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12 World Kindness Day Activities to Build Character Traits & Wellbeing

12 World Kindness Day Activities To Build Character Traits And Wellbeing At School.

Random Acts of Kindness Day and World Kindness Day activities can help save your sanity and unite your classroom.

The world feels uncertain and turbulent right now. It seems people are on edge and feeling lost. It's times like these where we look for the good to provide hope and that's where kindness can make such a difference.

Kindness is a value that goes beyond just being a moral necessity. Teaching it builds positive character traits like empathy and respect and increases emotional intelligence. This can have a powerful impact on wellbeing and create a calm and harmonious classroom community.

If that's not enough to convince you to participate in World Kindness Day and continue promoting altruism thereafter, read on...

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Why Prioritize Kindness in the Classroom?

Promoting kindness doesn’t just create feel-good emotions. It's a practice rooted in scientific research and proven to enhance the wellbeing of students and teachers.

Dr. Waguih William IsHak, a professor of psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai reports the positive effects of kindness on mental and emotional health. “Acts of kindness can release hormones that contribute to your mood and overall wellbeing.”

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"The rewards of acts of kindness are many," says Dr. IsHak. "They help us feel better and they help those who receive them. We're building better selves and better communities at the same time."

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He says studies show that participating in random acts of kindness releases oxytocin and dopamine. These are chemical messengers in the brain that can give us a feeling of euphoria and are credited with causing what's known as a "helper's high."

As students engage in kindness activities, they are rewarded by these powerful hormones. They can also experience an increase in serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood to reduce stress and anxiety and create a sense of happiness and fulfillment. This leads to another important benefit; teaching kindness can also boost academic performance and results.

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"It is possible that teachers, parents and mentors may be able to help children achieve academic success by modeling, teaching, and fostering the development of helping behaviors."

If You Teach Children To Be Kind You Get Better Results In Class - Forbes
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And if that isn't enough, kindness helps people to connect. Relationships are another powerful and essential component for wellbeing.

This makes kindness an important classroom management strategy to encourage good behavior and a positive classroom community. 

How Do You Teach Kindness in the Classroom?

As you've seen, social-emotional learning (SEL) and kindness lessons play a pivotal role in fostering wellbeing and instilling values of empathy, respect, and consideration.

Using kindness lessons to nurture positive character traits can be fun and educational at the same time. Students will not only excel academically but also develop into compassionate and empathetic individuals and it can have a profound impact on your classroom climate. 

Teaching kindness can be as simple as noticing and pointing out kind behavior, reading picture books where being kind is the central theme, and asking students to share when positive things happen. But the most effective way to instill altruism is to participate in acts of kindness. Doing and feeling creates the helpers' high that becomes addictive and leads to more good deeds.

This is where the celebrated days are fantastic for starting a habit of kindness and respect. Make an effort to find engaging Kindness Day activities to get your students hooked on doing good!

Simple But Effective Ways to Celebrate Kindness Days

1. Participate in a Kindness Bookmarks Challenge

Throw a love bomb into your classroom with this popular kindness challenge. Kids can't get enough of it and teachers love that this no-prep bookmarks activity is FUN while promoting friendship and a positive classroom community. 

Students can either make their own or use a ready-made coloring bookmark and personalize it with pencils, markers, and glitter. They then turn it over and write a positive message on the back to a schoolmate. They might write a compliment, a note of encouragement, or wish them a great day. 

When everyone's finished, the fun begins! You'll take your grade on a secret mission to hide their bookmarks in the library as a surprise for unsuspecting lenders. As your students quietly sneak around the library being careful not to be caught in the act of kindness, they feel proud that they're making a difference to someone's day. 

Students Holding Kindness Coloring Bookmarks By Ripple Kindness Project Ready To Participate In A Fun Kindness Challenge.

This highly engaging activity teaches students valuable skills like consideration and empathy as they think of others while crafting their message. But there are also developmental benefits like enhancing fine motor skills, spatial awareness, strengthening muscles in the hand and improving the control needed for writing.

My ready-made bookmarks are so popular with elementary and special needs students. They tick all the boxes for fun, excitement, and learning while making an impact throughout your school. 

