November 13 is World Kindness Day! Kindness is one of the character traits that we all hope to cultivate in the youth we serve. But how do we teach kindness? Today on the ClubX Blog we’ve got a roundup of some of the best ideas for activity plans from around the web.
This video is so cute, and suitable for younger members.
These next two would work for older members. The first is a music video that shows a chain reaction of kindness, and the second is all about the science of kindness.
The Science of Kindness video is from an organization called the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation, and they have LOTS of resources for humans of all ages. For our purposes, they not only have lesson plans for all grades, climate tools, and resources in Spanish, they’ve even developed an out-of-school program guide! To download, click the image below.
This bulletin board is all about showing kindness! You can download the templates for free if you agree to sign up for the site’s mailing list, or just use the photos for inspiration. Your youth can help fill in the board by adding “kindness catchers” to recognize others.
Here’s another similar decor idea, and the “Kindness Counts” set is free for download (the confetti version is for purchase). This teacher suggests introducing kindness, then filling out an anchor chart (see example on the page) of ways youth can show kindness. They fill out their own acts of kindness on the hearts for display.
You know its not a ClubX Blog roundup without a LIST OF READ-ALOUDSSSSSSS
This list includes summaries for all of the books! *sparkle heart emoji*
These tear-off flyers give lots of ideas for how to be kind. They do use school language (classroom, teacher) but there is a blank template that you could easily Club-ify.
This Kindness Club Challenge is a great adaptable idea. This version is made for very young kids, but you could have your youth brainstorm ideas they can do around the Club instead.
Teaching Tolerance, a ClubX Blog fav, has this lesson on how to guide youth in co-creating rules specifically around youth-to-youth verbal and non-verbal communication. This activity is recommended for grades 3 and up, and could easily be used with teens.
I love how this teacher lays out how she introduces compliment circles with young children.
These free kindness posters are SO CUTE.
This link is MY FAVORITE. This REALLY GREAT BLOG from an AMAZING ORGANIZATION has a post all about encouraging empathy in youth, which goes right along with kindness! Maybe you’ve heard of it? 😉 (PS did you know we put our posts on Pinterest? Easy to share with your networks!)
For Boys & Girls Club staff, BGCA has developed several resources to help develop a positive climate at your Club. Those resources are all available on bgca.net and include:
- Youth Positive Club Climate Toolkit– developed with The Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, this toolkit helps youth, with guided adult support, build a positive emotional climate and practices in the Club environment.
- Staff Positive Club Climate Toolkit– also developed with The Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, this toolkit helps staff build a positive emotional climate and practices amongst themselves, before working with youth.
- Positive Club Climate Teen Project Guide– takes teens through a self-led, continuous quality improvement cycle, with the goal of making positive change in their respective Clubs. The guide focuses on social emotional development and well-being to support teens in leading a project that will improve their daily Club experiences.
- Online Training on Spillett Leadership University– two training modules designed to help your staff build an emotionally safe environment, including “Emotional Intelligence at Boys & Girls Clubs” and “Creating Collaboratives.”
How do you cultivate kindness at your Club? What are your best ideas to help develop a positive Club climate? Let us know in the comments, on the BGCA Youth Development Facebook page, or at ClubXBlog@bgca.org so we can share with the Movement!