Three Activities to Promote Kindness This Valentine's Day
Valentine’s Day is the time of year to remind people we care about them. In classrooms across the country, it often means students exchanging cards, candy, and enjoying a class party. Valentine’s Day can be used as an opportunity to build empathy and promote kindness. We’ve listed three activities below to help students show kindness on Valentine’s Day and throughout the year.
Rather than having students only pass around store bought cards or treats, have them participate in this “compli-mats” activity. Each student will have a large piece of construction paper on their desk as a placemat. The other students in the class will walk around writing compliments on each other’ smats. The activity pushes students to see the good in others, even if they had a negative experience with one of their classmates previously. It’s a good idea to model appropriate compliments prior to beginning the activity and provide students with some examples so everyone isn’t writing the same compliments, such as: “you’re nice.” For a full lesson plan on “Compli-mats” click here.
Build a Kindness Tree
This activity can serve as a reminder for students to be kind throughout the school year, not just on Valentine’s Day. Begin by creating a “trunk” of a tree somewhere in your classroom, either taped to a wall or a door. Have students brainstorm specific ways that they can be kind to others or ways that they wish people would be kind to them. Each student should write their favorite idea on a heart-shaped piece of construction paper. Finally, have each student add their idea to the tree, as if the hearts are the leaves. Leave the display up to serve as a visual reminder of different ways to be kind to each other.
Kindness Rocks Project
Get your class involved in the the Kindness Rocks Project. The Kindness Rocks project is based on the premise that “one message at just the right time can change someone’s entire life.” All you need to get started are rocks for each member of your class and some paint and markers to decorate. Students will decorate their rocks and write kind messages or inspirational quotes. Then the rocks should be placed outside. Ideally, your students will be able to participate in this process. Perhaps the rocks could be part of the school garden, line a walkway, or be placed throughout the playground. Maybe your class would like to spread the rocks further throughout the community at local parks. Where the rocks go are completely up to your class, but the idea is to spread kindness to people in random moments, when they may need it the most.
These are only a few ideas for how you can celebrate kindness in your classroom this year. Next week is Random Acts of Kindness Week, and we encourage you all to participate. Snap photos of kindness happening among your students, in your school, and within your personal life. Upload them with the #rakweek2018. We’ll be participating all week, and hope you will be too!