This week, my eldest daughter’s school is participating it The Great Kindness Challenge! If you’ve never heard about it before, don’t fret – neither had I, at least not before last week.
The basic purpose of this challenge is to inspire and encourage kindness in the students, and those all around them. Running from January 22nd through the 26th, the Challenge currently includes over 15 thousand schools and over 10 millions students! Let that sink in for a moment… 15 thousand schools! That is a whole lot of kindness going around.
The schools decorate and encourage activities, both group and individual, culled from a 50 point checklist of ‘Kind Deeds’
- Smile at 25 people
- Compliment 5 people
- Say ‘Thank You’ to a Volunteer
- Bring Flowers to the Office Staff
- and 46 other suggestions!
All in all, it is a school wide endeavor that really brings the kids and staff together – and bleeds over to home life as well. My daughter came home today and announced that we are going to be doing our OWN Kindness Challenge, at Home, for the entire month of February! (You can do it anytime though – or even all year!)
Who am I to say no to that??!
Luckily, The Great Kindness Challenge Website has suggestions for Family participation and even a checklist that families can use to help get those kind, creative juices flowing. After reviewing their checklist and their video, I am taking some of their suggestions and adding a few that my girls have suggested.
The Great Kindness Challenge – Home Edition
Here are some of the things that we are going to be doing as a family and as individuals in this family over the course of the next month:
- Entertain someone with a Happy Dance (since we do this kind of thing ALL the time, it seemed a shoo-in to add.
- Smile at 25 people (How are we going to keep track? JUST SMILE AT EVERYONE!)
- Do a Household chore without being asked (Yeah… this one would be nice.)
- Let someone go ahead of us in line (We do this often anyway)
- Help a neighbor
- Help a relative
- Talk kindly – even when you don’t want to
- Take the dogs for a walk
- Feed the cat, without being asked
- Help Dad clean the garage
- Get up in the morning without Mom’s help (Cough, cough… I’ll believe it when I see it)
- Mom stops yelling (Ok… so this one kinda hurt..)
- Dad stops yelling (ouch)
- Girls stop yelling (Fair is fair… right?)
- Paint a Kindness Rock and randomly place it
- Make hearts and put them on car windows (unsure of this one, but they wanted to do it)
- Volunteer in our community
- Have a family game night, and don’t fight!
- Help prepare Dinner for the family
- Make lunches for the next day
- Help clean up a mess someone else in the family made
- Brush the Dogs
- Help mom with chores
- Call a distant family member
- DON’T SLAM DOORS (Maybe it’s not really a kind task, but it would make me kinder not to hear it!)
- Go a full day without complaining
- Send letters to Military Service Members over seas
- Make Valentine Cards for a Local Senior Center
- Make blankets for the local homeless shelter
- Help plan a family vacation – and listen to other opinions or wants
- Weed the front yard
- And more!
These are just some of the things we’ve been brainstorming, with the help of The Great Kindness Challenge Family Checklist. Some are personalized to our family, while many of them could suit anyone.
We’ve also made a Family Gratitude Jar, which produced an afternoon of fun, gales of laughter and two little girls covered in sparkly stickers.
Make a Family Gratitude Jar for your own Kindness Challenge at home
- Label or sticker
You can use any suitable jar or container. Since there are four of us, I chose this slightly larger plastic jug that once had a home as a cat food dispenser.
You can label it if you choose – I used Canva to make this design, which I printed on sticker paper. As you can see by the creases, I should have gone smaller or planned better for the curved surface. You can also see where I covered a previous label that seemed super glued on. Oh well, it serves and the girls love it.
We added jewel stickers to give is some ‘bling’ (girls words, not mine) – but you can use anything that strikes your family’s fancy. The above picture is when I thought the jar was done – below is the finished product after the girls disagreed with me.
How to Use:
Once your Gratitude Jar is decorated the way you want, it is ready to use! Pick a special time of day, perhaps dinner or at bedtime, when you write down something you are grateful for and slip it in the jar. Soon that jar will be brimming with gratitude! On bad days, you or your child can pull out a piece of paper and be reminded of all the things to be grateful for – you can also add a new slip at that time.
Considering we are a family of four, we are using a color coded system – that way the girls can see their own gratitude building up, and pull their personal slips when they need them.
Final thoughts On the Kindness Challenge – Home Edition
I am so excited that my daughter suggested this! We are gearing up to have a fantastic February! If you need more ideas for your own Kindness Challenge – no matter how long you choose to do it – be sure to check out The Great Kindness Challenge Website. You can also check to see if your school is part of it, or find out more information on how to include your school!
If you enjoyed this, you may also like some of the other challenges our family has taken on, including:
Will you take The Kindness Challenge?
Be sure to share this to encourage others to take on their own Kindness Challenge!