I used this resource with our school's Kindness Club. We colored the bookmarks and hid them in books in our library. The Kindness Club members LOVED making the bookmarks, and I've received great feedback from our school's media specialist about the reactions from students who are finding the bookmarks. Thank you so much. 🙂

Shania B - 3rd, 4th, 5th Grades

As an End of Year activity, my kids coloured these in left them randomly in books in my class library for the next year's students - it has been so fun to see my new class discovering them!

Mia V - 2nd Grade

I just love this resource! I have used a couple of times now and not only is it easy and quick for teachers, the engagement that it generates within the classroom for students is exceptional. Thank you so much for a resource that is high in quality, easy and engaging to use and practical! 

Megan V - 3rd, 4th, 5th Grades

Summary

This kindness bookmarks challenge is LOVED by elementary and special needs students. It creates a buzz of excitement as students learn how they can make a positive impact on others. This kindness challenge is something your students will want to participate in every year! Cut some strips of paper and let students get creative or get my ready-made bookmarks kit.

2. Create a Kindness Tree

Kindness trees are an amazing and fun way to encourage acts of kindness at school. Students love the excitement of watching their tree come to life as good deeds are added!! 

I love this idea so much that I wrote a post with lots of examples from around the world to inspire more schools to create a tree. I even created a resource with templates to make it as easy as possible to encourage whole schools to participate.

Kindness Tree Bulletin Board Kit For Primary And Elementary School Hallways For Students, Teachers, And Parents To Report Acts Of Kindness By Ripple Kindness Sel Activities.
Printable Resource To Make A Kindness Tree Bulletin Board For Primary And Elementary School Hallways For Students, Teachers, And Parents To Report Acts Of Kindness By Ripple Kindness Sel Activities.

Great community building resource. I really liked how it included everyone - teachers, students, parents and the Principal. Thank you. 

Samantha R - K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th Grades

I used this as a bulletin board outside my classroom. We are talking about being a kind school this year. This board is so cute and so powerful. I am thinking of doing it next year also!

Kaelene S - K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th Grades

My Kindness and Manners Count Club used this resource to celebrate National Kindness Day for our whole school. It was loved by all.

Moneta R - 3rd, 4th, 5th Grades

You can use this kindness challenge as a class, year level, or whole school kindness activity to promote positive character traits and improve community. 

The kindness tree is a wonderful community event that brings students, teachers, and parents together to do good. It's a powerful and fun way to set expectations of friendship, inclusion, and caring during kindness days. 

Summary

Teachers and students love making kindness trees. They're a wonderful way to bring a community together to spread goodwill. The more acts of kindness students, teachers, and parents complete, the greater the tree grows and so does the positive energy at your school!
I wrote a post with examples and instructions to encourage you to make your own but if you want a done for you kit, click the button below to see a preview.

3. Make a Collaborative Kindness Quilt

Another absolute favorite! A kindness quilt is such a fun activity to bring students together to create a gorgeous visual reminder of the kindness they can share every day. 

All you need are some paper squares for students to turn into quilt patches. They can make up their own kindness quotes or look up some timeless wisdom online to add to their piece. Color it in with markers and glitter pens to make it pop and put all the pieces together to create a lovely bulletin board for your classroom.

During one kindness challenge, a teacher wrote to tell me that all of the grades in her school made a kindness quilt that they each displayed in the hallways of their school. Can you imagine how amazing it must have looked! 

A Gorgeous Kindness Quilt Colored And Assembled By Primary And Elementary School Students.

Kindness quilt submitted by Karen Caswell, fourth grade teacher at Coomera Rivers State School

If you'd rather a print and go activity, you can make a similar quilt to the one above with my Kindness Quilt Bulletin Board Kit! It has everything you need to create our own amazing kindness poster.

  • 30 different kindness quote quilt squares in black outlines for students to color.
  • 30 colored quilt squares ready to print if you want a quick bulletin board for Kindness Day.
  • 10 blank designs for students to write their own kindness quote.
  • 10 kindness image designs to include visuals or as fillers if you want to fill up the space.
  • 2 banners to print and assemble for the middle or top of your quilt.
  • Google Slides doc where teachers or students can type their own kindness message.
  • Kindness information and facts about the benefits of coloring.
  • Kindness book recommendations.
Digital And Printable Resources For A Kindness Quilt For Primary And Elementary School Students By Ripple Kindness Sel Activities.

