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“Wherever there is a human in need, there is an opportunity for kindness and to make a difference,” said Kevin Heath, the CEO for More4kids.It is important to encourage our children to be kind. It may help build character, prevent bullying, and influence children to be nice to others.
Being a role model, exhibiting how to be kind, is a great way to teach kindness. There are also many other ways to encourage kindness:
Teach teamwork: Whether your children have a play date or are just playing together as siblings, when it comes to cleaning up afterwards, have them work together. Children can learn the value of teamwork just by helping each other.
Teach sharing: Learning to play in pairs is a great way to start teaching children how to share. During play activities that require two or more children, demonstrate how they can share toys as they play with each other. Sharing teaches children about giving.
Give thanks: Teach children how to compliment the people they come in contact with. A great way to do this is by complimenting or praising a friend or relative. Children will start to pick up on how being praised or complimented can make another person feel good.
Give to charity/community service: Encourage your family to help out in the community by cleaning the local park, visiting a nursing home, or fundraising for a good cause. By spending time together performing an act of kindness, children will realize they are benefiting the community and helping others who need assistance.
An example of kindness
26 Acts of Kindness is an initiative that was started by Ann Curry in December following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings. She challenged people to perform 26 acts of kindness, one for each victim in their honor. Now, in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, Ann has asked for people to participate in 26 more acts, this time in honor of victims of the bombings at the 26th mile of the Boston Marathon.
These acts of kindness can be used as learning tools for children and may even encourage you and your family to spread the love and generosity.
St. Germaine’s 4th grade class in Oak Lawn, Illinois sent well wishes to the Boston victims.
A donation of twenty six hearts to the American Heart Associate, one in honor of each of the Sandy Hook victims.
Jaide, who is three years old, ran her first 5k with her mom to honor Boston.
If you choose to participate in the 26 Acts of Kindness, we invite you to post your acts of kindness to the 26 Acts of Kindness Facebook page.
Encouraging kindness is like a never ending cycle, when you do something good for someone; someday someone may do something nice for you. Being kind can make brighten someone’s day and that is the best reward of all. Do you have suggestion on how to encourage kindness in children?
Many toddlers enjoy mimicking adult like activities such a cooking and cleaning, yet there is another activity that may inspire logic and decision making. That activity is learning how to dress themselves. Here are some tips inspired by Thriving Family Magazine on how to teach children how to dress:
1. Ask your child to observe the weather outside.
2. Talk about what the plans for the day are.
3. Separate clothing into categories.
4. When children make what may be considered a good selection for a clothing choice, cheer them on. Toddlers love positive attention!
5. Based on the good dress decisions of the week, as a reward for dressing well, on a day that you and your child are spending in the house, give them the option to dress in their favorite outfit such as their superhero pajamas.
What tips do you have for teaching your child how to dress themselves?
Live in a place where it snows? Teach your kids to monitor the inches of snow by creating a snow measuring stick. This is a cool way to educate children on what inches are and get children curious about how much snow is falling each time it snows.
Whether you are watching the snowflakes accumulate on the ground or you wish to see snow fall, making a snow globe can fascinate your children and be a wonderful creation to make!
Shaking snow globes that are bought during the holidays are fun and beautiful but what could be more exciting than making your own snow globe?! The ingredients to make this snow globe are easy to find in stores and all you need is a clear jar or bottle to contain the pretty decorations.
The next two crafts can be made whether you live in a hot or cold region and will be tons of fun for the kids to create and showcase around the house.
Making masterpieces of animals that live in the arctic will be fun for the whole family. Also, it does not have to be just a penguin that the kids create; they can also create snowmen out of Styrofoam too. These pieces of artwork will be nice to display around the house to make it more festive even after the holidays are over.
This craft is simple and you can probably find these items already lying around the house if your children like doing artsy activities. Mittens are easy to make and each child can personalize their mittens by the color of the construction paper and paint their own unique design. This is another great decoration that can be hung around the house during winter. Also, if you are from a warmer region, you can teach your children why wearing mittens and gloves are important when you are in cold weather. This is great opportunity for those that do live in regions of colder climates to talk about the dangers of not wearing gloves or mittens.
Which winter time crafts are you planning on making with your children?
