46. Simple Ideas You Can Do For Kindness Month

In this episode:

Join me as we dive into a heartwarming discussion on celebrating Kindness Month in schools. Throughout the episode, I am sharing tons of ideas, strategies, and book recommendations aimed at fostering empathy and kindness among students. 

From school-wide projects to individual acts of kindness, this episode is packed with actionable tips for school counselors looking to make a significant impact on student growth and success.

Whether you’re searching for new ideas or looking to refresh your kindness initiatives, this episode promises inspiration and practical advice to help you spread kindness throughout your school community.

Topics Discussed:

  • Celebrating Kindness Month: February is Kindness Month and celebrating it is so important! 
  • Empathy in Classrooms: Focusing on teaching empathy through lessons and incorporating books that highlight kindness.
  • Book Recommendations: Suggestions for books to use in kindness lessons, including “The Kindness Quilt” and how it can be used for a school-wide project.
  • Mix It Up Day: How to host a Mix It Up Day event to encourage students to cross social boundaries, available for all school levels.
  • Kindness Initiatives: Ideas for school-wide kindness initiatives such as assemblies, Kind Student of the Week, kindness trees, and compliment days.
  • Kindness and Empathy Lessons: Lesson ideas focusing on kindness and empathy, including book readings and craft activities.
  • Community Circles and Small Groups: Running community circles and starting kindness or friendship groups to foster kindness and improve communication skills among students.
  • Individual Sessions: Using kindness or gratitude journaling and mindfulness in individual counseling sessions to promote a positive mindset.
  • Sister Classrooms: Pairing different grade levels for joint activities, promoting kindness and cooperation.
  • Kindness Challenges and Projects: Suggestions for engaging students in kindness challenges, such as painting kindness rocks, journaling, and creating a kindness chain.

Resources Mentioned:

Books to Use For Lessons:

Learning For Justice Mix It Up Day Toolkit

Top Secret Kindness Club Small Group

February Kindness Calendar




Carol: You're listening to the counselor chat podcast, a show for school counselors looking for easy to implement strategies, how to tips, collaboration, and a little spark of joy. I'm Carol Miller, your host. I'm a full time school counselor and the face behind counseling essentials. I'm all about creating simplified systems, data driven practices, and using creative approaches to age students. If you're looking for a little inspiration to help you make a big impact.

Carol: On student growth and success, you're in the right place because we're better together. Ready to chat?

Carol: Let's dive in.

