Kid Activities
1000's of Ideas for Childcare Professionals & Teachers!

Why Don't Some Activities Work?

September 1, 2011 01:02 by Barbara Shelby



So you think that kids may be doing a great variety of activities at other programs--but they just don't work at your site?


That Just Doesn't Work Here is a phrase that is all too common to avoid change. Other versions of this statement could be:

• The children in this program only want to_______

• My kids arent interested in anything else.

• It's different here.

•The older kids just want to sit and do nothing.


Quality school-age programs are designed to meet the needs of  children. How can the activity in question be adjusted to meet those needs and interests? Consider the following statements. Can one of these be the reason That it Just Doesn't Work Here?

1. Same-old-same-old.

  • Making a hanging skeleton at Halloween is fun if it's the first time, but is it still stimulating when you're in the fourth grade and you've made one every year?

2.  Not informing all the children of upcoming events, in a timely manner.

  • Be sure all the children are aware of upcoming events.
  • Advertise and inform in postings, newsletters, talks, in the daily schedule of events and information center.

3.  Failure to build excitement and anticipation! 

  • Post and count down the days to the activity sign-up day. This builds anticipation.
  • Staff needs to display enthusiasm for innovative endeavors to work.

4.  Not including the children in planning. Ask the kids what they want!

  • Knowing what YOUR children like will ensure that they will want to attend your school-age program.
  • Including children in planning also may encourage them to try new things.

 5.  Not getting to know YOUR kids!

  • All children are unique. Building rapport with each child will help you plan a curriculum with their interests in mind. 
  • Children may say that they only want to color, play outdoors or in the gym; however, getting to know them as individuals will help provide quality programming based on their individuality.

6. Failing to pre-plan.

  • Pre-planning curriculum ensures that activities will be scheduled and facilitated as intended.
  • Pre-planning allows for continuity with a variety of choices.
  • Pre-planning lessens the likelihood of last-minute scrambling.
  • Pre-planning allows staff time to organize materials and to have a say in what they do.

 7.  Not being ready before activities begin.

  • Staff should understand the directions of the project.
  • If an art or craft is involved, a pre-made sample is recommended. This sample is only a visual goal---which the children can adapt to their own personal vision.
  • If possible, pre-test scientific experiments and cooking projects.
  • All supplies and centers should be ready and set-up before any activity is scheduled to start.
  • Not being ready causes:
    • Long transitions and waning enthusiasm.
    • Unnecessary stress.
    • Possibility of behavioral challenges due to waiting.

8.  An activity that is either too young for the older children or too challenging for the  younger child.

  • Example: A game of Duck, Duck, Goose, would not appeal to most fifth graders.

9.  Activities or meetings that are held too long to sustain interest.

10. The #1 reason for a creative (or any) activity failing is the lack of consistent follow-through.

  • If something such as a School-Age store is to be open the last Wednesday of each month, then it needs to be open on that scheduled day. 
  • If a new and different Activity of the Week is to be scheduled each week, then that new activity must be on the agenda as promised. 
  • If a club meeting is scheduled every Tuesday at 4:00…then that is when the club meeting is held.

Children lose faith and interest when planned events aren't held consistently. Nothing kills creative programming faster than failure to follow through with the proposed agenda. Consider then, how program structure may be leading to mistaken beliefs and assumptions such as: The children in this program only want to play in the gym or go outside! or...That Just Doesn't Work Here!

Barbara Shelby~Tip page published in school-age-note of the day, April 2007


Mixing Math and Fun!

July 28, 2011 06:19 by Barbara Shelby


The following activities are fantastic for classrooms (Most are  great for home!) --however, in 'Afterschool' programs we strive to present academics differently than what is taught during the school day!  Math certainly fits into that category. Consider presenting math mixed with a whole lot of fun!

Who says learning and having a good time don't mix???

First, Create a Math Center...

• Math centers are small-group stations where youth work together on fun activities like puzzles, problems that use manipulatives (physical objects that help students visualize relationships and applications), and brainteasers.

Kids can improve their ability to make and test predictions by outlining their hands and feet on graph paper and predicting whether their hand or foot has the greatest length and width.

They can practice adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing decimals as they try to determine how to use $65 to feed four people when ordering food from a restaurant menu. 9Or how to provide snack for the group!)

Children with an interest in art might enjoy using pentominoes (sets of small squares) to form different shapes.

