Preschool is an ideal age to incorporate activities focused on kindness. Kids in this impressionable age group absorb everything they learn and have reached an age where they can understand simple reasoning. You may find preschoolers playing quietly together one minute, then fighting over a toy the next. Sometimes, preschoolers bump, push, hit and grab without discretion or remorse. Add kindness-themed activities to your preschooler's routine to encourage and teach this important characteristic.
Teach acts of kindness and manners through play. Turn Simon Says or charades into kindness activities. For example, say "Simon Says open the door for a friend," or for charades, ask your kids to act out helping a friend who fell down. Introducing ways to be kind in the form of a game will give kids the ability to act on what they learned in the real world. The next time a friend falls down, your child will know what to do because she has learned how to respond.
If your preschooler likes to perform, role play is a fun way to teach kindness. Create a situation, or scene, in which you and your child (or two children) act out a scenario together. Tell your children to imagine that are two kids at school with nothing to eat for lunch. Ask them to act out how they would respond and what they would say and do. When they are done, offer praise for areas where they displayed kindness, and suggestions for areas that need guidance.
There is no better way to learn than by doing. Have your preschooler help you organize a food drive or collect clothing and toys to give to families in need. Have a lemonade stand in the front yard and let your children choose a charity to donate the earnings to. Ask them to draw pictures or make get well cards for kids at the local children's hospital. Preschoolers love to be included, so charitable acts can get them involved and teach kindness at the same time, and they'll feel confident and proud of their actions.
Pay It Forward
Undoubtedly, you do something nice for your children every day. Ask them to pass on the kindness by doing something nice for someone else every day as well. They may need suggestions or encouragement, so let them know when they can hold the door open for strangers, help you put groceries away, pay a friend a compliment or give a small gift to someone they care about just because. Seeing others respond to acts of kindness with gratitude and happiness will provide positive reinforcement to continue modeling kind behavior.