Building kind citizens by integrating activities into your routine

Building kind citizens may not be in our schools’ curriculum, but it is an important goal of both educators and parents. Studies show that kind people are not only happier, they are healthier.

Kindness is like a muscle. For some it may be naturally stronger, but every person can build that muscle with practice. And practicing kindness can be simple if we build it into our routine. Here are twelve ideas to get your routine started:

Be kind to each other each and every day. Say hello, good morning, and goodbye with a handshake, high five, or hug. This may mean reminding yourself to take a break from preparing so you can greet kids and their parents as they arrive to school. Take this a step further and ask them a question about their day and listen actively.

Demonstrate kindness in your words and actions. When speaking to and in front of children, use a kind tone. If you need to discuss a problem with a child, pull him or her aside to have a private conversation. Allow the child acting out to hear and discuss how his or her behavior affects you and others. Never call people bad, a bully, or by other names.

Build community. Give children opportunities to get to know each other and learn to work together. One fun way to do this is to regularly provide opportunities to answer check-in questions or participating in icebreakers and/or cooperative games. Here are seven fun games:

Integrate kindness into routines. At the end of the day or before transitioning to a new activity, provide groups the opportunity to give appreciations. Appreciations are simple. Standing in a circle, allow anyone who wants to name a person, express their gratitude to that person, and share why. Or schedule time for gratitude journaling. Ask kids to draw and/or write about someone who was kind to them that day. To make the impact greater, allow kids to post their favorite entries on the wall for others to see.

How do you develop kindness in kids?

Check out this entry on the contagious power of kindness.

You can also find 156 fun games in our newest Game Guide!

Includes everything from games you can play in a small space with no materials, to games you can play in a big group during recess. Search for games by age level, time/space/materials available, and by the life skills used (like problem solving or teamwork).

Download GameS

 

 

 

 


Are you an educator? Playworks can help your school start with recess to build kind community.

Get Started

More Resources


March 13, 2019

Behind the Scenes: Reinforcing SEL with Games ›

You probably know the saying “you are what you eat.” But did you know that you are also “how you play”? When it comes to social and emotional learning (SEL), practice matters. When kids play, they are practicing social and emotional habits that will stick.

January 28, 2019

10 Brain Breaks That Will Help Your Students Refocus ›

It’s that time of day. Your students are restless, perhaps due to the weather. You can see their eyes glazing over as you review decimals and fractions—for the third time this week. The room is stuffy, and everyone is tired. Students move to their tables and begin their group work, when suddenly, you hear loud…

November 17, 2018

Jump Rope Games To Help Everyone Jump In ›

Jump rope is one of the easiest ways to play alongside kids at recess or during break time. Grown-ups can introduce games that help kids develop basic jumping skills or use jump ropes in creative ways. Here are a few of our favorite jump rope games for different ages and learning goals. Games to reinforce…