Kids need lots of lessons, reminders, and practice to become truly kind. One of my favorite ways to give extra reminders and practice is through the Kindness Elves. I use Kindness Elves in a variety of ways throughout the year to give my 4-year-old granddaughter, Zoey, fun reminders and practice in manners and kindness lessons. We participated in the Kind Words Challenge with the Kindness Elves last year, and we’re looking forward to participating again this year.Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links (at no cost to you).
The Kind Words Challenge this year will be from March 19-23, although it’s a fun challenge to do at any time. You can learn more and get free materials every day of the Kindness Challenge if you sign up here. I’ve already signed up, and I’m looking forward to the daily emails March 19-23 with ideas of Kind Words activities. (Note: If you missed the beginning, you can get the ideas for days 1-5 from The Kindness Elves.)
I typically keep kindness activities pretty casual, so I’ll just choose ones that work well for our family. But something I plan to do throughout the challenge and at times throughout the year is to add kind words from books to emphasize the kindness/manners lessons we’ve done.
Manners Books That Would Be Good for Focusing on Kind Words
Last year, we included manners books in our Kind Words Challenge, too. I often placed a manners book with the Kindness Elves as a special focus for the day.
Curious George Says Thank You was one of the favorites, although Zoey loves manners books in general.
You’ll find some great ideas for manners books here: The Best Books about Manners for Preschoolers
How to Use Kind Words from Books in the Kind Words Challenge
You could focus on some general kindness words, such as kindness, help, love, and friendship from The Story of the Kindness Elves.
We’ll be focusing on specific manners words from books, such as the word “please” in Bill O’Reilly and James Patterson’s Give Please a Chance. It’s a simple book, but I especially like that it focuses on one word and can stimulate lots of positive conversation.
You can focus on one word however you wish. I like using this chalkboard with our word of the day along with a book featuring the word.
Zoey’s very excited about learning to read, so we’ll be analyzing each word along with talking about ways to use the word to be kind. For example, with “please,” we’ll talk about /ĕ/ and /ă/ together making the sound /ē/ plus silent e at the end of a word.
Another fun manners book by James Patterson is Give Thank You a Try. Again, you could talk about “thank you” and have a conversation about important times to say thank you. For kids working on phonic and reading, you could analyze the word “thank.”
Some days, I’ll have a manners book open to a specific page containing the word I’m focusing on for the day. This could be done with almost any age.
For older kids and even adults, you could discuss and meditate on one kindness-themed word from a book per day.
Don’t Forget the Importance of Good Role Models
Of course, good role models are essential. I’m lucky that Zoey has so many great role models. She already does a very good job with manners and typically remembers to say kind words like “please” and “thank you.” But I know that the more opportunities she has to be reminded of them (ideally in a positive, fun way … yay, Kindness Elves), the more they will become second nature.
I can’t wait to start our Kind Words Challenge!
The Ultimate Guide to Kindness Elves
You can find links to all of my Kindness Elf posts in my Ultimate Guide to Kindness Elves post.
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