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Any act of kindness no matter how big or small can make a difference! It has also been scientifically proven that there are many benefits to being kind! Kindness is contagious and makes both the giver and the receiver feel good. Wouldn’t we then want our children to grow up to be compassionate and empathetic to others needs, to lend a hand when a friend is struggling? We must build this foundation early and cultivate kindness in our children and make caring for others important!
Check out this video featuring the science of kindness.
Stories play an important role in the growth and development of children. The situations of the characters and their decisions server as food for thought for readers. More than a reason why books are a great way to learn about the powers of kindness! Here are some books that teach children of all ages that kindness matters.
15 Books that teach children about being Kind
A book that helps young readers understand – and act on – what it means to be kind.
This is a story about Horton the elephant who does the right thing when many others around him bully him to give up! It teaches an important lesson about standing by what you believe in, no matter what you face. You can also use this book to discuss the importance of advocating for those who do not have a voice
This delightful, and insightful, tale is told by one of Bhutan’s leading writers, Kunzang Choden. “Neypo shong gna? Is there room for me?” a wandering monk asks the little old lady who lives on the hill. The question is repeated again and again as more and more visitors come by. The kind lady welcomes them in, one by one. And the story ends with the lesson: “There will always be room in your home, as long as there is room in your heart.”
This book is about a teacher who assigns a “Kindness Project,” in which her students have to do something kind and make a picture of it. Minna performs many small kindnesses, but she doesn’t know which one she should draw. Finally, she makes a small quilt of pictures, which prompts her classmates to make their own quilts–which are joined to make one large kindness quilt. Then, other classes join in, and the quilt grows to take up the big bulletin board in the hall. This book is a wonderful read for its gentle message and practical approach to making a better world.
This heartwarming true story about one lost cat’s journey to be reunited with his refugee family gently introduces children to a difficult topic and shows how ordinary people can help with compassion and hope.
This book tells a gentle story of how small acts of kindness can help children feel included and allow them to flourish. This book celebrates those differences while teaching the importance of welcoming all types of kids to play and participate.
This book is about a boy named Nikolai who wants to be a good person but is not always sure how. He wants to discover the answer to the three questions: When is the best time to do things? Who is the most important one? What is the right thing to do? He eventually learns that the right time is now, the important one is the one you are with, and the right thing to do is good. This book can initiate a discussion about why kindness is important.
Summer has arrived — and so has Koo, Stillwater’s haiku-speaking young nephew. And when Stillwater encourages Koo and his friends Addy, Michael and Karl to help a grouchy old neighbor in need, their efforts are rewarded in unexpected ways. Zen Ties is a disarming story of compassion and friendship that reaffirms the importance of our ties to one another.
This book introduces the idea that everyone has an “invisible bucket.” These buckets are used to hold your good thoughts and feelings about yourself. When you do something kind, you help fill someone else’s bucket. This provides kids with a visual representation of the importance of kindness. It focuses on social interactions and how our actions positively or negatively affect other people. This book would be especially beneficial as kids begin to develop empathy towards others.
This story is about a zookeeper who is great friends with all of the animals and takes time out of his day to do what they like with them. One day, he is too sick to go to work and the animals decide to come and visit him. This sweet story shows how kind actions towards others are repaid. The animals all take care of Amos when he needs a friend, which shows children how important continual kindness towards others is.
This Newbery Medal winner is about a young boy, CJ, and his grandmother who are on their way home. CJ spends most of the journey asking “How come…?” questions about everyone and everything. His grandmother answers always elicit empathy toward the other characters throughout the book. It serves as a reminder that everyone we encounter has skills and a story, but we must be kind and open-hearted in order to hear it.
Wonder’ by R.J.Palacio is about a little boy with a facial anomaly that causes people to stare at him. He is home-schooled until class 5, then introduced to regular school. The book takes us through the perspective of August( the boy), his sister, and friends who surround him– how he navigates school, bullying, and not only coming to terms with being ‘different’ but also recognizing his own worth. Friendship and the need to be kind forms the crux of this wonderful story
Ty remains his wacky, curious self in this bighearted second installment of the Life of Ty series. Practicing kindness, random or not, doesn’t take that much worrying after all. Being kind is part of being Ty
This book is about a new girl at school, named Maya and how Chloe, who has gone to the school for a while, reacts when she arrives. Chloe is not welcoming towards Maya and excludes her from the group games. Maya leaves and Chloe is left feeling full of regret. This book teaches a critical lesson that every choice we make affects others in either a positive or negative way, and we do not always have an opportunity to fix our negative actions.
Your Turn Now 1, the first book contains more than 40 children’s stories for kids about making the world a better place through simple acts of kindness. Your Turn Now is a movement started by Rushabh Turakhia to spread smiles and kindness. Your Turn Now 2 contains 50 new, real stories of little acts of kindness inspired by the Your Turn Now card.
Which are your favourite books that inspire children to be kind? Be kind and share it with us in the comments!