Students will most likely show greater interest if they see the centers as a fun challenge rather than work. Through fun activities, math centers help bring academic content to life and encourage students to make real-world connections!
Find out what kids like to do and team that up with ways to incorporate math concepts and skills.



Make a bowling set using ten cardboard tubes which can be knocked over with a soft ball. After each throw talk about the score: There were ten pins and we knocked over 6. There are 4 left standing up. 6 and 4 make 10.


Place three or four empty boxes in the floor. Label each box with a number between 1 and 5. Encourage children to help make up rules for the game. How many paper balls can you throw in a turn? How many does the winner of the game need to score altogether?


HIDDEN OBJECTS GAME (for younger children)
This game is a good way of developing the skills children will need in doing addition 'in their head'
It helps child to imagine numbers of objects.
   • Place five small objects on a tray; buttons, coins, counters or pebbles, etc.
   • Show each child that there are five objects and count them together.
   •  Now cover the objects with a cloth and slide your hand under the cloth to remove one or two of the objects from the tray.
   • Show children how many objects you have removed and ask, How many things are left on the tray?
As children becomes more confident, start with a larger of objects on the tray. Once the tray is empty replace the objects a few at a time, again by putting your hand under the cover. After each addition ask your child to think how many objects are now on the tray.


STUCK IN THE MUD! Dice Game for Ages 7 to Adult
Skills: Addition
Need: 5 dice, Paper and pencil
The aim of the game is to achieve the highest score. You can only score on a roll which does not include the numbers 2 and 5. Any dice which show a 2 or a 5 become “stuck in the mud”.

  • Choose a player to start. Roll all 5 dice. If you have rolled any 2s or 5s, you do not score any points for this throw. If you have not rolled any 2s or 5s, add up the total of the dice and remember it.
  • Set aside any 2s and 5s, and throw the remaining dice. Again, if you have rolled any 2s or 5s you fail to score this turn. Throws without 2s and 5s are added to your previous total.
  • Continue in this way until all your dice are “stuck”. Write down your score, and pass the dice to the next player.
  • Agree a number of rounds (five works well) and total up the score.


SKITTLE GAME (Keeping track of points is math)

Materials needed: Container, 2-3 pkgs. of Skittle candies (depending on number of kids and tables playing), score sheet, paper and penci
   • Find a deep, clean, non-see-through container to pour in several bags of skittles.
   • Make a point chart on paper or blackboard for the different colored Skittles.
   • An example is purple 5 pts, green 10 pts, yellow 20 pts, orange 25 pts, and red 30 pts.
   • Divide into teams and have one person at a time from each team, draw out a Skittle.
   • The team is awarded the points for the color that is pulled out.
The drawer gets to eat the Skittle. The first team to reach 500 pts is the winner. Tip: You can use any kind of candy that has MANY COLORS...also a great transition activity or to get the group to quiet down!


 WHAT ARE MY CHANCES? A Game for Two people...
Grades K-5
You'll need two coins, paper, and pencil to keep score.

Flip one coin. Every time it comes up heads, person 'A' gets 1 point. Every time it comes up tails, person 'B' gets 1 point. Flip it 50 times. Tally by 5's to make it easier to keep track of scores. The person with the most points wins. If one person has 10 points more than the other person does, score an extra 10 points. Does this happen very often? Why not?

Flip two coins. If the coins come up two tails or two heads, person 'A' scores 1 point. If it comes up heads and tails, person 'B' gets the point. After 50 flips, see who has more points. Do you think the game is fair? What if one person received 2 points for every double heads and the other person received 1 point for everything else. Is this fair?

Flip one coin. Then flip the other. If the second coin matches the first coin, person 'A' scores 1 point. If the second coin doesn't match the first coin, person 'B' gets 1 point. Try this 50 times. Is the result the same as in the previous game?
Understanding probability is essential in many areas of mathematics. Playing games that involve chance is one way to explore the laws of probability.


Any game in which children have to count numbers of squares to move their pieces will help them develop counting skills!


BUZZ (Game)
The players start counting substituting buzz for the number seven and multiples of seven
. If a player makes a mistake he must drop out or the whole group must start again.


