A Kindness Tree is a creative and beautiful way to encourage and acknowledge acts of kindness within a school. As a whole school project, it's a heart warming way to help foster kind, supportive relationships amongst students and teachers. Watching the tree come to life as good deeds are added creates positive and uplifting feelings and behaviour, making it a highly effective way to build character and reduce bullying.

As you'll see by the examples below there are many variations, some big, some small, but each one beautiful and unique. There are no rules when it comes to creating your kindness tree. Use your imagination and encourage student involvement. For the tree itself, you can use paper, fabric, paint, crepe paper or real tree branches. Tree leaves upon which kind deeds are written can be made from paper or card in the shape of leaves, hearts or even hands.

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World Kindness Week is 8-13 November, and we hope we can inspire you to do good things where you live because YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE! Every good deed you do helps create positive energy that impacts someone’s emotional wellbeing for the better. And the best thing about giving is that can have a profound effect on you too!

There’s no getting around it – 2020 has been a challenging year for everyone. No matter who you are, how old you are, or where you’re from, you will have been impacted by COVID-19 in some way. But with all the uncertainty, frustration, sadness, and loss, we’ve seen many acts of kindness and compassion to lift our spirits. These happy moments have helped bring people together to love and support one another and given us hope, proving that we are not doing this alone.

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Doing kind things for others isn't just about improving someone else's life, it's actually good for our health. There's evidence to prove that kindness can improve mental health, happiness and even prolong life.

After 9 weeks of acts of kindness we conclude the challenge with a really fun, ding-dong ditch type activity. It's a little bit of a cheeky covert operation that will get the adrenaline going.

The idea is to think of someone who could really use a pick-me-up. Decide what you think will cheer them up and get to work making or assembling your gift. 

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There's nothing quite as satisfying as planting a seed, watching it pop through the earth and grow into a beautiful plant. When you make that seed a vegetable, you're also creating a range of learning opportunities for your kids. 

Who would have thought that a humble carrot, pea or pumpkin could bring so much joy and education! You can of course grow flowers or shrubs, but here we'll talk about the benefits of a vegetable garden. 

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I always say that there is something positive to be found in any adversity. Sometimes it can be hard to see it at the time but there is one very clear one that stands out during the COVID crisis. Stay at home orders have forced families and loved ones to spend more time together and in most instances, that's a good thing.

Having time together is good for relationships. It's a great time for parents to bond with their kids and get to know them a little better. It's also good for learning to work together, help one another and work on patience and understanding (lots of it in some cases!).

This week's challenge is about finding things you can do as a family. How about starting by making a list where everyone includes something they'd like to do together. Here are some examples of what your list could look like:

  • Watch a movie

  • Do a virtual tour of a museum or aquarium

  • Use Zoom to play bingo with family or friends

  • Walk the dog together

  • Make a family dinner

  • Go on a hike

  • Play a board game

  • Have a picnic

  • Do a 1000 piece puzzle

  • Play video games together

  • Make cookies to deliver to the neighbours

  • Take part in a craft activity

  • Make an obstacle course in the backyard

  • Train the dog

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The COVID crisis has left many grandparents feeling very isolated and vulnerable. Some are suffering terribly, missing their family and friends.

The elderly are often not up with technology and may not be able to connect via a video call but they'd all appreciate hearing the voices of their loved one.

Get your kids to make a special effort to connect with their grandparents or another elderly person they care about. To make it a long and meaningful call, ask them to prepare by writing down some things they'd like to share. If you're lucky enough to be able to organize a video call, show loved ones some pictures or take them on a virtual walk around the house. Let them see pets and anything else they'd usually enjoy and let them know they're loved. 

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Teaching and learning has undergone some significant changes since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Students and teachers are adapting to a new norm in education that looks different between countries and possibly even states depending on the severity of the virus. 

For many, distance learning is their reality as they go back to school online, others are nervous about returning to teach face to face while some educators have made their peace with their new school life.