Carol: Hi, counselors. It's Carol here. Welcome to another episode of Counselor chat. Thank you for joining me this week. I'm so happy that you're here listening and being a part of this wonderful adventure. Well, my friends, it is February, and that means that it's also kindness month. So I thought that we would talk about some ideas that we can do to celebrate kindness month in school. There are so many, I think, different ways to just celebrate kindness. Of course, we can do our class lessons on kindness. We can do assemblies, some school wide projects. But I know with all the things that are out there, sometimes it can feel a little overwhelming, like what should I focus in on first? Or what should I do? Or, oh, I did that last year. I need something new to try this year. Well, I know for us we are really just going to focus in on talking about empathy in our classrooms and incorporating some books into our lessons as well. And so some of the books, if you are a book person, that you might want to give a little try this month, how about the kindness quilt? And the kindness quilt is a really sweet story. It's super short, so you don't have to spend tons of time on it, but this might be something that you could do with your art teacher, too. And it's a great book for like a school wide project because you can read the book and then you can give every student a little square and have them create a patch to your big patchwork quilt that you could display in your hallway or in your cafeteria or wherever. You display big projects like this. So the kindness quilt is a really cute little story. And like I said, you can make a kindness quilt. And this could be a really great school wide program. There's also a lot of other things that you can do school wide. You can do a mix it up day. So if you're in a middle school or a high school, you can go to learning for justice, type in mix it up, and they have a whole toolkit on there. That includes lessons and strategies and film kits and posters, everything that you could possibly need to really host your own mix it up day event on your campus. And for those of you that aren't familiar with mix it up, it's just a way of having kids who normally don't sit next to each other or maybe who don't interact with one another be around someone new. It really encourages students to identify, question and cross social boundaries, and so you can really host it any day of the year. But if you really want to talk about kindness, this is a really great way to promote a healthy, welcoming school environment and to really help reduce some prejudices that might exist in your school populations or eliminate biases and misperceptions. So mix it up days can be great, and you could do this in elementary school as well. It's just a really nice way to have kids be around others that they might not typically interact with. So mix it up is another thing. You can have assemblies and do a school wide assembly. You can have a kind student of the week. So there's lots of ways that you can really celebrate as a school or have a school wide program. You can create a kindness tree or like I said, do kindness awards. How about maybe incorporating a compliment day where you dedicate a day for students and staff to give compliments to each other. And then if you have little postcards that they're giving these compliments to, you can even display them on a bulletin board and then have that as your display for a while. And then when you're up to your next schoolwide celebration, you can take those off and give them to their rightful owners. You can also do a kindness pledge, sort of like antibullying pledge. You can do a kindness pledge and have students really pledge to commit to promoting kindness with both their words and with their actions in lessons. Like I said, you can read some books. The Sour Grape by Jory John is a really great way to have kids. Understand that when you are not kind and you're judgmental and you are a sour grape, you can really ruin your relationships. And what does it look like to turn that around? So the sour grape is a really great little story I'm reading. Try a little kindness. It's a book by Henry Cole, and I'm actually using that with our little learners and one of my self contained classes. And with this book, after we're reading it, we're actually playing a boom card or a boom deck game where we're scooping up some kindness. And so they have to fill the ice cream cone by picking out the correct kind choice. And then each time they get it right, they get an ice cream scoop and it fills up their cone. And then at the end of the game I actually have little worksheets for them that are pretty similar. So they have to write acts of kindness on their ice cream scoops. They're going to cut it out and they're going to glue it on their cones. So it's really cute and it's a great take home for them. With probably my second and third graders, I'm going to read the jelly Donut difference by Maria Desmondi and I just love that story, especially because it's still winter and it's cold and we have snow. It's the story of these little brother and sister who befriend the neighbor and they build her a snowman and they make donuts and all kinds of stuff. But it's a really great little story and we'll do a little donut craft for that. Other ideas that we're doing. I know that I'll be running some community circles with my bigger kids, my fifth and 6th graders, and with these guys, we are really going to spend some time talking about what kindness looks like. How do we see it in our classroom, what do we do to acknowledge it when we see it happen, and how do we thank people when they're kind to us? So those are some of the maybe the circle prompts that we'll be using as well as just talking about empathy. How can we make sure that we're kind to others? So those are just some lesson ideas with our small groups. I love starting a kindness group, kind of like a secret service mission of a kindness group. And so I will have a group of students and I give them a little challenge. So they have to kind of work together as a team to decipher the code. And the code will then tell them what activity they have to do for our school, whether it's leave notes in the bathroom, like positive notes in the bathroom around the mirrors, or make posters with little tear offs to put in the hallways or create little notes for the cafeteria so that when kids go through the line to get their lunch, because all of our students get free lunch, they get one of these little cute little inspirational messages or bookmarks in library books in the library. Just random like you are awesome. You're a great kid. You can do it. This is for you. And we put them in various books so that they're fun for kids to find. So we'll have our kindness group, but we also will have our friendship groups as well. Because let's face it, some of our little loves have a really hard time with their friendships. They can't get along with other or they seem like they can't get along with other people. Or I have one little fella, I love him to death, but he has such a hard time talking with his peers that when he's trying to communicate with them, he's looking at me and I'm like, you got to pretend I'm not here because you don't want to tell me this. You want to tell the boys this, so turn around and talk to them. And we're really working on his communication skills within his friendship group. So that's another some things to work on. In individual sessions. We might be just doing some kindness or gratitude journaling. Because if we can foster a positive mindset with our kiddos and look at what we appreciate, we're also going to be really talking about kindness. And other ways to incorporate kindness into our small group or individual counseling sessions might be by doing some mindfulness. Because when we introduce mindfulness, we can help kids really stay present and in the moment, and we can really try to cultivate kindness in their interactions. So those are just a few ways to incorporate it, but there are tons. You can have sister classrooms where maybe you pair up. Our school goes from k through six, so we'll partner up 6th grade with maybe third grade, and fifth grade with second and fourth grade with kindergarten or something to that effect. And we will have these classes, like do things together, do a challenge together, or they'll read together. They'll have story time together. They'll do a craft together. So maybe you can have them paint kindness rocks or some journaling or an art project together. Maybe they can do a random acts of kindness challenge. Maybe you can put together a bulletin board of different ideas, one for each day of the month. I know I have a random acts of kindness calendar, and it's a freebie, so I will put the link for that in the show notes so that you can download the calendar and use it. I know that some counselors have blown it up so that it's super huge and it becomes the little Tim board. Or I actually use these calendars, too in my individual sessions or my small groups or sometimes even in lessons if there's like, I need a few more minutes of something, I have early finishers or whatever, and so they can color and mark off what they've done on the calendar. So I'll drop a link for that. You can also do a chain, a kindness chain. So every time someone does something kind, they add a link to the chain. And then you see how long the chain can get. So these are all wonderful ways, I think, to incorporate kindness into February. And before you know it, it'll be March. So, my friends, once again, for some books, there was the sour grape. Or try a little kindness, the jelly donut difference, the kindness quilt. And I know that there's a gazillion more books out there about kindness, but those are the ones that I'm using. There's the community circles, there's the calendars, there's the groups. And I'll put links to all of these things in the show notes for you so that you can go in and take a look. And if there's something that you said, wow, I'd like to try that, you can try that in your program as well. Anyway, I hope these ideas were helpful. Post on social media what you've done, because I can't wait to hear about it. Join the Facebook groups and let me know within the Facebook group what you're doing and let's have some conversations about it. Because sharing is caring and that is part of kindness. Anyway, my friends, until next time, have a great week.

Carol: Thanks for listening to today's episode of Counselor chat. All of the links I talked about can be found in the show notes and at counseling essential forward slash podcast. Be sure to hit, follow, or subscribe on your favorite podcast player. And if you would be so kind.

Carol: To leave a review, I'd really appreciate it. Want to connect?

Carol: Send me a DM on Facebook or Instagram at counseling essentials until next time. Can't wait till we chat. Bye for now.