Eating cake, cookies, burgers, pizza, and other delicious foods may be a delectable meal for some, but it can also be an unhealthy lifestyle to pursue all the time. Teaching and encouraging healthy eating habits to your children may help with their development. There is no guarantee that your children will not become picky eaters, but suggesting the importance of being healthy may open their mind to at least trying new foods.
We found this article on PBS that explains ways to encourage healthy eating habits for your little ones. Here are some of the highlights:
Get them involved by bringing them along. Taking children to the grocery store can an adventure or a struggle, but bringing them, will allow an opportunity for your children to choose the food you purchase. Let them pick out the fruits, vegetables, cheeses, bread and other food you are planning on buying. Try to give them a simple description of what the particular food they have picked tastes like. A great way to stay away from unhealthy food is to try to avoid going down the aisles that supply it. If a child cannot see their favorite unhealthy food in front of them, they may not even think about it or want it.
Go to the source. Speaking of describing how a food tastes to children, it is equally important to increase your children’s food knowledge. Sometimes, instead of going to the grocery store travel to your local farmer’s market. Your children can meet the people that actually grow and pick the fresh fruits and veggies. Even planning a day to go to a dairy farm will teach them where dairy products come from. Besides, showing your children where healthy foods come from- stocking up on plenty of nutritious snacks in your home is a smart idea too!
Have healthy snacks readily available. Having the fridge and cabinets filled with sliced apples, cut up carrots, whole grain crackers, and water bottles is never a bad idea. These are snacks that children can access without your help. In addition, they are snacks that can travel with them in the car. Portable snacks help keep children busy! Besides feeding children healthy snacks, being a role model and eating healthy too can benefit both you and your children.
It takes dedication to eat healthy but if a family tries to do it together, it becomes a group effort. Kids look up to their parents and want to imitate what the adults are doing. If children see their parents eating the same food as them, they may be influenced to enjoy these nutritious and delicious foods instead of complaining.
Overall, implementing health conscious food choices into the family’s meals and snacks is a fantastic way for everyone to receive their daily nutritional requirements. What do you do to try to get your children to eat healthy?
As the flu continues to spread rapidly, it is important that everyone takes the necessary precautions to stay healthy. There are many steps you can take to make sure that your children do not get the flu this year. CNN.com had many great tips to keeping your children healthy during this time of year.
Has the flu bug hit your household this year? Please share your tips with us to prevent the spread of this nasty bug. Flu Activity Video:
Sometimes getting the kids to bed is not as easy as parents would like it to be. Summer is coming to an end and that means that a routine bedtime will become a part of a preschooler’s schedule. In Step2’s last blog, Back to School Tips for Preschoolers, it was suggested that if your child has fallen out of a bedtime routine, it is essential to begin getting back on track before school begins. However, that is easier said than done.
Here are some great tips from Parenthood.com to help ease the struggle and win the bedtime battle!
1. Deal with your own stress and emotions before you begin the bedtime routine. This is a great idea! By relaxing and calming down before the potential battle may begin, it is a good to take a step back and assess how you will handle the bedtime situation. Children may resist going to sleep if they are being yelled at. The calmer a parent is, the less resistant a child will be.
2. Ease the transition to bed for your children. Warn your children ahead of time that bedtime is coming up. You do not want to completely drag them away from the television or playtime. Participating in bedtime tasks earlier on in the night may ease the transition and not surprise children that it is time for bed. Having them brush their teeth after dinner or putting on their pajamas (which means no more outdoor play!) an hour before bed limits them to what they can do to try to delay their bedtime.
3. Negotiate rules with your children. Let your children help create the rules for bedtime. However, make sure to stand your ground! Talk about the benefits of going to sleep at a good time on the weekdays so that they can have special rewards of staying up later on the weekends.
4. Create an environment that fosters sleep. If your child has toys all over their room before bedtime, they are more likely to want to continue to play and become easily distracted. Make sure a child’s toys are put away in toy chests. Also, make sure you have a good book to read to them to help them focus on going to sleep.
5. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Some days are going to be harder than others to get a child to sleep. If they are 15 minutes late for their bed time, do not stress out. However, make sure to emphasize that a bedtime routine is important to your little ones!