Grades 2-5
You'll need some coins ...
Ask child (children) the following questions:

1. I have three coins in my pocket. They are worth 7 cents. What do I have? (a nickel and 2 pennies) 

2. I have three coins in my pocket. They are worth 16 cents. What do I have? (a dime, a nickel, a penny) 

3. I have three coins in my pocket. They are worth 11 cents. What do I have? (2 nickels and 1 penny)

4. I have three coins in my pockets. They are worth 30 cents. What do I have? (3 dimes) 

5. I have six coins in my pocket. They are worth 30 cents. What could I have? (1 quarter and 5 pennies or 6 nickels). This problem has more than one answer. It is challenging for children to experience problems like this.

6. I have coins in my pocket, which have a value of 11 cents. How many coins could I have?

Tip: Give children a few coins to figure out the answers.
Use this activity to help children develop an understanding of patterns and variables (the unknown) to solve a problem. This is critical to understanding algebra.


BEAT THAT! ......Dice Game for Ages: 5 to adult

1. Roll the dice and put them in order to make the highest number possible. If you roll a 4 and an 6, for example, your best answer would be 64.

2. Using 3 dice, a roll of 3, 5 and 2 should give you 532, and so on.

Write down your answer, pass the dice, and challenge the next player to “Beat That!” Play in rounds and assign a winner to each round. For a change, try making the smallest number possible! This is a great game for reinforcing the concept of place value. If you are playing with younger children, explain your reasoning out loud and encourage them to do the same



Skills: Number, Place value, Strategic thinking
Need: 2 dice (up to 7 dice for older players)
Paper and pencil for scoring
How to play:

Students stand, while you roll a die. Each time you roll the die, children add the number to the previous total, keeping a running score.  Students can sit down at any time during the game, accepting the total at that point as their final score. 

 Example: If a child sits down after three rolls of the die showing 4, 6, and 1, he or she has a score of 11. The game continues until someone rolls a 2. The children still standing lose ALL their points -- because they've been greedy! Out of the seated children –the ones with the highest score win!


MOUSE (Drawing and Counting)
Need: Paper, pencils, a pre-drawn mouse to follow.
The aim of the game is to be the first to complete a Mouse. Each roll of the die enables a particular body part to be drawn as follows:
     6 = body
     5 = nose
     4 = whiskers
     3 = eyes
     2 = ears
     1 = tail 

The body must be drawn before the other body parts are added to it, so players must therefore roll a 6 to start. Once the body has been drawn, the other parts of the mouse may be added in any order. If you roll a number which relates to a part you have already added, you miss your go and pass the die on.

Tip: Put a mouse print out or drawing in the middle of the table as a reminder for which body part relates to which number on the die. I've also played this drawing a person...body, head, arms, legs, etc. Just adapt the body parts to the die throws!




Offer measuring tapes, rulers, thermometers, balance scales, measuring cups, clocks, hour-glasses, and stand-on scales...Help children weigh and measure everything...Shoes, feet, living plants, table heights, how many minutes it takes to eat lunch, Pre-K/K---how long each child naps, etc. Record measurements, repeat often, and discuss what changes and what stays the same.



Applying math to a recipe during the actual cooking or baking allows children to make use of: sequencing, measuring, time, and portions. The best part of this activity is eating the results!


When lining up at transition time, try using math problems!
If you are 4 + 4 you may line up.
If you are 10-1 you may line up, etc.



Love this idea that was in school-age-note of the day 11/12/09...The next time you need children to find a partner, try this approach from Marlene Kliman and Martha Merson of Mixing in Math. You'll mix up social groups and get children involved in measuring at the same time.
Instead of asking children to line up in pairs, ask them to find a partner who has something in common with them, for instance:

• Find a partner with the same length index finger as yours.
• Find a partner with the same arm span as yours.
• Find a partner whose feet are as long as yours.

Children pair up with the first person they find who has the same measurement.
Anyone who can't find a partner joins the person or pair who comes closest.


This is a another useful game for transition times. As children play the game they will practice thinking about the order of numbers

  • Start the game by saying to children I am thinking of a number between 1 and 10. Explain that the aim of the game is to guess the mystery number by asking questions and that you will only answer 'yes' or 'no'. 
  • Children soon learn that it is more useful to ask "Is the number bigger than 5?" then to ask 'Is it 7?" 
  • Older children can progress to guessing mystery numbers up to 100, and then will start to ask questions such as :
    • 'Is it an odd number?'
    • 'Is the number a multiple of 10?' (example: 20, 30, 40)


Try this activity, from Marlene Kliman and Martha Merson of Mixing in Math, at circle time, pick-up time or whenever everyone gathers to talk about what they did during the day.