This patchwork quilt has 30 squares with kindness quotes as well as images and bordered squares for students to add their own quote. 

Ready-made quilt squares can be printed to use as coloring pages or students can use Google Slides™ to add different positive messages. Kids practice writing and spelling as they write or type an inspirational quote onto a blank template and personalize their piece with a picture if they'd like.

Kindness Quilt Patch By Karen Caswell Coomera Rivers State School
Kindness Quilt Piece By Karen Caswell Coomera Rivers State School

We used this to create a Kindness quilt in our hallway and it was a big hit! The kindness quotes were great discussion points. Thank you!

Laura D - 6th Grade

My class have created this beautiful kindness quilt as part of our school's beginning of the year wellbeing focus on relationships and kindness. Every piece of the quilt is different and the words are so meaningful. We still look at it on the classroom wall from time to time, reflect and remind ourselves of the words.

Lyn C - 2nd Grade

We used this activity along with the book for our school wide kindness week initiative. Each class made their own kindness quilt and we hung them up in the halls of the school. It was a great activity and I highly recommend. 

Tandy D - 1st Grade  

Summary

If you want to create a visual to remind students to be kind, a kindness quilt is loved by all. It's such a fun and creative way to reinforce positive character traits. All you need are some paper squares, markers, quotes, and perhaps some glitter and glue. But if you're short on time, click the button below to see what's included in my kindness quilt bulletin board kit.

4. Use Morning Meetings to Encourage Kids to Caring

Classroom circles or morning meetings are a great ritual to start during Kindness Week. Daily circle time allows you to check in on student wellbeing and set expectations for the day ahead. They can be a valuable tool for fostering social-emotional learning (SEL) and promoting kindness within the classroom.

Though interactions are brief, they provide a space for students to express their emotions and create opportunities for them to observe and learn from their peers' empathetic behaviors.

Build Community And Improve Wellbeing In The Classroom With Circles

Creating daily opportunities for students to witness their classmates actively listening and showing concern for others is invaluable for their personal growth. This process of modeling and observation plays a crucial role in shaping students' understanding of empathy and kindness.

Morning check-ins foster a sense of community and belonging. When students feel comfortable sharing their emotions and experiences, they are more likely to connect with their peers on a deeper level. This sense of connection can contribute to a more positive and supportive classroom environment.

Summary

Use Kindness Day to start a daily morning meeting or check-in to allow students to express concerns, build SEL skills, and create feelings of belonging. This is an act of kindness that will benefit you and your students.  

5. Everyone Needs Kindness Coloring Pages 

These cute coloring pages are one of my most popular and versatile kindness activities for kids and top of the list for easy World Kindness Day activities. 

Thousands of teachers worldwide use these kindness coloring pages as a mindfulness activity to calm students and build positive character traits. They're perfect to pop in a calm down corner to reinforce kind behavior while giving students time to calm down and reset with a brain break.

Teachers also use them as a fun and engaging activity for early finishers, as an easy mindfulness lesson, or a no-prep substitute teacher activity. 

A Selection Of Colored And Uncolored Kindness Coloring Pages For Kids To Build Positive Character Traits By Ripple Kindness Sel Activities

Did you know that coloring is an effective way to foster physical and psychological development in children? It is a relaxing form of self-expression that stimulates creativity and supports a range of benefits to nurture student wellbeing and mental health.

We know that teaching kindness has many physical, emotional, and mental health benefits. This is significant for schools who need to improve relationships to reduce anti-social and bullying behavior. These sheets combine the benefits of coloring with positive affirmation that reinforce healthy thoughts, feelings and behavior to build character and nurture friendships.

These pictures went great with my social skills lesson, and it gave me some more books on the same topic to use and reinforce our learning about being kind to one another.

Esther A - K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th Grades
Primarily students with mild to severe disabilities

My students loved these. We used them during our character traits unit. Since my school doesn't celebrate Valentines Day, I used these as "kindness coupons in a "treasure chest" hung on their desk -- fun.

Elizabeth W - Kindergarten

I used this as a way for my students to bond with their buddy students in a younger grade. It allowed the students to interact with one another while helping to make something to display in the school.

Allyson J - 2nd Grade

FREE Kindness Superpower Coloring Pages!

