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5 Simple Ways Children Can Make a Difference

Simple kindness themed activities for children. There are many simple ways children can make a difference in the world! Kindness makes the world go round.

Even small children can make choices every day that leave the world a better place. Here are some simple ways children can make a difference.

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This week’s Virtual Book Club for Kids pick was The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney. In this  beautifully illustrated version of the classic tale, a lion first shows kindness by sparing a mouse’s life. Later on, the mouse saves the lion’s life. The book is a wonderful way to start conversations on the importance of kindness. In our family, we used it as a starting point for talking about simple ways to make a difference in the lives of people around us.

Teaching Kindness: 5 Simple Ways Children Can Make a Difference

#1 Smile at People

Too many people go through their days with too few smiles. Teach children to smile at people and say hi. Honestly, my kids are shy and this is a big work in progress for us, but they are learning.

#2 Include Everyone

While there are several reasons that my kids get along so well, this family rule helps a lot. I am also trying to teach them to do this at school with classmates. As I already mentioned in #1, my children tend to be shy and fairly introverted, and so this can be hard for them. At the same time, our move from Massachusetts to California means that they understand what it’s like to be the new kid.

#3 Be a Listener

Sometimes the best thing you can do for someone is to be there and listen. I try to model that with my children, but this is something I am still very much working on. Actually, I’m still very much working on everything on this list!

#4 See People

People communicate through actions and expressions as much as they do through words. I try to teach my kids to truly see the people around them – by truly paying attention to their actions, words, expressions, and body language. How do you teach this? Here are a few things we have done:

  • Verbally talk to a child about how I think they are feeling based on what I observe – and then ask for confirmation and, if needed, correction.
  • Get a copy of The Social Skills Picture Book and make it available. It was designed for children with autism, but there is still plenty there for a neurotypical child to learn.
  • When my children tell me stories of other children making bad choices, we stop and talk about why the child might have made that choice. We look at the other child’s point of view, as well as other factors that may have pushed the child to act in a particular way.

#5 Do Small Things to Show You Care

There are so many easy ways children can show someone that they care about them. Here are a few to get you started:

  • Mail a picture or letter.
  • Make a simple gift.
  • Give a hug to someone you love.
  • Look for ways to be a helper. Hold open a door, or pick up a toy that a baby drops. Offer to read a story to a younger child.
  • Tell someone something specific that you like about them.
Simple things children can do to make a difference - spreading kindness at home and school.

What are your favorite ways for children to make a difference?

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MaryAnne lives in Silicon Valley with her Stanford professor husband Mike and their four children. She writes about parenting through education, creativity, and play. Mama Smiles - Joyful Parenting is a space to share crafts, hands on learning activities, and family outings that enrich lives and bring families together.

9 thoughts on “5 Simple Ways Children Can Make a Difference”

  1. One day my daughter waved at a laborer who was carrying a meter high bundle on his head South Asian style. An amazing smile broke out on his face and he waved back. He was very thin and I know his life is hard, but I think her simple act of recognition blessed him.

  2. I’m working on everything in this list, too! Thank you for listing these ideas so I can try to incorporate them myself re systematically.

  3. These are so important. I hope to teach my daughter the difference she can make in others’ lives.

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