Aug 2, 2017

Creative Ways to Teach Kids Kindness

This morning on TODAY, I was able to share one of my favorite messages: teaching kids kindness through play.

As part of the Giving Back for Back-To-School series, created with JC Penny, we talked about a few simple ways the activities they are already doing can be used to teach them empathy and giving.

For your bookworm

On the segment this morning we made some colorful bookmarks using paint chips and DIY tassels. Use your arts and crafts time with your child to make the bookmarks, then host a book drive in your neighborhood. Donate the books together, sharing the process with your child, and sneaking a bookmark into each book.

For your budding entrepreneur 

The next time your young business owner props up a lemonade stand on the sidewalk, use it as an opportunity to talk about giving back (and maybe even some math! Two birds!) Talk about using a percentage of their profits to make a donation to a website like or or, where you can choose where you want the money to go together.

For your young shopper

During the back-to-school season, a lot of great businesses will do a one-for-one program, like if you purchase a haircut to your child, you can also donate one for a child who may not have gotten one. JC Penny has a program like this, Pair Up, created in partnership with the YMCA. For each pair of underwear or socks you buy, they will give a pair to the YMCA for kids in need. These basics can have such a big part in boosting confidence for young kids heading into a new classroom.

For your little chef

This is a great idea for kids excited about food OR crafts OR both! Buy some colorful, old school lunch boxes, and paint the inside of the lid with chalkboard paint. On the inside of the lid, have your child write an encouraging or fun message. Then together fill the lunch box with healthy snacks, and donate the lunch boxes to a local spot like the YMCA or children's center. Your child can make one for themselves as well, and know that they have a lunch box buddy out there somewhere!

What is your favorite way to teach your kids about kindness? 

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