Teaching kindness to kids through play is a great way to capitalize on what comes naturally to children, while bringing joy to others. And, while many adults won’t think of play as kindness towards others, that’s exactly what it is. Bringing joy to others is a form of service — so play is a child’s most natural act of service and kindness towards others. 

 

Teaching Kids to Play with Others via www.RaisingLifelongLearners

When children play, they feel good about themselves. When they play with others, they build essential relationships. Teach them to play, encourage them to love one another and be inclusive, and then set up opportunities to serve others with love and kindness through play.

 

Preschoolers

  • Have your preschoolers play with their toddler siblings or friends’ toddlers. Encourage and guide them to join in on the little ones’ play, but not to take over and boss the toddlers around. Learning empathy through play is a great lesson for your preschooler and an act of service towards the toddler.
  • Teach your preschoolers to take turns choosing games when they play with a friend. Encourage them to let their friends choose first.

 

Bigger Kids

  • Gather a large group of kids {or get two church youth groups together} and play a big game of kickball or another sport. Mix the teams up with kids that know and don’t know each other so they can make new friends.
  • Check with a local hospital and see if they have a rolling toy cart or game program. If they don’t, do that as a service project with your kids — gather toys to donate. If they do, make time to take your kids in to volunteer to play with children who are bedridden.
  • Have your bigger kids play simple music instruments with younger siblings, friends, or have them volunteer in a preschool class.
  • The next time you go to a park or playground, challenge your bigger kids to find one kid {big or small} that looks like they could use a friend, and to introduce him/herself and play with them. Or have them push younger children on a swing, or play with a toddler so his mom can take a few minutes to sit down.
  • Bring your bigger kids and their favorite games to a nursing home to play with the residents.

 

Teaching Kids to Play with Others via www.RaisingLifelongLearners.com

How do you encourage your kid to show kindness through play?

For more great ideas to help you as you work hard to raise great kids, check out these other acts of kindness for kids.