  • Ask everyone to rate the day on a scale from negative 5 to positive 5.
  • Explain that negative 5 is a really bad day, negative 4 is a little less bad, 0 is OK, and positive 5 is fantastic.
  • Rate it. Everyone gives a rating. Take turns explaining your ratings as you tell about the day.
Next time, ask the children to suggest what to rate: a food, an event such as a field trip, or a book everyone has read. For younger children, use a rating scale of positive numbers 1 through 10.


Try this activity, from Marlene Kliman and Martha Merson of Mixing in Math, when you're serving something that can be poured such as cereal, yogurt or juice.

Decide together on measurements for each serving size (for example, small is a quarter-cup, medium is a half-cup, large is three-quarters cup). 

  • Will a half-cup of cereal fill me up?
  • Will 1 cup of lemonade quench my thirst? Help kids build their "measurement sense" by asking them to use measuring cups to serve snacks.

A pair circulates with food and a measuring cup. They measure out the serving size that each child requests.  Switch roles next time, so everyone has a chance to measure.
When everyone has eaten, compare your serving sizes with "serving size" on the food packages. Is a medium serving about the same size? 


Bring in LARGE VARIETY of apples
(During peek season there are many-many varieties of apples!) Have the children taste them and see which one they like the best. With older kids you can chart and tally the results. You can also do this with applesauce (flavored vs. unflavored and also taste test cider vs. apple juice.

APPLE GRAPH - Math for the young
Make a chart by putting a picture of three different colored apples at the top. Have each child's name written down the left hand margin. Pass out a slice of each type of apple and then have each child tell you which was his favorite (red, yellow or green)

  •  Tally up the results and make a total at the bottom of each column.
  • You can get the colored sticker labels from the stationery store for the children to use to put on the chart.
  • If they like a red apple, they place their red circle sticker under the red, yellow circle sticker under the yellow apple, etc. They enjoy doing this because they get to use stickers---but they also get to taste a variety of apples!


ESTIMATIONS--Not just fun but MATH and Science too!

Have the kids write their name on a piece of paper along with their guess...Put the guesses in a closed envelope. Depending on what is being guessed--you can award prizes or the jar itself! In case of a tie--have two prizes--or enough in the jar for two. The winning child can also open the jar and share with the group! (I like that one the best!)
There can be variations of this. Examples:

• At Easter count the jelly beans/Easter candy...

• Black and orange jelly beans or candy corn at Halloween...

• Striped peppermint candy at Christmas

• Conversation heart" candies for Valentine

• Green Candy for St. Patrick's Day

• Small plastic insects for a Bug Theme

• Small plastic dinosaurs for a Dinosaur party/theme

• For Mexican Theme...Count the nachos! Take a large glass spaghetti jar or similar; carefully fill it with nachos. Keep count as you add them, and try not to break any! The winning child get to open the nachos for all to well as get a prize.

Sunflower or Fall Theme Party---guess the closest number of seeds in a live sunflower. The number can exceed 1000! Etc. 

Comment: I once had a lot of rubber snakes left from a previous Summer Day Camp. I stuffed them in a very large clear container and the child that guessed the closest number won the snakes for their day-camp homeroom.
I did this with something each summer and SAC year--the kids loved it!


SLOW BICYCLE RACE... How slowly can you ride a bike without touching the ground?
Safety Rules... 

You must wear a helmet on your head when you are on a bike 

Both wheels of the bike must be on the ground at all times, so...

  • NO Bunny hops 
  • NO Wheelies
  • NO flying through the air in general
  • Stay in your team’s track
  • Watch out for your classmates.

Each person will ride a bike through a track two times in a row. Make the track a rectangle about 20 feet (6 meters) long and 2 feet (60 centimeters) wide. You have to ride the bike through the track as slowly as you can. Use a stopwatch to time how long each ride takes:

  • Start the timer when the bike’s back tire enters the track.
  • Stop the timer when the bike’s back tire leaves the track or if the rider’s foot touches the ground
  • Record the time of each ride on the Slow Bicycle Race Data Chart: Give each person two turns in a row and record everyone’s times.