It's hard to wrap your head around the enormity of what's going on and where it might end but one thing's for sure, that the way we teach and learn has changed forever! 

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If you've been following our challenge you might have noticed that the week 1 challenge was to Give a Compliment. So why are we posting another compliment challenge? Because compliments are important and kids need to practise...

Giving a compliment is a really nice way to let someone know they're important to you and receiving one always makes you feel special.

Why I love teaching kids about complimenting people is that it takes them out of their own head to shift the focus to someone else. They actually have to think about another person which means they're not thinking about themselves. This is such an important thing for kids to learn as many teenagers in particular, are often seen as living in their own world where they're full of self-importance. Getting in the habit of giving compliments helps them to expand that world to include those around them. 

This week, challenge your children to give a compliment to someone each and every day. Once they're given one to each member of their household, suggest they contact their grandparents, teacher or a friend to say something positive and make them feel good.

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Imagine having a crappy day and walking into the bathroom to find a caring note on the mirror. You'd probably be quite surprised to see it there but also experience a warm glow inside that would make you smile!

When children write their positive post it notes, ask them to think about the nice things people say to them that make them feel good about themselves or cheer them up when they're feeling down. Ask them to think about the people in their household and consider what each person could appreciate. Doing this gives them a greater understanding of how easily they can make someone's day better and how much that kind of caring support can mean. 

Take some photos of your notes to share with us and we'll add them to this post.

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Teaching kids to have empathy helps them connect with others. It's a skill they'll use throughout their life that will enhance every relationship they have.

This week's challenge asks them to find out how someone is feeling and to really pay attention by listening intently and looking them in the eye. It will let someone important to them feel that they're cared for and heard. It might also surprise kids what kind of connection they can make with someone they care about and what they learn about them.

If you'd like to add an educational component, you can ask them to write a report about what they asked and found out. 

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Many children spend far too little time in the kitchen but learning to cook is something every child should learn at some point. This week’s act of kindness not only challenges them to create but also gives them valuable time connecting with someone in their family.

Haven’t joined yet? Here’s how to participate

Step 1 – Invite others to participate

Being a part of this fun challenge is easy and though it’s aimed at kids, we’d love to see adults joining in as well. Apart from being a great activity to nurture positive character traits, we’re aiming to send a whole lot of good vibes out into the universe. To have as bigger impact as possible, we’d love to see your kids invite their friends to participate. They can form a group and keep each other accountable while sharing ideas. Teachers may like to use it with their class and include a writing activity by having their students document each act of kindness with words and photos.

To get them inspired and see what an impact a group can have, here’s a math problem for kids to figure out. Count how many people they personally know are taking part of this challenge or are part of their group or class. Multiply that number by 10 acts of kindness for each person. The answer to that is how many acts of kindness they will give and how many people they will affected in a positive way! Imagine a class of 25 students, that’s a huge 250 people who will be made to feel special. 

Step 2 – Download the checklist

Download and print the checklist. Color a star each week that an act of kindness is given. It doesn’t matter if a week is missed, kids can pick up where they left off anytime but should aim to complete all 10 good deeds.

Step 3 – Check our posts

One act of kindness will be posted each Monday (Melbourne time) on FacebookInstagram and here on our blog. Instructions will be given for each one. 

Step 4 – Share pictures 

Help inspire others by showcasing idea with photos! Go to our Facebook page and post yours under the appropriate post. We may even share some of them on our blog! 

It’s as simple as that!

Kindness Coloring Pages - Ripple Kindness Project

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Most people in a household have daily or weekly chores of which others are often quite unaware of. They just seem to happen and no-one really notices.

This act of kindness gets children to think about the tasks each person has and the impact it has on them and the family. The aim of doing a chore for each person during this week is to help kids appreciate how others contribute and the difference they make. It will also give the recipient of their kindness a little break from their usual routine and let them know they are efforts are noticed.

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