5 Games That Can Teach Kindness to Kids
Paulo Coelho once said “The world is changed by your example, not by your opinion.”
Show your Kids these 5 easy games to teach kindness!
Paulo Coelho once said “The world is changed by your example, not by your opinion.” Another day, earlier, Paolo Friere said “Education doesn’t change the world. Education changes people. People change the world.”
Even though it is hard for some people to believe in these two statements, as MyBook Heroes, we believe there is still hope in our planet! Despite the isolation the social networks ironically have brought into our lives, where everyone expresses and supports their opinion, and acts in a fake good manner; and despite the fact that schools still teach us how to count, but no longer teach us what counts the most; we believe that we can explain Coelho’s example, and give school and home education some tips, to build real, kind citizens that will change the world the way Friere indicates!
In Cypriot culture, and we assume the same is in other cultures around the world, the people support that everything is learned from home; that family has the biggest impact on someone’s life, therefore home is our main school! So even if kindness may be natural for some of us, it still can be nurtured and enhanced at home, by integrating relevant activities into our routine.
Following are 5 creative games we came up with, that will help promote kindness to your kids, and permit them to live happy, healthy, and proud!
- Speak the words of Kindness
The name of this game pretty much says it all. Its magic though, lies in the process of implementing it! Ask your children what are some kind words they know, what are some phrases or questions they could use to ask for/offer something nicely. Show them clips on the Internet that will allow them to learn more, or take them on trips to see how kind people interact in real life.
The purpose is to collect as much of kind words, phrases, and questions as they can, write them on a board or cards, and eventually learn and use them in daily life! You may have a different list on a board at home that will be used throughout the day, and a bunch of cards that your kids will be picking 3 per day and use them accordingly at school or any other public area.
Some examples could be:
- Mum, may I have a glass of water please?
- Do you need help with this exercise?
- Thank you for being my best friend!
- Have a nice day, Mrs. Howard!
- Do the moves of Kindness
We suggest that this game begins by the moment your kids start writing their own ‘vocabulary’ of Kindness and using it in their daily life. We all now know, that communication comes both, in verbal and non-verbal versions. Therefore, a true kind citizen not only must know how to speak kindness, but act kind as well!
For this game, we encourage you to be their exemplar, and again, show them clips on the Internet, or take them on trips to see how kind people interact. Once your kids have experienced what we call kind people, help them to write on cards some of these acts, and challenge them to do 1 per week (4 per month)!
- Offer your seat to a pregnant woman in a crowded bus
- Help an elder person with their bags at the supermarket
- Clean the chalkboard before the teacher comes in class
- Pick one of your games and offer it to a poor or sick child
- Share your favorite snack with a classmate on a break
- Guessing My Value
This game is similar to the well-known game “Guess who?”, yet it’s far more fun & educational! Sometimes kindness lies in the value of the person who you have in front, meaning their role, and if they are older or younger, royal or not, serious or not, and so on, and so on! Its scope is to understand what values are and mean, and ask ourselves if we treat one another as nicely as we possibly could.
For the purpose of this game, you got to write some values on different cards, and ask each player to stick one on their forehead with a loop of tape, without seeing their value. Then the players should start walking in the room, and seeing the other players’ values they must treat them accordingly without telling them what their value is. You may use values such as President, Mum, Teacher, Police; or ranges from 1 to 10, with the highest meaning the biggest value.
If for example someone’s value is between 8 and 10, be pleasant to them; but if it’s between 1 and 3, try to avoid them. After a couple of minutes, all players must stand in a line, and without viewing their values yet, sort themselves in groups (high cards, middle cards, low cards) depending on how they feel they were treated by the rest. Then look what their value is, wonder and discuss if it was easy to figure out!
- My Touch of Kindness
You know how much we love books and all the fun games that inspire kids to read and eventually enhance their grammar skills and discover the world and themselves. You also know, that one of our favorite books based games is Change the Plot, which for the particular purpose we renamed to My Touch of Kindness.
The idea is that the kid finishes a story book and then the adult makes some follow-up questions, such as: Did you like this story? What was your favorite part, and what was your least favorite? Then some kindness oriented questions come, and here’s the chance for the kid to leave their touch of kindness to the story.
- Who was your favorite hero, who was your least favorite, and why?
- What did you like the most about your favorite hero’s behavior?
- Would you change something on your least favorite hero’s behavior? Why, and what this would be?
- What would you say, and how would you act in their case?
Finally, the adult opens a dialogue with the kid, gives feedback to their answers, helping them realize what counts as kind and what does not!
*Tip-Tip: The same game can be played after viewing a movie or a theatre play! ☺
- Appreciations Game
Some of you may call this a gratitude game instead, but think again! Kindness doesn’t necessarily have to be one way, meaning just to offer something or act in a nice way to somebody else. Kindness also means to be thankful for what you have been given, or for the nice way they have treated you when you needed it the most. The power of kindness lies in the fact that it comes and goes, and this because we appreciate that other person’s kind act, take it as an example (remember Coelho), and share it with the world for a better change (remember Friere).
A great way to play this game at home, is by having your kids standing in a circle, naming the person they want, and expressing their gratitude to that person and the reasons why. Alternatively, you could initiate a gratitude journaling, asking your kids to draw and/or write about someone who was kind to them, and how that person’s kind act made them feel. To make the impact greater, help your kids write their story nicely, and send it to us to publish it on our blog (Read more about this here)!
That’s all! 5 creative games to build kindness into your routine, and raise healthy, happy, and proud kind citizens with us! Have fun and enjoy every single moment with your kiddos! ☺
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