To calculate how slow your team went-- you need to know:
  • How far your team went ....
  • How much time your team took to go that far.


This game gets everyone moving and doing math at the same time!
Before you start, decide what the group will count by. For younger children, choose 1 or 2; for a mid-level challenge- choose 5 or 10; and for older children, choose 3, 7 or 11.
To play:

1. The whole group gets in a circle.

2. Start counting by the chosen number (for example, if counting by twos, the first child says 2, the next says 4, the next 6, and so on). Everyone jumps when someone says a number ending in 0 (10, 20, 30).

3. Keep counting and jumping until you reach or pass 100.
Next time you play, add more actions. For example, clap on an even number or stamp a foot on multiples of 3.
Source: Marlene Kliman and Martha Merson of Mixing in Math 7/21/2008


This idea was in schoolage note of the day...I think it could really be fun!

There's something compelling about stacking things up to make the highest tower you can, before it all tumbles to the ground. Children of all ages can build their engineering and math skills with this activity from Marlene Kliman and Martha Merson of Mixing in Math as they figure out how to make a tall, stable tower.

First, gather plenty of blocks, recycled tubes or boxes, or other objects.

Next, engage children in making some predictions:

  • What's the largest number of objects you can stack?
  • How high can you build a tower?
  • Can you make one as tall as you are?

Each child, pair, or small group begins stacking and counting. After a few trials, ask the group to talk over what shapes and sizes make for a good tower bottom. What shapes and sizes work well in the middle and top? For more ideas on ways to engage children in exploring engineering using free or low-cost materials, see



When children need a quick exercise break during homework time or on a rainy day, play 'How Many in a Minute?' They'll get a boost of energy, a chance to stretch and a little math as well. This activity also comes from Marlene Kliman and Martha Merson of Mixing in Math.
To play:

 Choose an activity, such as jumping jacks, that everyone will do for a minute.

1. Ask children to predict: How many can you do in a minute?

2. Time a minute while everyone does the activity and keeps track.

3. Everyone compares predictions and results.

4. Try it again. Are predictions closer this time?



This is a different type activity for the beginning and/or end of the year! Perhaps you can adapt it to fit your group---
As an extension, it could be started at the beginning of the year---and then updated at the end for comparison...
Instructions: As a special keepsake, create a book based on the MATH FACTS OF ENTIRE GROUP.

For starters, add up everyone's height. Write the final total on a left-hand page, then list everyone's height on the right-hand page. On following pages, let students choose other things to measure.
Some ideas:
Everyone's pet (or favorite stuffed animal), length of hair, favorite book, foot, hand, etc.

  • The last page can be a long sheet of paper with everyone's signature written from one side to the other. First, ESTIMATE how long each signature will measure and how long the sheet will have to be! 



BUNNY (or Chicken) BUZZ GAME
To Play:

  • All players sit in a circle. Players take turns quickly counting off numbers in turn: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7...
  • When the number seven is reached, that player must say, "I love the Easter Bunny", instead of seven. (You can also change it to a love spring chicks or butterflies or whatever that is associated with Spring!)
  • When a child fails to do so and says seven, the child is out of the game.
  • The game continues until only one player is left to be declared the winner.

Required: Container, 2-3 pkgs. of JELLY BEANS (depending on number of kids and tables playing), score sheet, paper and pencil
Players: Small to large groups

  • Find a deep, clean, non-see-through container to pour in several bags of JELLY BEANS.
  • Make a point chart on paper or blackboard for the different colored jelly-beans. An example is purple 5 pts, green 10 pts, yellow 20 pts, orange 25 pts, and red 30 pts.
  • Divide into teams and have one person at a time from each team, draw out a jelly-bean. The team is awarded the points for the color that is pulled out.
    The drawer gets to eat the jelly-bean. The first team to reach 500 pts is the winner.
    • You can use any kind of candy that has MANY COLORS (Skittles, etc.)
    • This is also a great transition activity or to get the group to quiet down!


#1 The Wishing Club:
A Story about Fractions by Donna Jo Napoli. Grades 1-4 $16.99
A lively group of siblings wish upon a star and only “part” of what they wish is received. Author cleverly explains fractions as the character figure and how to make whole dreams come true.

