It can be a hard job in our society today to effectively teach our children to be kind. There’s so much ugly out there and while we can try to shield them from it all, we can’t protect them from it completely. To combat the unpleasantness, I feel like it is incredibly important to build up strong walls of empathy and compassion within our children. We need to impress upon them that it is so essential to maintaining a society in which we can live so freely is by remembering that everything is not about our own wants, needs, and desires, and that often, we should make sure that we are lifting up others. Of course, aside from modeling this behavior, we use books to share about how we should treat others. I wanted to also share with you lovely bookworms the books that encourage kindness that we use in our home.
Following the book list, there are also some wonderful random acts of kindness that you can do with your children to help them spread the love.
Books that Encourage Kindness
1. Those Shoes by Maribeth Boelt
2. The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig
3. Cuddle Bear by Claire Freedman
When Cuddle Bear notices that his friends all seem a bit unhappy or lonely, he sets out on a mission to help them feel better by giving the best thing he has–hugs. This is a simple, but lovely story about how we can all reach out to our loved ones and brighten their day with something that we can all do.
4. Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed by Emily Pearson
5. Cheer Up by Michael Gordon
When a little boy named Ben wakes up in a grumpy mood and he can’t seem to find the thing that will make him feel better. Finally, after helping a hen with a deed, he realizes that helping others just might be the ticket to improving his sour disposition!
6. Plant a Kiss by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
I have always loved Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s books. This one is no exception. It has a magical feeling to it as it shares whimsically how just one simple act can have a global impact.
7. Can I Join Your Club? by John Kelly
When duck wants to join Lion’s club, he is turned away because he cannot properly roar. Then he moves on to apply to be a member of Snake’s club, but he has legs and wings and is denied! What will a duck who wants some friends do?? Why, form an all-inclusive club of his very own!
8. The Jelly Donut Difference by Maria Dismondy
9. Harry the Happy Mouse by Ng K
Harry is a happy mouse who enjoys helping others. One day, he assists a Frog, and requests that the frog continue sharing the kindness by helping someone else. The story follows these acts of kindness and the reader becomes privy to how one simple moment can cause a wondrous chain reaction.
10. What Does it Mean to Be Kind? by Rana DiOrio
If you are just looking for a way to illustrate to your children what it really means to be kind, then this books is a fantastic tool. Descriptive imagery accompanies the text to bring this value to life for children.
Now that you’ve read all these books that encourage kindness, what next? It’s time to go out and spread the love! Need some tips on what you can do? Check out these FABULOUS ideas:
Random Acts of Kindness Ideas for Kids
1. Make RAK Kits from The Gifty Girl
2. Print these Random Acts of Kindness Cards from Wondermom Wannabe
3. Use these Random Acts of Kindness Lunchbox Notes from Natural Beach Living
4. Make postcards for seniors from Sunny Day Family
5. Bake cookies to share with neighbors from Rhythms of Play
6. Leave heartprints behind with Mrs. Jones’ Creation Station
7. Connect books and kindness even more with these literacy based ideas from Growing Book by Book
8. Join Kid World Citizen in these great ways to spread kindness in your community.
9. Find a local organization to help like Beauty through Imperfection
10. Join in the Rainbow Rock Project like Days with Grey