World Kindness Day 2022: 6 Easy Activity Ideas for the Classroom

Be Kind lettering with flowers

As a teacher, you seek to instill good values in your students and kindness is an important one! While it may be an innate quality in all humans, our young ones may need a little help to nurture their kind inner selves. World Kindness Day, celebrated annually on November 13 is the perfect opportunity to bring kindness into your classroom.

Introduced in 1998 by the World Kindness Movement, this global celebration aims to promote the importance of being kind to others, yourself, and the world, as well as to recognize that acts of kindness create a better society for everyone.

To help you and your students get started, we have put together a few ideas for simple World Kindness Day activities. No matter how old your students are, these activities are sure to inspire them to perform more acts of kindness.

Why is Kindness Important in the Classroom?

“Kindness can become its own motive. We are made kind by being kind.” —Eric Hoffer

We all innately understand that kindness is important – and this is particularly true for children. At such a young and impressionable age, teaching them values such as kindness has an immeasurable impact that will resonate through the rest of their lives.

Encouraging students to be kind to themselves and one another also builds critical social-emotional learning (SEL) competencies such as self-awareness, social awareness, and interpersonal skills. The classroom provides a safe environment for students to exercise kindness and cultivate compassion for others.

With that in mind, here are our six favorite World Kindness Day activities for you to try out with your students!

1. Plant a “Garden” of Kindness Flowers

A fun World Kindness Day activity for younger students that will not only help your students understand the value of kindness but also brighten up your classroom is the Kindness Flower activity.

Give each student a paper with a template of a Kindness Flower and ask them to cut out the stem, flower center, and petals. Have each student write examples of acts of kindness they have experienced recently on each petal, and glue all parts together to form their very own Kindness Flower.

These flowers can then be displayed on the classroom wall in a “garden” for everyone to enjoy and as a reminder of how much kindness we encounter if we take the time to look for it. A template for this activity can be found here.

2. Send Thank You Notes

What better way to celebrate World Kindness Day than to bring a smile to someone else’s face while cherishing the kindness we’ve received from others? Sending thank you notes, an activity by @kerr.teachin.fifth, does exactly that and is perfect for students of all ages.

Ask your students to think of three people who work hard in their school every day to make their lives easier. It could be anyone at all – their teachers, the janitor, the principal, the librarian, the person who serves them food in the cafeteria, the security guard, etc. Once they have chosen their three people, get each student to design, write, and decorate a thank you note for them. Have your students personally deliver their notes to their recipients.

This is a lovely way to celebrate World Kindness Day which will bring a smile to everyone’s face.

3. Create a Compliments Box

A quick and easy World Kindness Day activity that will boost the morale of your entire class is a compliments box. Write the names of each of your students on a separate slip of paper and put them all in a box. Have each student draw a name from the box at random, ensuring they don’t draw their own name. The students will then take some time to write down at least three positive attributes or characteristics they admire in the person whose name they picked.

When all students are done writing, have them read out their compliments to their classmates out loud and present the compliments sheet to them. Students can carry these encouraging words around with them to cheer them up on tough days!

A variation of this activity would be to get students to write five general compliments or words of encouragement on individual slips of colored paper. Some examples could be “I love that you never give up when you face a challenge!”, “Your smile is radiant!”, or “You can do anything you set your mind to!”.

Collect these slips of paper in the compliments box for students to draw from whenever they’re feeling down, need a boost, or require some encouragement. This also makes for a perfect filler activity whenever you notice the box is getting low and can be something you use throughout the school year!

Credit: Inspired Elementary

4. Design a World Kindness Day Display

Collaboration and kindness go hand-in-hand so designing a World Kindness Day display is the perfect activity to celebrate this occasion! Divide your class into smaller groups, and encourage them to collaboratively design a poster about World Kindness Day. Some ideas for the posters could be random acts of kindness, inspirational quotes, or artwork to illustrate the importance of kindness.

Once all the posters are completed, put up a display and invite students to share their feedback about each other’s posters. This activity provides an opportunity for students to learn to collaborate as well as to give constructive feedback in a kind and compassionate manner. Keep the posters on display for the entire month or semester as a daily reminder to students about the importance of being kind!

5. Write Mini Kindness Books

Kindness isn’t limited to just one day of the year, so why not go bigger and celebrate a week of kindness instead? An activity that would work well for older students, especially as part of an English language arts (ELA) curriculum, is to write their very own mini kindness books.

Give each student a small notebook (or ask students to make their own to add a fun crafts element to the activity). Ask students to list out examples of acts of kindness on the first page. Each day of the week, they will select a random act of kindness from their list to perform. At the end of each day, set aside some time for them to document their actions and how they made a positive difference in society or improved someone’s life as a result.

To wrap up the week, allow students to share their stories and reflections about their actions. These mini kindness books serve as a great reminder of how each individual has the power to spread kindness in the world and also empower them to be the change they want to see in the world.

6. Enjoy Story Time

Students too young to fully engage in or appreciate a writing project? Try reading instead! Storytelling boosts listening skills, improves language skills, and promotes enthusiasm for learning. This makes it a simple yet effective way to introduce the concept of kindness to younger children as an ideal World Kindness Day activity!

Consistently read stories that encourage kindness over a week or even a month to help instill the value of kindness in their hearts and minds. Not sure where to start with books on kindness? Brightly has a great list of books about kindness to get you started.

Nurturing Kindness in Children

Try as we may, we cannot force children to be kind – it is something that is nurtured and cultivated by practicing it regularly. Encouraging children to perform acts of kindness helps them build empathy for others. Over time, it will become a habit and a core value. The classroom is an ideal place for children to practice kindness toward others – we hope these World Kindness Day activities will help get them started!

Alongside these activities, having the right classroom management techniques and strategies for your classroom will help your students thrive. If you are looking for more ways to set your classroom and students up for success, check out some of our popular courses for teachers:

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