#2 Math Fables Too - by Greg Tang; Grades pre-k to 2; $16.99
In his latest collection of rhymes, teacher hero Tang combines counting, addition, and basic facts about dolphins, koalas, and other nice creatures. A great read-aloud that is also good in a math and/or science center




Studies show that children who play with unit blocks in early childhood do better in algebra in middle school. But it’s important to note that the outcome of playing in the block area is NOT demonstrated until middle school!

Math standards during the early years will automatically focus on low level, rote skills: memorization, repetition, and adult views of math knowledge. What makes this most destructive is that young children are operating within Piaget’s preoperational stage, which means they cannot think logically. Thus, bureaucrats creating standards and assessment often include things that children this age simply cannot even do....

"Math knowledge and dispositions are not created in a vacuum. Math is about manipulating things: objects, shapes, concepts, and relationships; reproducing and documenting the world; and constructing, building, and estimating....Thus, we must provide a myriad of opportunities for young children to have direct, concrete experiences in the real world.

What is the value of discussing the speed of light if you don’t understand light?

  • Seeing snow accumulate day after day is a real way to understanding increase in quantity.
  • Carrying a large boulder teaches about mass.
  • Swinging on a rope about force, angles, and speed.
  • Field trips, extensive classroom projects, exploration in nature, extensive use of the playground, observing the weather, etc., must all be central to our math curricula."

These exerpts are from the article: "Math in Early Childhood," by Francis Wardle (


Acts of Kindness Page 2

February 28, 2011 23:00 by Barbara Shelby


This page includes seven 'Kindness Display Boards' well as Ideas and Tips for 'Adult Acts of Kindness'.  'Slogans and Quotes' suitable for making posters and boards are at the top of page 1...


The 'Happy School'  board and photo is courtesy of Classroom Display Blog "I'm particularly fond of Happy School as the idea for this hall display came from a child with some special needs who knew exactly the kind of school he needed, one where bullying just wasn't tolerated." Linda H (A nice way to send a positive message that  promotes kindness!)


 A Display Idea for Kindness and Harvest Time-- This could just as well say "LET'S HARVEST KINDNESS!"

This idea works well with a Fall Harvest Theme but also addresses Aniti-Bully Week in October and World Kindness Week in November.

Each time a deed of 'Good Character' (Kindness) is noted-it is recorded on a small card and placed on a pumpkin and through-out the garden! Great for September through November...  

This board was created by Barbara Huttle for University Christian School. Thank you Barbara for letting KIdActivities display your wonderful idea!


This  'Acts of Kindness" Display was created by Katja Van Elbe at a week long "Conscious Discipline Institute" workshop. To replicate this idea, after making the tree shape of trunk and branches--add a heart for every kindness act noted. This idea is nice any time of the year, but works especially well in the month of February. February not only celebrates National Kindness Week, but also Valentine's Day and International Friendship Month


   On a wall, have children/staff make a HUGE GUMBALL MACHINE. Children's names combined with their act of 'kindness' are recorded on large gumballs and then placed on the gumball globe. When the machine is filled- celebrate with the group for achieving your goal!


Great idea! Your own version of a GRAFFITI WALLThe 180 Ways to Be Kind  photograph is courtesy of Classroom Display Blog  Put up a large sheet of paper and title. Challenge children to come up with '180 ways' to be kind to each other, teachers, parents, friends, siblings and community in general! (180 is just an idea-it could be 175, 200, etc.) If you have an after-school program, consider opening it to the entire school! 

Additionally, the '100th Day of School' falls about the same time in February as 'Random Acts of Kindness Week'! Consider combining the Graffiti Wall with 100 ways to be kind and celebrate both!



The staff at Colchester Institute Library (UK) put together this "Wall of Lurve" (You can call it Wall of 'Kindness'  'Friendship', or  '______'.)  The  library staff provided a display for students and staff to write messages. Around 150 pink hearts were displayed on the Wall at the entrance to the library.

This is something that could easily be adapted to a class or after-school program!  The hearts could  be filled with Acts of Kindness November's World Kindness Day and Week as well as February's Random Acts of Kindness Week! A really nice idea to cover Valentine's Day, Friendship Month and Kindness Week all in one!


'KINDNESS RECIPE FOR A GREAT SCHOOL YEAR!' (or...'OST YEAR', 'SAC YEAR', etc.) Just copy the sample image! This would also be wonderful ANY time of the year with the caption 'Recipe for Kindness!'

