The day after the election I was in shock, then angry and finally depressed. And the thought of facing racism made me mad and ready to fight. And it’s not like I don’t spend a few hours punching every week. I was ready to fistfight, and, it turns out, I wasn’t the only one. Day 1 in Trump’s America is an ugly place to be.
But then I met with Valarie and Becky for Multicultural Children’s Book Day — we meet weekly via Skype for the months leading up to January 27th — and we realized that now, more than ever, we need to fight for acceptance of diversity through compassion. Believe me, this is not an easy leap to make for me! My first response would be to throw a punch when faced with racism, so I give myself this reminder today, on World Kindness Day, November 13th.
Today is World Kindness Day (and boy do we need it)
And, as I think about kindness, I am reminded of Valerie at Inner Child Fun (different Valerie than Valarie at Jump Into a Book/Multicultural Children’s Book Day) and how she inspired me with her 35 Random Acts of Kindness Birthday Challenge. I knew I wanted to face my own upcoming 48th birthday this way. It wasn’t easy to pull it off; I needed a month, but it was the best birthday present ever!
And just like that … ripples of kindness actually spread.
48 Random Acts of Kindness for My 48th Birthday
I had to research ideas to hit all 48 but I doing Easy Everyday Acts of Kindness could become a daily habit without too much effort. My kindness habit grew slowly but I wanted my kids to get involved.
Megan of Coffee Cups and Crayons blew me away with her Random Acts of Christmas Kindness for Kids.
Megan and Ellen of Confessions of an Over Worked Mom inspired me to make my own DIY Gratitude Advent Calendar which I did with my kids.
Soon, I was seeing acts of kindness everywhere. Here’s author Courtney Sheinmel with ideas for kindness that she witnessed at the schools she visited:
(pair this early chapter book with Each Kindness; they are similar stories)
“As an author, I visit a lot of schools, and I’ve been fascinated by the different kindnesses I’ve seen. There was the school with a designated “Kindness Corner,” and another with a program called “Caught Being Kind.” There were third graders on Long Island who cut their hair for Locks of Love, and a boy in Pennsylvania who spent an afternoon securing tennis balls to the chair legs in his classroom, buffering sounds so that his hearing-impaired best friend wouldn’t miss a word their teacher said.” What Kindness Can Do by Courtney Sheinmel at Nerdy Book Club.
Here are more ideas from Random Acts of Kindness: 10 Kindness Week Ideas for Schools.
- Kindness Activity Wall: Designate a wall or bulletin board to kindness! Download this PDF for ideas.
- Kindness Jar: Write down kind acts on slips of paper
- Positive Sticky Notes: So simple, but so effective.
- Caught Being Kind: Where do you see kindness in your school? Create bulletin boards that provide students with opportunities to recognize and share kindness with others.
- RAK Calendar: Share this Kindness Calendar Sheet from primarilypeace.tumblr.com with your students. How many students can check off all 30 kindness activities?
- Custodian Appreciation: As a class, take time to write letters and put up signs showing your appreciation for the people who take care of your school! You could also include: crossing guard, lunch ladies/men, school admin, teacher aides, school librarian, and others.
- Start a staff meeting or your first 10 minutes of class with an inspiring video
- Create a Third Party Compliments Box: Unique, effective and totally doable. See how students at Carol High School made theirs youtube.com/compliments-box-video.
- Track acts of Kindness By Grade: Every week, try highlighting an act of kindness from each grade.
- Set up a Thank You Note Station at your School: Studies show that practicing gratitude increases positive emotions and happiness.
You can also read picture books to inspire kindness. Megan at Coffee Cups and Crayons has Acts of Kindness Picture Books. Valarie at Jump Into a Book has a Kindness Book List for Kids. She also has book extension for Peep and Egg.
Kindness is contagious and it’s powerful. Let’s all celebrate with an act of kindness. It’s a gift that gives back. What are your favorite ways to spread kindness? What will you do today with your kids? Thanks for sharing and caring.
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p.s. Related posts:
9 Picture Books about Kindness and Compassion
FREE Classroom Kindness Kit from Multicultural Children’s Book Day
25 Random Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar
Our 25 Random Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar
Easy Everyday Acts of Kindness
48 Random Acts of Kindness to Celebrate My Birthday
Random Acts of Kindness to Celebrate My Upcoming Birthday
BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.
12 thoughts on “Today is World Kindness Day (and boy do we need it)”
Great post! Even though I don’t live in America, I went through a similar cycle of feelings when I heard that Trump had won the elections. Good to know though that there are many people all over the world who stand for empathy and kindness, not hate!
Thank you! We are fighting for kindness and inclusion here!
I’d add “Because Amelia Smiles.”
That’s a great addition Pat! Thank you!
I didn’t even know there was a World Kindness Day – but you are so right, kindness is so precious an needs to be pinpointed more – and if we can highlight the kindnedd in day-to-day small actions, hopefully they will bulod up and overpower the bullying and selfish world that we hear so much about…
Each Kindness is a beautiful book. And I especially love the idea of the Kindness Advent calendar – very timely as we will be addressing Anti-Bullying week (UK) at Cubs this evening and I think creating our own calendar along these lines would be perfect…
Thanks so much Marjorie! I have 10 days to go with my own Advent RAK Calendar. It’s forced me to think about doing an act of kindess every day but I’m glad because December is so busy that it’s easy not to do this. Hopefully, it becomes a daily habit for me.
Pinning this of course. 🙂
Thanks so much Mrs. AOK for sharing!!!
Love your ideas & book titles!
Thanks so much Melissa and for joining us as a co-host for MCBD!
I missed this when it was originally published, but so true! I’m struggling so much with all of the hate and anger right now, we all need to be kind. I’ve read a bunch that you listed, but a few are new to me. My other personal favorites are Because Amelia Smiled and Kindness is Cooler, Mrs. Ruler which has a whole list of 100 random acts of kindness.
Thank you so much for your great book recommendations Michelle! I’m working on adding more books to this list so I’ll add yours too! I agree that I am also in need of kindness inspiration after the hate and racism that has escalated this past year.