Friday, January 23, 2015

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Secret Valentines Service and Kindness Tree!

Our Secret Valentines Service project has officially begun AND we are super excited to be celebrating our acts of kindness with a Kindness Tree!



Let's start at the beginning.  Toddler Approved and Coffee Cups & Crayons are inviting everyone to take the 100 Acts of Kindness Challenge, where you perform 100 acts of kindness before Valentine's Day.  When I heard about this challenge I knew it was something that I wanted to focus on during the next three weeks.  When we spend time focusing on kindness, the entire atmosphere in our homes and schools changes.  It is a beautiful thing, and I am already excited about it!

Maybe your kiddos don't have this problem, but when I encourage our little team to clean up, I often hear things like, "But I didn't make this mess."  or "Jenny isn't cleaning!"  I want my children to feel so blessed and to know what a rich life they have that they are happy and (dare I say...even) eager to help each other out with little things like cleaning.  They love to help each other with big things.  They do.  They love each other.  But they need some extra motivation to help with the little things.

So one morning I spent about fifteen minutes cutting out little hearts...


and another twenty minutes building a construction-paper tree.



Then I gathered I team for "school time."  We marked the calendar and said the pledge, and then I told them about our Special Project.

They were already curious about the tree and the hearts, so when I started explaining the Kindness Tree they paid perfect attention.

I told them that we had 100 HEARTS to put on the Kindness Tree.  The only way to get a heart was to do something kind!  This week, we're going to especially work on Secret Valentine's Service, where you do something kind for someone without telling them!  After you do your kind deed, you can tape a heart onto the Kindness Tree!  

What kind of Secret Valentines Service can you do?  We talked about putting away someone's jacket or shoes when they were forgotten on the floor, putting up someone's nap mat or blanket, doing the dishes by yourself (or without being asked!), drawing a picture for someone, making sure the toilet paper was stocked in the bathroom, clearing the table after a meal, pulling out plates or spoons for a meal, turning the "white noise" off after everyone wakes up, and throwing trash away that's left on the floor or counter.

While we were talking, my 4-year old jumped up, grabbed his sister's sandals, and ran and put them away.  He came back grinning.  He got to put the first heart on:



At this point everyone was very excited.  They all jumped up and ran to see what kinds of things they could find to do!



Within 10 minutes, our Kindness Tree had eight hearts on it!



The kids are still excited!  We're planning a Kindness Celebration for when we get all 100 acts of kindness done...I'm actually hoping we get there before Valentine's!  

The hearts are sitting in a lovely basket on a prominent shelf as a reminder.  Of course, the tree is a fantastic reminder too!  This week we are working on secret Valentine service, but they can get a heart for anything kind.  As Kristina has said, "No act is too small!"


I also have a mini-poster full of quotes about kindness from Dr. Martin Luther King jr. displayed in our kitchen so my daughter who reads (and who may actually benefit the most) sees it every time we eat.  

I would LOVE to have you join us in this little adventure!  It is the perfect way to celebrate the Valentine's season and teach a meaningful and useful virtue.  

I simply cut our hearts out of construction paper, but if you'd rather print them you can click here to get a set of printable Secret Valentines Service Hearts!




Also, be sure you visit Toddler Approved and join their email list.  Kristina will send you an email every day with kindness ideas and challenges!  You will love it!

Sooooo.... are you in?!!  We are!!  Next week I'll be sharing one more fun way we're spreading kindness!  I can't wait!!




I may share at any of these parties!



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2 comments:

Erin B. said...

Love it Carla! The tree is a great reminder to the kids. Hope you have a kindness-filled few weeks!

Carla at Preschool Powol Packets said...

Thanks Erin! The tree has been a great reminder--I've even said, "This is an opportunity for you to be kind!" and *loved* their responses!