Source: Clayton County Public Schools by Deanna Rogers



Tim Anders (Dr. Hope) and Alpine Publishing Inc., is offering FREE award winning, bilingual (English and Spanish) children's books by Tim Anders. An ENTIRE elementary school class, group, or organization can win  books through an "Act of Kindness" contest.

Children are encouraged to perform acts of kindness for their community, individuals and each other. This  contest hopes to inspire elementary school children and their parents to help those in need--as well as teach compassion and love for others.

For more info about the "Act of Kindness" contest books, please visit laughingday!



The best example to children in the meaning of kindness and altruism -- is for adults in their lives to demonstrate generosity of spirit, good deeds and acts of service...

•Stop negative comments by changing the subject when someone starts talking in a negative, bad way.

When you meet someone, learn their name and one personal thing about them. This shows people 'we care'.

When you have good service somewhere, write a letter to the company and that person's manager, telling them about their outstanding employee.

Put something you no longer need on for free.
Put change in a vending machine.

Listen to someone who needs to talk. Just listen to them.

Do something nice for someone when they are ill --wash their dishes, cook a meal or tidy up their house.

Buy a phone card and give it to a homeless shelter for them to give to someone.

Bake cookies and take them to someone who is homebound.

Leave a book you have already finished somewhere for someone else to read. Leave a note in it for them to pass it on.

Buy a meal for a homeless person.

Send a card to someone in the military overseas.

Locate a family that is struggling financially and buy each member several small gifts then have it delivered while you remain anonymous.

If you're tall and see someone trying to get something on a super market/store shelf--that is out of reach--get it for them.

When shooping--let someone go ahead of you in the checkout line.

•Compliment a stranger, especially if they seem as if they're having a bad day...

Read to a child.....Make a wish come true.....Rake someone's yard.....Smile at a stranger.....Be a courteous driver.....Help Special Olympics.....Sing a song.....Pick up litter.....Train Seeing Eye dogs.....Tutor immigrants......Be a pen pal.....Hold a door open.....Change a tire.....Adopt-a-Highway.....Organize a neighborhood watch.....Teach peer mediation.....Tell a joke.....Sub for Santa.....Start a community garden......Be a Crisis-Line volunteer......Send a thank you note.....Give clothes at a shelter.....Tend abused children.....Wash a car.....Visit a lemonade stand.....Plant a tree.....Recycle.....Visit a sick neighbor.....Give a tip.....Volunteer.


WHEN YOU THOUGHT I WASN'T LOOKING by Mary Rita Schilke Korzan  ......children are always learning from the adults around them...(Maybe good for a newsletter or just a reminder to ourself?)

WHEN YOU THOUGHT I WASN'T LOOKING, I saw you hang my first painting on the refrigerator and I immediately wanted to paint another one.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you feed a stray cat and I learned that it was good to be kind to animals.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you make my favorite cake for me and I learned that the little things can be the special things in life.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you make a meal and take it to a friend who was sick and I learned that we all have to help take care of each other.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you give of your time and money to help people who had nothing and I learned that those who have something should give to those who don't.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you take care of our house and everyone in it and I learned we have to take care of what we are given.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw how you handled your responsibilities, even when you didn't feel good and I learned that I would have to be responsible when I grow up.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw tears come from your eyes and I learned that sometimes things hurt, but it's all right to cry.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw that you cared and I wanted to be everything that I could be.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I learned most of life's lessons that I need to know to be a good and productive person when I grow up.

When you thought I wasn't looking I looked at you and wanted to say, 'Thanks for all the things I saw when you thought I wasn't looking.


DOING NICE THINGS--Something to think about...

When you incorporate 'Random Acts of Kindness and Community Service' into your programs, homes, and classrooms, consider not basing the activity where children receive individual PRIZES AS AN INCENTIVE. However, do set goals and celebrate as a group (family) when goals are acheived!

We want children to do nice things--because it is helpful to others and feels good! Don't offer bribes, or bargain for good works. For example: "If you do this---I'll give you____". These practices don't build character, or a sense of program/family community.


'Community Service and Acts of Kindness' go hand in hand. You may also be interested in the Community Service Ideas (Many kindness activities there) and Bully Category


SHARE YOUR IDEAS...♥ What are some things you are doing in your home or in your school, classroom, center, or program? Let us know via the contact page--and your 'Acts of Kindness' will be entered on this page! Thank you for sharing...

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