14 ways to teach kindness

happy february!!
we’re officially in the month of love and i gotta be honest here, i’m feelin’ allllll the feels! give me any excuse to love on my family, especially these sweet cheeks and i’m sold. i’m all about the holidays, the decorations, the food, but more importantly the reason behind the season. yep, it’s totally a hallmark holiday and necessary? nope…BUT. why not use it as an excuse to show some extra love and do some good for the world?! i’m a firm believer that even the smallest act of kindness has such a ripple effect and i’m determined to raise tiny humans who LOVE love.
toddlers are egocentric in this stage of development and often times it can be so difficult to find ways to teach ‘kindness’ when their world is all about them…but the good news is that it can be taught!

as a mama, it’s one of my biggest hopes that we can raise these little babes to love…love people, the world, God… it’s really easy to look around and find all the hate. it’s all over the news and if you’re not careful, spread that same message to those little eyes who are looking up at you. at the end of the day, my goal is that i’ve taught my kids how to deal with adversity, to teach them empathy, how to help others and eventually become productive citizens in this world.
we can do it together, we can teach these babes how to be a good friend, to love love and we can redefine normal.

i’m teaming up today with one of my absolute favorite shops in the world to share 14 ways you can teach toddlers kindness! mama said tees has been one of my favorites for a couple of years now and if you’ve been around here for any length of time, you’re no stranger to their tees that help spread the message of love…and all of those qualities that i talked about before. what better way to kick off this month than with ways to spread some cheer! i’m always looking for ways to help teach these tiny humans the bigger picture, build character and teach selflessness, so i’d love to hear how you help do this with your littles…please share them in the comments section!

ps… if you’re looking for THEEE cutest additions for your valentine’s day outfits {or virtually any holiday or birthday!!}, you have got to check out little blue olive…you may remember miller’s 1/2 birthday crown from where the wild things are, or the girls’ 1st birthday smash cake {oh my gooooosh they were so leeeetle!!!} … they’re just the cutest. order soon to ensure delivery! also.. these tutus. i about fell over when they came in the mail… same sweet lady who made their donut tutus for halloween… handy mandy girl  makes the most beautiful dresses + skirts for any little girl!!
alright, let’s get to it!

14 ways to teach your toddler kindness

.one.
wear the message
we have a variety of these shirts and miller is already fitting into the girls’ hand-me downs from the first ones i bought for their first easter. i ask for a new shirt for the kids each christmas and even have some of my own that i wear. i’m not exaggerating when i say that any time we wear them out in public {which is all the time}, it starts a conversation. people love to connect, it’s in our nature and what better conversations to start than those of love?! they just launched their new valentine’s day line and guys, it’s SO cute!!! LOVE WINS!
it’s simple and yet so powerful…wear the message!

.two.
community service
there are SO many projects around the community…beautify the town, grow a community garden, pick up a local park…whatever you choose to do, leave the place better than you found it. this could be as easy as going to the park to play and bringing a bag for trash.

.three.
winter bird feeders
i shared these adorable valentine’s day bird feeders and they’ve been a hit… they’re the perfect amount of cheer while teaching kindness to our animals. the girls got an absolute kick out of caring for the ‘booodies’ and having a picnic for them. we were able to talk about different ways to care for animals and get some science talk in there as well!

.four.
basket of goodies / sunshine boxes
you can absolutely run with this idea…local first responders {the girls are obsessed with fire trucks lately, so we’ll be delivering to our local fire station}, nurses, neighbors, NICU families, children’s hospitals, cancer patients, nursing homes… the ideas are absolutely endless. from baked goodies to a warm meal, to hand colored pictures or cards. it doesn’t have to be expensive, but thinking of other people and delivering… trust me when i say it will make their day and even more so teach that valuable lesson of giving.

