Kindness activities for kids – ways for little ones to get involved with Mental Health Awareness Week

Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, Mental Health Awareness Week is a campaign to raise awareness of mental health and “inspire action to promote the message of good mental health for all.”
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  • With these kindness activities for kids, the whole family can get involved in the Mental Health Awareness Week‘s campaign theme this year.

    The theme of kindness was chosen through the results of a survey, which revealed that 63 per cent of people believe that when other people are kind it has a positive impact on their mental health, and the same amount of people agree that being kind to others has a positive impact too.

     

    Taking the theme and spotlighting the acts of kindness that people have been doing during the coronavirus pandemic, such as shopping for neighbours, the charity hopes that the campaign will help to shape our society’s outlook on mental health when life returns to normal.

    There are lots of ways we can support our mental health better in lockdown, such as listening to podcasts that better our mental health or just learning about what mental health guidance is out there if we need it, especially in these trying times.

    MORE: Kindness quotes to inspire you – and your children

    If you want to get involved in this fantastic campaign and highlight the importance of mental health for your children, take a look at some of the kindness activities for kids that you can do with them.

    Looking for more ways to spread positivity? Check out these easy beginners craft projects to give your home a colourful uplift, or get involved in some activities to support the planet with these craft ideas from Earth Day.

    Check out these kindness activities for kids…

    Pavement drawings

    kindness activities for kids: pavement drawings

    Credit: Getty

    If you’ve been out for a walk down the road recently, you’ve probably noticed chalk drawings on the pavement.

    This is one of the easiest ways you can show kindness to a stranger, by writing an inspirational message in chalk on the pavement outside your house. Since it fades or washes away over time, it’s perfectly legal to do this and will undoubtedly put a smile on the face of any passer-by.

    Dig out some chalk from your craft box or pick up some cheaply online for this activity.

    Then get to work – on the pavement outside the front of your house, you could write a message to passing key workers like paramedics and the police, thanking them for their hard work. Or you could just write one of these inspirational quotes for a passing jogger, something like Dory’s iconic message about resilience from Finding Nemo, “Just keep swimming”.

    Hang a rainbow in your window

    kindness activities for kids: rainbow hangings

    Credit: TI Media Limited

    Since the beginning of the pandemic, rainbows have become a symbol of support for NHS workers.

    If you’ve already drawn a rainbow though and are looking for something more exciting, check out our rainbow craft projects for kids. There’s loads of fun ways to incorporate rainbows into your crafting and help spread positive messages about kindness to everyone who passes your house.

    Call grandparents and write a story about their childhoods

    kindness activities for kids

    Credit: Getty

    We all know that we should call our family members to check up on them during these strange times. However, with Mental Health Awareness Week marking the second month of lockdown, it’s more important now than ever before. Older people could be getting lonely and will undoubtedly love to hear from the kids.

    To make it more exciting though, you could set out a list of questions to ask your grandparents about their lives. Some were even children themselves during WW2, so you could use the opportunity to ask them about what it was like! Kids who are old enough could then put pen to paper for a creative afternoon.

    Write letters to friends

    kindness activities for kids

    Credit: Getty

    This is a great way to help your child look after their own mental health, as well as another one of our great kindness activities for kids.

    The child receiving the letter will love it and it’s a great chance to encourage your kids to socialise with their friends in a whole new way, as well as giving them something to look forward to as they wait for the next letter to arrive.

    If they’re old enough and have just begun to write – even better! Encourage them to write a letter to their friends about what they’ve been up to over the last couple of weeks, all the things they’ve baked and crafted. Use pictures and words to bring your story to life!

    To get started, check out this colourful letter writing kit or create your own with lots of coloured paper and pens.

    Set out a snack box for your postman

    Credit: Alamy

    We all love a sweet treat every so often and so does your delivery person. If you’re getting lots of post or deliveries at the moment, why not set out a snack box?

    You will need:

    • A shoe box
    • Snacks
    • A permanent marker

    What to do:

    1. On the inside lid of the cardboard box, write a message to your postman thanking them for the delivery and telling them to help themselves from the box.

    2. Fill the box with the snacks. You might like to include some wrapped chocolate bars, biscuits, sweet packets, etc.

    3. Put it outside your front door, somewhere out of the sunshine.

    Then watch from the window as your postman picks their favourite snack!

    Help with the cooking

    kindness activities for kids

    Credit: Getty

    One of the easiest ways that kids can show kindness around the house is to help out with the cooking. That might be helping with the chopping (if they’re old enough), or even preparing dessert for after dinner.

    As a special treat, you could make something like chocolate chip cookies. A quick and easy snack or dessert like this one will bring a smile to everyone’s face, while not creating too much mess to clean up.

    Make a bird feeder

    Credit: TI Media Limited

    It’s important to show kindness to the people around us, but also to nature.

    Look after the birds in your garden with a bird feeder. Simple and cheap to make with just the ingredients in your store cupboard and some basic craft supplies, you can make sure that the nature in your garden never goes hungry.

    You will need:

    • Lard
    • Mixed bird seed
    • Heart-shaped cookie cutter
    • Ribbon

    What to do:

    1. Gently melt 100g of lard in a saucepan. Add 250g of bird seed, ensuring all the seeds are coated in the fat.

    2. Place the cookie cutter on a tray or fat plate, fill it with the seed mixture and press down with the back of a spoon so it’s really packed in tightly.

    3. Use a skewer to make a hole through the heart – as shown in the picture. Put in the fridge and leave to set overnight.

    4. Ease the heart out of the cutter, thread with ribbon and hang (nice and high!) in a tree.

    Once you’ve shaped your feeders make sure you leave them to dry thoroughly to avoid them cracking and crumbling when you try to hang them up. Pick a tree near to your window so that you can see your bird visitors up close when they visit.

    Put on a puppet show

    Credit: Getty

    Show kindness to the people who live in your house by putting on a puppet show. It’s sure to bring a smile to their faces, plus give little ones a project to do to pass the time.

    Learn how to make a puppet theatre and start thinking about an exciting storyline, or follow Islington Square’s tutorial on how to make Three Little Pigs puppets for your theatre.

    These kindness activities for kids won’t only keep them occupied but will teach valuable lessons about positive mental health and looking after others!