find
Good manners mean
JUST BEING KIND!
6. Introduce Empathy. Play the “Feelings Guessing Game” to identify feelings. To play, make facial expressions relating to different feelings and allow your child the opportunity to guess what feeling you are attempting to convey. When we help children identify how another is feeling by pointing out the physical and facial cues, we help them recognize their own emotions. Empathy development begins in recognizing how others are feeling.
As we focus on kindness throughout this month, children will learn and grow in their understanding of how their attitudes and actions can improve the attitudes of others. They will spread kindness and make an impact on those around them.