.five.
volunteer your time
there’s nothing more valuable than your time and there are so many places that would love to have your time. if you’re needing some ideas, make a call to your local soup kitchen, a shelter, or even relief efforts. there is surely something for any age, even if it just involves going to sit and talk with people. people love to dote on babies, laugh at toddlers or have the help of an older child to clean, serve, etc.

.six.
help make holdiday decor
if you’re looking to fill your time at home, make some crafts {here’s some super easy and fun valentine’s day projects here and spring projects here that are perfect for your babies, toddlers and preschoolers!}. again, these are perfect for nursing homes, children’s hospitals, fire and police stations and even NICU rooms!

.seven.
animal shelters to play with animals
if your kids love animals, there are so many animals who would benefit from love from kiddos!! ask your local shelter to be paired with animals that would be safe with kids and they’ll totally help you out to ensure your safety while helping those animals to find forever homes…careful though or you might wind up taking one home with you!

.eight.
backpack care packages for local schools
this one is easy and SO needed. snag a backpack from the dollar store and let your kids pick out school supplies or some canned goods. deliver to a local school and they’ll make sure it’s put into the right hands!

.nine.
pray for your leaders
this is a big one…whether it’s your school, church or government leaders, teaching your kids to pray for the people who run our communities and countries is so much bigger…it helps to teach them that this little world they live in isn’t really so little and also respect for the men and women who help to make decisions that affect us!

.ten.
cook dinner for family in need
if you know someone with a new babe, who are working long hours, or simply could use a nice warm meal, let your kids help make and deliver a meal! everyone loves a home cooked meal and the thought behind it is even better!

.eleven.
rock messages in local parks
our local park districts have done this in the past and it’s so much fun to see rock paintings + messages pop up on social media! paint a rock and leave it for someone to find! it’s sure to bring a smile and you can even hunt for some of your own!

.twelve.
car kits
i saw a friend on Facebook do this with their littles and what a great idea! stock up shoe boxes with bottles of water, socks + gloves, fruit, $5 gift card or anything else you can think of….when driving, have your child hand the box out the window. it’s a tough conversation to start and while i’d love to ignore the fact that there are homeless people in our community and keep my babes naive and in a bubble…the reality is that they will probably go to school with kids who don’t have a warm, solid home. teaching kids that there are people less fortunate than us but to be kind and give love…it’s invaluable guys. this world is so much bigger than we are.

.thirteen.
christmas jars
we’ve been doing this for years, even before we had kids. throughout the year, any change goes into a jar. around christmas time, we turn the change into cash or gift cards and deliver to someone in need. sometimes it’s a local family we’ve been touched by, other times it’s random strangers in the mall, and other times it’s local kids who need gifts under the tree. this year we got the kids involved and next year i already have plans to have them deliver those jars. my aunt started the initiative based on the book, christmas jars by her friend, jason wright and it’s now being spread in 50 states and 13 countries..and if you haven’t read it, it’s a super short read that absolutely must be on your list. trust me, you won’t miss the change and you’ll change someone’s world!

.fourteen.
choosing clothes + toys to donate / keep
this has always been something i have done on my own, but why not get the kids involved?! let them be a part of the decision and go through the process with them. it’s an easy way to declutter while doing good!

teaching kids to be happy, welcoming and grateful doesn’t have to be complicated… the message is simple. smile, wave at strangers, use manners and BE A GOOD FRIEND.

i’d love to hear how you teach kindness to your littles or spread the love in your community!

tutus c/o | handy mandy girl
shirts | mama said tees
valentine’s day hats c/o | little blue olive

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3 thoughts on “14 ways to teach kindness

  1. Such wonderful reminders Lindsey. For kids AND us adults! You can never be too kind. Mama said tees is a perfect example of a caring and proactive company that is trying to make a difference. I highly recommend and support them. Their clothing line is high quality and the shirts that you never want your kids to grow out of. Thanks for an inspirational post today!

  2. I’m so proud to be able to say that MY NIECE wrote this post! ❤️🐝❤️👩🏼

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