Ways to Celebrate Be Kind to Humankind Week with Kids
Observed the last week of August each year, Be Kind to Humankind Week is a way for people to celebrate kindness, generosity, service, and forgiveness to our fellow human beings. It serves as a reminder that kind words and acts should be the norm, as supporting one another is a direct way to help people thrive.
Kids’ social emotional health is a critical factor that contributes to their well-being and helps them develop the necessary skills to navigate through life. By celebrating Be Kind to Humankind Week with your kids, you can teach them multiple ways to practice kindness. Here are some suggestions for each day of the week:
Day 1: Perform a random act (or two) of kindness. Brainstorm with your child some ways to brighten a stranger’s day. It could be leaving them a nice note or piece of art on a doorstep or windshield, paying for someone’s lunch or coffee, giving flowers to a passerby, giving a gift card to a store clerk or person in line, etc. Check out more ideas.
Day 2: Mail a letter or card to a friend—as a surprise. People love getting mail! Have your child write a letter or card to a friend or relative of theirs. It could be the start of a pen-pal relationship or it could just be a nice thing to receive; either way, both the sender and recipient benefit.
Day 3: Volunteer to help someone. Help takes millions of forms, and it’s important for kids to get in the habit of both asking for—and giving—help. For this day, sign up with your child to volunteer somewhere, such as a food pantry, a park clean-up, an animal shelter, a nursing home, or any other kid-friendly place to do some good. Or, you and your child can offer to help someone in your community who needs it by doing things like yardwork, giving them a ride, bringing them a home-cooked meal, or offering child care.
Day 4: Create a list of kind things to say. Everyone should have some go-to kind and thoughtful things to say in their repertoire, so this is a great activity for all ages. Work together to come up with a list of kind things to say in various situations, such as compliments, helping someone sad or in distress, offering a listening ear, and cheering on those who’ve accomplished something.
Day 5: Play a social emotional health game. Games such as Feelings Charades and In My Shoes teach kids empathy, but there are plenty of other games that develop skills like cooperation and conflict resolution. Check out these options from Playworks.