Ho, ho, ho!! It's almost Christmas!!
Many of us are in denial that the festive season has arrived again SO SOON!! I'm pretty sure science hasn't proven it but I'm convinced that time goes faster the older we get!
Though parents and teachers are usually pretty busy at the end of the year, it's actually a great time to get your kids involved in doing good. Encouraging kindness should, of course, be a year round endeavour because it's shown that after the fourth grade, positive perceptions of kindness decrease in children.
Because we know you've got other things on your mind right now, we've put together a kindness advent calendar to help you nurture the positive values we all want our kids to adopt.
The hard work has been done and all you have to do is inspire your kids to participate!
- Click the LINK below to download the appropriate format
- Print in black and white or colour (kids can colour in the B&W one)
- Have kids complete as many acts as kindness as they can by the end of December
Ideas to inspire more good deeds
Here are a few tips to help encourage kids to participate and check off as many acts of kindness as possible:
- Offer an incentive for children to complete at least 15-20 of the items listed
- Challenge your kids to beat you by joining the fun with our adult advent calendar
- If you're a teacher you can group kids to perform particular acts of kindness together
- Encourage kids to take their calendar home
- Print extra copies along with the adult calendar so children's families can join in
- Ask parents to encourage their child's participation in your newsletter or website
"Positive perceptions of kindness were found to decrease as students increased in grades. This decrease in perceptions of kindness is in concert with other research noting a decline in prosocial behavior as students move from pre-adolescence to adolescence."
- Study, Measuring Kindness at School
Get involved yourself, it's good for your health!
There's no better way to inspire than by setting the example!
Before you roll your eyes, think of it as an investment in your own well-being. Participating in good deeds is a smart move when you're already stressed and frazzled. Why? Because science shows that acts of kindness increase feel-good chemicals in the brain to give you more energy and make you happier. Kindness is like a natural anti-depressant, something we should all take on a regular basis!
"On a biochemical level, it is believed that the good feeling we get is due to elevated levels of the brain’s natural versions of morphine and heroin, which we know as endogenous opioids. They cause elevated levels of dopamine in the brain and so we get a natural high, often referred to as ‘Helper’s High’."
- David Hamilton, PhD
You can download a copy of our adult kindness advent calendar in the appropriate format below.
We hope you have a lot of fun during December and would love to hear about your experience using the advent calendars. Please write to us in the new year to let us know how you and your kids enjoyed 31 days of kindness. Photos of checklists with first names, age and state/country are also welcome and may be shared to inspire others on the site or via social media.
AUTHOR: Lisa Currie - Ripple Kindness Project
Lisa is the founder of Ripple Kindness Project, a community and outreach program, and primary/elementary school curriculum. Passionate about improving well-being and reducing bullying, RIpple developed a whole school, evidence-based SEL, kindness and mindfulness curriculum to build character and emotional intelligence to nurture positive, happy and safe school communities.