Teachers and parents all over the globe are coming to terms with the new "normal" that is COVID-19 with many children now learning at home. This has disrupted routines and caused anxiety for many families and educators as they struggle with technology, a different timetable and a new way of teaching.
We've heard many educators encourage parents to keep homeschooling varied and fun, and not to take the academic side of things too seriously. The core learning areas of education are obviously important but so is character education and creativity which we aim to help with during these trying times.
Below, you will find 5 activities that help build emotional intelligence, encourage kindness and keep kids engaged while they create artwork and worksheets at home.
Our checklist is one of our most popular kindness resources. It has been used by thousands of teachers and parents but during this unusual time we realised our traditional list needed some tweaking to make it Corona friendly!
Our regular list includes 4 categories - Kindness at School, Kindness at Home, Kindness in the Community, and Kindness with Adults. Given that most of these require children to leave their homes, we made some changes to create a separate list for at home learning.
Our new Distance Learning Kindness Checklist encourages children to think about their loved ones to create a custom list that includes acts of kindness they can do for each member of their household.
This is a great way to encourage caring and thoughtfulness. Kids also get to know the people in their family better by considering what they like and how they could do something nice for them. If they're unsure what to include for each person, they can do some sneaky investigation to discover things that make each person happy!
If students have access to a computer they can use the Google Slides file where they can type their acts of kindness into the template and fill the stars with color when they complete each one. The sheets can also be printed out and colored in.
If students don't have access to a computer, teachers can print out sheets to send home for them to fill in manually. We'd love to see some of the ideas kids come up with so please send us through some photos.
2. Family kindness ideas poster
This is a fun idea! Kids create a poster with acts of kindness their whole family can participate in. They can ask each member to contribute some ideas to include and work with a sibling to design it together. It can be created manually or digitally. Whatever works for each family!
A variation on this is to grab a nice big jar, write your kindness ideas on slips of paper and pop them in. On the weekend, grab a slip from the jar or select a good deed from your poster. Do the act of kindness that's listed together as a family.
Here are some examples:
- make cards for residents of an aged care facility
- clean the family car
- help cook dinner
- make a gift for someone and pop it in the post
- write positive messages on the sidewalk with chalk
- make a bird-feeder to hang in the garden
- sit everyone in a circle and massage each other's shoulders
- make a drink for someone
- make someone's bed for them
- leave positive post-it notes around the house
- read books together
- make thank you notes for postal workers and garbage collectors
- post a video with a message of thanks for frontline and healthcare workers
Be inspired by our kindness posters for kids and adults which have a lot of great ideas. Some will not be appropriate for stay at home kindness but there's sure to be a bunch of fun things to add to family lists.
3. Kindness coloring pages
Our most popular kindness resources combines positive messages with a mindfulness activity that is not only a relaxing pastime but also improves fine motor skills. There are a range of designs to reinforce the importance of being a kind, caring person and friend.
Children can print and color our ready-made pages or create their own on Google Slides using a range of elements ready to copy, paste and resize on their design. They can then add their own kindness quote and print their artwork to add some color. This is a great opportunity to get kids thinking creatively while practising a range of digital skills.
To extend the activity, teachers can ask their students to create a personalized coloring page for another student in their class that can be downloaded and forwarded to them electronically.
If you just want a few pages to print and color, then grab these freebies!
4. Hug coupons
Kids can't get up close and personal with anyone outside of their home right now but they can still hug those they live with who are not in quarantine. We have our own ready to print coupons to download but how about getting them to create some of their own. You can use ours as an example and we'd love you to submit your kids' creations for us to add to this post!
Children might even like to pop some of their handmade coupons in the post to share with friends and loved ones!
5. Compliment coupons
There's nothing more heartwarming than a genuine compliment and the world could certainly do with a lot more positive vibes right now! Making their own coupons to compliment others is a fun way to get kids thinking about the positive characteristics of the people in their lives.
Set out a simple table where kids list the people they want to acknowledge across the top. Under each person, they can write the positive thoughts they have about each one. This becomes their checklist as they set to work with their paper and pencils. Show them a copy of our compliment coupons to give them some ideas but ultimately, they'll want to customize their own to suit the people they're recognizing.
Once their coupons are completed, they can send them in the mail, take a photo holding them and share on social media or hold them up during a facetime chat.
Please send photos of your coupons here!
We always love to hear how you spread kindness with your family. Drop us a line with photos of your good deeds and you might just see them added to the bottom of this post!
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