I love the idea of teaching children about kindness, friendship, and caring for others during the month of February. It might be because Valentine’s Day is celebrated this month, and talking about being kind makes the concept more concrete for the kiddos. Towards that end, we made colorful heart manipulatives that would pair well with a good book and acts of kindness for kids.
How to Make Colorful Heart Manipulatives
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- Small wooden hearts (we found ours at a local craft store, but this set would be a good alternative)
- Liquid watercolors (we used my favorite glitter watercolors this time, but we also love these watercolors)
- Paper towels
- Small glass jars
- Squirt a small amount of liquid watercolors into a glass jar, bowl, or cup.
- Add a few wooden hearts at a time. Gently swirl the jar until the hearts are covered by the watercolors.
- Kids can also just paint the wooden hearts. We made a lot at one time and decided swirling them around would go faster.
- Remove the dyed hearts. Let them dry on paper towels.
- Repeat for each color you want to use.
Read a Good Book About Kindness
While you’re all waiting for the dyed hearts to dry, break out a sweet book about kindness.
My friend Anna from The Imagination Tree sent me a copy of her new book, The Story of the Kindness Elves in exchange for an honest review. As always, my thoughts, words, and gushing are all my own. I’ve loved the Kindness Elves since she created them and was glad to add this book to my collection, alongside our family’s Elves.
The book’s about how the elves created acts of kindness for kids to share with those around them. I especially like how it focuses on those little acts of kindness that seem so small but mean so much to others. Playing board games with an elderly neighbor, bringing cookies to a new family in the neighborhood, etc.
After reading the book to the kiddos, have them come up with some ideas for small things they can do to be kind to those around them. Record their ideas on a kindness anchor chart and keep track of the nice things the children do throughout the week . . . the month . . . the year.
Acts of Kindness for Kids to Try
Now that the colorful hearts have been made and the book’s been read, it’s time to delve into some acts of kindness! The kids can use the dyed hearts as kindness tokens, including them in notes they leave along the way. Here are a few ideas to get started (remember, no act of kindness is too small, especially for young children):
- Sit with a new friend at lunch.
- Help another child throw away her trash.
- Comfort a friend who falls on the playground.
- Write a note to a friend or a sibling. Tell him one thing you like about him. Include a colorful heart with the note so he can be reminded of your kind thoughts.
- Help your parents make a casserole for a sick neighbor, or a friend who’s just welcomed a new baby. Don’t forget to include a few colorful hearts and a note!
- Help your parents empty the dishwasher.
- Bring the trash out for your mom or dad.
- Draw a picture for your grandparents. Add a dyed heart to the picture for even more pizzazz.
- Help a neighbor walk her dog (with your parents’ permission, of course).
- Make a bird feeder so your local birds can experience some kindness this month, too!
Now that you’ve made beautifully colored wooden hearts, read a great book, and read some ideas, what’s next? Why, come up with your own list of acts of kindness for kids, of course! I can’t wait to hear what sweet and kind things all of you get up to! Be sure to share them in the comments below or over on Fun-A-Day’s Facebook page.
Heart Lesson Plans
If you’re looking for more preschool heart and kindness ideas, check out these lesson plan sets – one for preschool classroom and one for the homeschool preschool family. They’re 5 day lesson plans, centered around a heart theme. Includes weekly plans, explanations of the activities, and 9 printables to supplement the hands-on learning ideas.