Free Kindness Is Your Superpower Coloring Pages By Ripple Kindness Project

Summary

A really easy way to celebrate Kindness Day. Just print the coloring pages and have students color them in. When they're done, they can help you hang them around the school as a reminder of the behavior everyone appreciates. Download the freebies above and pop them in your calm down corner or use as a substitute teacher activity. Grab a set of coloring pages if you want more below.  

6. A Fun Kindness Checklist for Students

These fun checklists helps kids to understand how to apply kindness in a variety of situations. Students enjoy checking off as many good deeds as they can in 4 categories. 

Ready-Made And Editable Kindness Checklist For Random Acts Of Kindness Day By Ripple Kindness Project

These checklists are popular no-prep Kindness Day learning for busy teachers who want easy kindness activities that build character traits and nurture classroom community.

The worksheets are also editable which allows teachers to customize the checklists to suit their grade.

Teachers can also assign a copy of the Google Slides™ resource to students so they can add their own kindness ideas. There's also a template to make a checklist from scratch. Such a fun way to practice kindness and improve technology skills!

Students can work independently or learn skills such as consideration and co-operation collaborating on the group challengeThey are challenged to complete three or more acts of kindness from four categories (school, home, community, with an adult) OR five or more in two categories when working together in a group.

A great kindness activity that will have students considering ways they can make a difference. They'll be engaged for hours or even days!

Super helpful resource to use when encouraging acts of kindness! Well worded and easy for students to understand.

Fourth Story Creative Co - 4th Grade

I used this as a continuation of our weekly bully meetings about being kind. The checklist was a great way for them to see many different ways they have or can be kind to others.

Jacqueline Y - 2nd Grade

I loved this checklist! So many great ideas to talk about! Sent it home as a challenge for students to complete as many as they could in November and bring back for a prize!

Mandy E - K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th Grades

Teachers can also join the challenge by printing our FREE adult checklist!

Free Kindness Checklists For Adults

Summary

If you're looking for a Kindness Day activity that gets kids thinking, these editable checklists are just the ticket. You can opt to use the ready-made checklist or have students build their own using the Google Slides™ templates. Either way, it's lots of fun with an active learning resource where kindness is spread at school, home, and in the community. 

7. A Creative Kindness Coloring Bulletin Board Challenge

Kids love coloring and it's a great incentive to get them to participate in acts of kindness. Create a large poster with a kindness message and images in outlines for students to color each time they report an act of kindness they've received or witnessed. Type up a "kindness report" card and print it out for students to write about a good deed and who was involved. 

Coloring Bulletin Board With Wording Kindness Matters. Students Report And Act Of Kindness And Get To Color Part Of The Poster.

If you'd like an easy option, then you might like the flower doodle kindness poster and report cards above. All you need to do with this activity is print and assemble. 

This is perfect for our older grades! The combination of art with writing is exactly what we need for our Kindness Day activities! 

Brodie Educational Consulting - 3rd, 4th, 5th Grades

Great resource to teach kindness in the classroom. Thank you.

Gina O. - students with disabilities in 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th grades


Summary

A quick and easy Kindness Week activity that your students will love. Every act of kindness witnessed or received allows them to color a piece of the poster. They'll be so eager to be kind your classroom will be buzzing with positivity! This kindness bulletin board is also an easy resource to leave for subs. 

8. Self-Care With a Loving Kindness Meditation

This kindness meditation is a lovely way to reinforce self-worth and a positive belief system. It helps students take time away from the chaos and noise of the school day when struggling to focus to sit in stillness and peace. 

This guided meditation leads your kids on a magical journey to relax and de-stress. These calming moments are amazing for grounding both you and your students. Even just a few minutes can help everyone calm down so they can regain focus and help them get out of their own head to consider those around them.

Free Loving Kindness Meditation Script And Audio File For Elementary Students.

This post explains the benefits of meditation and gives you step by step instructions. You can even download a free guided Loving Kindness Meditation audio file so all you have to do is press play! 

Summary

Kindness to yourself and others is the name of the game with this relaxing guided meditation. Loving Kindness is a well-known meditation that cultivates feelings of love, compassion, and goodwill. It's a beautiful way to create some stillness in a busy classroom and reinforce kindness for all living creatures. 

9. A Fun 10 Kindness Days Activities Challenge Checklist

This 5-week kindness challenge checklist is a great way to help improve friendships and reduce bullying in your classroom. 

