World Kindness Day - 10 Ways to Teach Kids to Be Kind

Photo of Bronwyn
Updated | 5 min read

Whether you’re looking for a way to celebrate World Kindness Day with your class or just some kindness activities for kids to do at school, we’ve got you covered with fun and meaningful ways to sprinkle kindness all around the classroom … and community plus ways to teach kindness that will stick.

What is World Kindness Day?

As educators, it’s up to us to inspire kindness in our young students. We already do this, incidentally, on a daily basis; helping kids negotiate, guiding their social interactions, troubleshooting friendship issues, and modelling empathy and compassion ourselves.

World Kindness Day is a designated day to pause and consciously reflect on times when we have been shown kindness, and think about ways in which we can treat others kindly.

First off, maybe this is the first time you’re hearing about World Kindness Day? The whole thing kicked off in 2000 in Singapore, World Kindness Day is all about highlighting and encouraging good deeds in your home, classroom, and community. The people at the World Kindness Movement — the organization behind World Kindness Day — say “it serves as a reminder to all that simple acts of kindness have power and that together, we can all work to create a kinder world.”

Currently, people (including kids) celebrate World Kindness Day in 28 countries, including Australia, and there are plenty of random acts of kindness ideas your students can do on this day … or any other day of the year!

Kindness Activities for Kids

As teachers, we tend to do a lot of kindness celebrating day in and day out in the classroom — helping kids negotiate, guiding their social interactions, troubleshooting friendship issues, and modeling empathy and compassion ourselves. But here are some of our favorite kindness activities for kids!

Create a Kindness Rock Garden

This random acts of kindness activity uses rocks to teach kids how to spread kindness. All it takes is some rocks from the playground, plus paint and paintbrushes and Sharpie markers. The goal is for your students to write happy and encouraging messages on the rocks to make others smile, then drop them in spots around the classroom, school, or out in the community to make someone’s day.

(You can read more here about teaching kindness one rock at a time).

World-Kindness-Week-Rocks-Kind-Teaching-Kids

World Kindness Day Display

A beautiful visual reminder that World Kindness Day is approaching may open conversations and spark interest in the day and its meaning. Many of our beautiful positivity posters are free downloads!

Image of No Act of Kindness Is Ever Too Small - Positivity Poster

teaching resource

No Act of Kindness Is Ever Too Small - Positivity Poster

A motivation and positivity poster to brighten up your learning space.

Teach Starter Publishing1 pageYears: F - 7
Image of Kind Heart Positivity Poster

teaching resource

Kind Heart Positivity Poster

A positivity poster to brighten up your learning space.

Teach Starter Publishing1 pageYears: F - 7
Image of Good Friends Poster

teaching resource

Good Friends Poster

A social skills poster focusing on how to be a good friend.

Teach Starter Publishing1 pageYears: F - 7
Image of Kindness Reflection Classroom Display

teaching resource

Kindness Reflection Classroom Display

An interactive kindness display for the classroom.

Teach Starter Publishing9 pagesYears: 1 - 6

Encouraging Random Acts of Kindness

Sometimes the loveliest acts of kindness come completely out of the blue.

Our downloadable Random Acts of Kindness Calendar encourages students to complete 16 kind tasks over the course of a month.

Reward Kindness

No matter how (seemingly) small, children’s acts of kindness deserve our recognition. Whether it’s a verbal build-up or a tangible reward, like one of our gorgeous certificates, children love receiving an acknowledgment.

Image of Good Listener Award

teaching resource

Good Listener Award

Give positive feedback to your students when they display sensitivity to others.

Teach Starter Publishing1 pageYears: F - 7Customisable
Image of Thoughtfulness Award

teaching resource

Thoughtfulness Award

Present this award to a student who displayed thoughtfulness by putting other before them self.

Teach Starter Publishing1 pageYears: F - 7
Image of Good Friends - Award

teaching resource

Good Friends - Award

Give positive feedback to your students when they display good friendship qualities.

Teach Starter Publishing1 pageCustomisable
Image of Kindness Award Certificate

teaching resource

Kindness Award Certificate

Give positive feedback to your students when they display an act of kindness.

Teach Starter Publishing1 pageYears: F - 7

A Kindness Experiment with Impact

A few years ago, global furniture retailer IKEA released their Bully a Plant advertising campaign. Within days the campaign had gone viral on social media. You may wish to show your students the effects kind and cruel words had on two different plants. It’s an eye-opener!

Make It … Less Random!

We know, we know, the whole goal of random acts of kindness is that they’re supposed to be random! But there’s no reason you can’t plan them out a bit … so long as they’re still random for the person whose day is completely made by kids doing something kind!  Our downloadable Random Acts of Kindness Calendar encourages students to complete 16 kind tasks over the course of a month and is a great starter for brainstorming kindness ideas your kids can do throughout the school year.

If you want to start off in December, you can also use this random acts of kindness Christmas display with ideas for students on ornaments!

Kindness- Filled Compliments Box

We all know how wonderful it feels to receive an unexpected compliment. A compliment is like a little gift that puts a spring in your step for the rest of the day. Why not encourage our students to give each other some build-ups, and get that good energy flowing through our schools?

World-Kindness-Week--compliments-box--Kind-Teaching-Kids

To create your own Compliments Box in our resource for your class, download our Compliments Box Decorations and Compliments Cards resource.

Make Kindness Chatterboxes

Kids love making chatterboxes! Our downloadable chatterbox template allows students to write kind acts they wish to complete on the inside of their chatterbox!

World-Kindness-Week-Chatterbox-activity-Kind-Teaching-Kids

Links of Kindness

In this simple activity, students write any random acts of kindness that happened to them during the week. They then pop it in the completed links and at the end of the day, the links are added to the Links of Kindness chain! How long can your chain get over the course of a term?

World-Kindness-Week-Links-Kind-Teaching-Kids

Create Kindness Mini Books

Being kind requires thoughtfulness, and that’s exactly what these mini kindness books are all about — there’s space to:

  • list random acts of kindness
  • draw a picture of what kindness looks like
  • list out build-ups for a friend
  • personal affirmations
  • write down ways you can be kind to the environment.

Mini kindness booklet for kids

Kindness in Chalk

Take your kids outside with some sidewalk chalk and let them share the love with everyone who passes by! They can write kind notes or do something more simple like drawing a rainbow just to make people smile.

Random acts of kindness images on sidewalks using sidewalk chalk.

How to Teach Kindness

In addition to these acts of kindness, there are a few methods of teaching kindness we’d be remiss if we ignored!

The Wrinkled Heart

World Kindness Week Kids Activities Classroom Resources

This Wrinkled Heart exercise is an old one but it’s got a message that truly sticks.

Print off a class set of paper hearts with the message:

Before you speak, think and be smart. It’s hard to fix a wrinkled heart.

Each student receives a pristine heart. You may ask them to cut it out or shade it. Then ask the students to crumple their heart up as tightly as they can. Ask them to unfold the heart and make it flat again, just as it was when they received them.

When your students realize that the damage to the paper cannot be “undone”, this is the demonstration that once words are said, the damage they cause to others may not be reversible.

This is a powerful lesson for children of all ages!

What’s your favourite way to spread kindness around your school?

We hope that you have a lovely World Kindness Day with your class this year!

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