This is a powerful activity to use in the classroom at any time a student is in need of some extra love and care or as a focus activity during International Day of Friendship. It’s one we’ve included in the Ripple Kindness Project for Schools primary and elementary curriculum as it can have such an incredibly positive impact on children who are being acknowledged and complimented.

The activity can be exceptionally moving for children who have trouble connecting with others or suffer from low self-esteem as it helps them discover a sense of community. It can also help to nurture more positive relationships as it encourages children to think about and highlight the endearing qualities of their peers.

You will need

   a large piece of card or butcher’s paper for each child
   several different coloured markers
•   a class list or roll call sheet

Instructions

  1. Explain to children that they’re going to each have a turn sitting in the ‘hotseat’. It helps to have a class list to make sure that everyone has a turn over a period of time.
  2. Put a piece of card or butcher’s paper on an easel or adhere it to the whiteboard. Place a chair in front of it with its back to the paper.
  3. Select a child from the roll and ask them to sit in the chair. Tell the remaining children they’re going to take turns to write something nice about the person in the chair on the paper behind them. They’re to think about that person’s positive qualities and compliment them on things they like about them but they’re not to focus on appearances.

Examples

   You’re such a great friend.
•   I love that you smile so much. It makes me happy.
   You are so kind and helpful.
   I love having you in our grade.
  You’re really good at drawing.

  1. When everyone’s had a go, ask the focus child to stand up and turn around to read the compliments on the sheet. You may like to take a photo or short video of their reaction or of them standing beside the sheet.
  2. Leave their compliments sheet displayed until the end of the day and ask the child to take a photo of it on their device so they can look at it whenever they’re feeling sad or self-critical. Present them with the paper to take home to show their family or hang in their bedroom.

Have you had success connecting and uplifting children in your classroom? We’d love you to share your ideas and photos HERE.

A friend of mine’s husband was suddenly hospitalized with a broken back, they too have a large family and she was being tested for cancer. Our community swooped in silently while they were out. Friends cleaned her house top to bottom; we took all of their washing; people did a roster for meals and child care; meals were dropped off; shopping and food vouchers were purchased and healthy lunch box snacks were made. And guess what… yep! She cried!! (They are both FINE now). read more →

My daughter (now 17) completely went against a whole class of girls in junior school that had fallen out with one girl. She would have been on her own if my daughter hadn’t remained friends with her, even though this girl had ganged up on her in the past. I thought it showed a great strength of character and the girls mum even rang to thank her. – Zara x

12 years ago, a dear friend was dying and knew she may not make it to my birthday. So she had her son got me a box of Whitman’s Chocolates (sampler) and a card. She had no family besides him, but treated my family and me with great love! It meant so much that she had such a strong desire to make me happy just days before her passing, although I never even expected anything from her. read more →

 

There is a kid in my class with Autism. I had 3 movie cards so I gave him 10 dollars on a movie card. I also gave another one to my other friend and I still have one left. The kid with Autism was really happy and made a Thank You card for me. Also, he gave me a box of chocolate on Valentine’s Day that he only gave to his “special friends”. – Paul

As long as I can remember I have dreamed of traveling and one of the places I have always wanted to go was Ireland. Another thing that had tagged along with this dream was the question: “How am I going to get to there?”

When I was in my early 40s, I had saved a bit of money, and I thought that I was finally on my way to getting to Ireland! I had started a bank account. I called my “travel fund”. Cute name I thought! One day my life partner, who was also my car mechanic, announced that my car needed a new transmission. “How much?” I asked and almost cried when he told me the amount. It was the exact amount that was in my travel fund. I thought that God had a funny sense of humor. Yeah, it was a travel fund alright, but not to Ireland. My dream was dead! read more →

Some weeks ago, our friend was chatting with us and mentioned out of the blue that she loves the tacos from a certain fast food restaurant near her. Almost immediately, I knew I wanted to surprise her with them at some point. I get super impatient when I have to wait to surprise someone, but somehow I managed. read more →

A few weeks ago I received a belated birthday card from a beautiful lady that I have formed a wonderful true friendship with through a mutual friend on facebook. read more →

He is the center of our galaxy, I’ll admit that.

Brady had been asking for two days to go carp spearing again. The stars aligned one afternoon and all three of us were free at the same time. Joe and I and 12-year-old Brady loaded up the trusty old Ford pick-up truck. The three of us squished together in the cab ready to play for the afternoon.

Me? I was a spectator, armed with a digital camera for capturing the moment … not the fish. read more →

10 years ago today, I was spending my first day alone while the rest of my family was traveling out of state. I was 22 but still very nervous about it. That afternoon I got a call that just totally changed my day and has stuck with me ever since! read more →

Ten years ago, I was fortunate enough to be the Administrative Assistant at a local church.

When I had started to attend years before, a friend would pick me and another older lady up and drive us to church every Sunday. I learned this older lady used to be the Administrative Assistant to the previous pastor. So almost every Sunday, the drive would be a terrible trip as we would listen to how this “new” (almost 20 years experience!) pastor was horrible, the church was unorganized, etc. Finally, it was enough! I yelled at God… either let me help her or shut her up!!
So now, years later, in the same job that she was in, I immediately remembered her, and thought…I’m gonna kill this woman with kindness if it kills me first! read more →

It was an easy task to fly to Arizona, stay for a few days, and then fly home with my grandson in tow. All the Minnesota relatives were anxious to totally spoil him for 3 ½ weeks.

11-year-old Brady had been anticipating this for months. read more →