Students learn about kindness and respect with 10 fun character-building activities that can be started during kindness week and continued over the following month or two. 

There's even a kindness survey included for you to check the happiness level in your classroom before starting. It's a great way to discover if students are doing well or if anyone is being unkind. When students take the questionnaire again after the challenge, you can see if they feel better about coming to school.

Kids satisfyingly get to check off each of these Kindness Day Activities as they complete them and the excitement mounts as they move closer to the Kindness Heart Attack activity - a secret mission to make someone’s day!

This Resource Includes:

  • Student Kindness Survey
  • Kindness Coloring Page
  • Acrostic Poem
  • Positive Qualities Word Search
  • Crack the Code Worksheets
  • Tear-Off Family Coupons
  • Crack the Code - Fill in the Blanks
  • Kindness Poster
  • Acts of Kindness Story
  • Bookmark Challenge
  • Heart Attack - Secret Mission
Resources For A 5-Week Kindness Challenge With Coloring Pages, Bookmarks, Coupons, Activities, And A Student Happiness Survey By Ripple Kindness Sel Activities

Summary

This resource is great if you want to focus on kindness for more than just the week. Nine engaging and educational activities to complete followed by an exciting "kindness heart-attack" where students sneak off on a secret kindness mission. Fun, fun, fun!!

10. Massively Popular Kindness Fortune Tellers

Oh, how kids love fortune tellers!! They honestly can't get enough of them and they're absolutely fabulous for building fine motor skills. Combine this fun game with kindness and you have a Kindness Day winner! 

I'm going to make it super easy for you to get started. Just download my free fortune teller template for kids to make one of their own.  

FREE Fortune Teller Template

Digital And Printable Resources To Make A Kindness Fortune Teller Or Cootie Catcher By Ripple Kindness Sel Activities

But, if you want a more comprehensive and done for you activity, you can grab my kindness fortune teller pack. You'll have everything you need to either print and use or get students to make their own in Google Slides™. Lots of fun and learning all rolled into one engaging activity. 

Summary

If you're an elementary teacher and you haven't used paper fortune tellers in your classroom, your students are missing out! I'm told over and over how much students LOVE them, and you can make your own with this handy FREE template. If you want a done for you kindness resource, then click the button below to see a preview of what's included in my fortune teller pack and how it works.

11. Essential Kindness Books

Picture books play a crucial role in elementary classrooms, and I have a soft spot for anything centered around kindness. They're more than just a brain break from learning, they're essential tools for shaping young minds.

Picture books captivate children's attention, fostering a love for reading and enhance literacy skills. Stories about kindness go a step further by instilling important values in kids. They teach empathy, cooperation, and the significance of treating others with respect. In a world that can sometimes feel chaotic, these books offer a comforting narrative that helps create a positive and inclusive classroom culture. 

The books pictured below are a sample of the many wonderful books you can use to encourage kindness. If you're looking for more, click the button to see a wider selection. Full disclosure, they do contain affiliate links to help support this blog. 

The Power Of One Kindness Book By Trudy Ludwig
Growing Up With A Bucket Full Of Happiness Three Rules For A Happier Life Book
Miss Rumphius Picture Story Book

Miss Rumphius

12. A Whole Year of Engaging Kindness Activities

There are so many ways to teach about kindness in your classroom but for the lesson to stick, it must be engaging. I also believe it's essential for students to experience those feel-good emotions produced by doing good so they can catch the "kindness bug". 

To really cement kindness as a way of life, you have to practice regularly. This mega value kindness bundle easily covers you for well over a year of kindness. 

A Big Bundle Of Kindness Activities To Last The Whole Year. Includes Puzzles, Games, Bingo, Paper Fortune Teller, Kindness Coloring Pages, Posters, Kindness Quilt, Bulletin Boards, Kindness Craft, Kindness Cash For Classroom Management, Kindness Bookmarks And So Much More!

There are 27 resources included in this huge bundle. Too much to list here so click the button below to read all about it and see a preview of each and every resource. 

I hope you found some fun Kindness Day activities to kickstart goodwill in your classroom to help embed positive values and respect for classmates. If you'd like some other ideas, this post has more kindness activities and ideas for volunteering. 

I'd love to hear what you did with your students. Please email me HERE


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