Kindness is a skill that can be learnt just like any other. It may appear to be a simple attribute, but until we teach children to be kind, it will not become a part of their personality.
We can help children accept the concept of being kind to themselves, others, and our planet in a variety of ways, fortunately.
Surrounding kids with books, tales, and activities that encourage kindness and empathy is one of the most effective ways.
What goes around comes around, we teach our children. You must treat others with kindness if you wish to be treated with kindness. For the most part, we’ve been successful, but kids make mistakes (who doesn’t?) and need a reminder again and then.
Here are several novels that honour kindness and remind my strong willed kids of how and why we should be kind.
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Books That Teach Kindness To Children
- “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein – This classic tale shows how kindness and love can endure even when someone takes and takes. The tree gives everything she has to the boy, and the boy learns the value of selflessness and giving.
- “How Full Is Your Bucket? For Kids” by Tom Rath – This book teaches kids that kindness not only makes others feel good but also makes us feel good about ourselves. The story follows Felix as he learns about the power of positive interactions and how small acts of kindness can have a big impact.
- “Have You Filled a Bucket Today? A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids” by Carol McCloud – This book uses the metaphor of a bucket to explain how every person has an invisible bucket that can be filled or emptied by the words and actions of others. It encourages children to be bucket fillers by performing acts of kindness and making others feel good.
- “The Invisible Boy” by Trudy Ludwig – This book tells the story of Brian, who feels invisible at school. But when a new kid arrives and makes him feel seen and appreciated, Brian learns the importance of kindness and inclusion.
- “Each Kindness” by Jacqueline Woodson – This poignant book shows how a small act of unkindness can have a lasting impact. It follows the story of Maya, who is teased and excluded by her classmates, and how their teacher helps them understand the power of kindness and regret.
- “Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed” by Emily Pearson – This book shows how a small act of kindness can start a chain reaction of generosity and goodwill. Mary picks some blueberries and decides to share them with her neighbors, and the act inspires others to do the same.
- “The Kindness Book” by Todd Parr – This colorful and simple book encourages kids to be kind in many ways, from saying please and thank you to helping others and being a good listener.
- “The Berenstain Bears: Kindness Counts” by Jan Berenstain and Mike Berenstain – In this classic series, the Bear family learns about the importance of kindness and respect for others. In this book, Brother Bear learns that a little kindness can go a long way.
- “Kindness is Cooler, Mrs. Ruler” by Margery Cuyler – This rhyming book shows how simple acts of kindness can make a big difference, from helping a friend who’s feeling down to offering a kind word to someone who needs it.
- “The Lion, the Mouse, and the Dawn Treader” by C.S. Lewis – This classic tale shows how even the smallest and weakest among us can be kind and brave. The mouse helps the lion when he’s trapped and the lion repays the kindness when the mouse needs help.
- “The Kindness Quilt” by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace – This book shows how a group of children come together to make a quilt that represents all the acts of kindness they’ve performed. It encourages kids to look for opportunities to be kind and to appreciate the kindness of others.
- “A Sick Day for Amos McGee” by Philip C. Stead – This book shows how kindness can be shown in simple ways, like visiting a friend who’s sick or taking care of a pet. Amos McGee visits his animal friends at the zoo every day, and when he gets sick, they all come to visit him.
- “The Smallest Gift of Christmas” by Peter H. Reynolds – This book shows how even the smallest gift can be the most meaningful. In this story, Roland receives a small gift from a friend and realizes that it’s not the size of the gift that matters, but the love and kindness behind it.
- “The Giving Book: Open the Door to a Lifetime of Giving” by Ellen Sabin – This interactive book teaches children about the joy of giving and encourages them to find ways to give back to their community and the world.
- “If You Plant a Seed” by Kadir Nelson – This book shows how kindness and generosity can lead to a bountiful harvest. Two animals plant a garden together and learn about the rewards of sharing and cooperation.
- “The Kindness Club: Chloe on the Bright Side” by Courtney Sheinmel – In this chapter book, Chloe starts a kindness club at her school to encourage her classmates to perform acts of kindness. Through the club, she learns about empathy, inclusion, and the power of small acts of kindness.
- “Strictly No Elephants” by Lisa Mantchev – This book teaches about the importance of inclusion and acceptance. A boy and his pet elephant are excluded from a pet club, so they start their own club that welcomes all kinds of animals.
- “I Walk With Vanessa: A Story About a Simple Act of Kindness” by Kerascoët – This wordless book shows how a small act of kindness can have a big impact. A new girl is bullied on her way to school, but another student offers her a kind gesture that makes her feel welcomed and safe.
- “Because of You” by B.G. Hennessy – This book shows how everyone has the power to make a difference in the world through acts of kindness and generosity. A small act of kindness from one person can inspire others to do the same.
- “The Golden Rule” by Ilene Cooper – This book teaches the concept of the golden rule, treating others as you would like to be treated. It shows how kindness and empathy can build strong friendships and create a better world.
- “Maddi’s Fridge” by Lois Brandt – This book tackles the issue of childhood hunger and shows how even kids can make a difference. When Maddi’s friend Sofia discovers that Maddi’s family doesn’t have enough food, she works to find a solution and help her friend.
- “The Boy Who Grew a Forest: The True Story of Jadav Payeng” by Sophia Gholz – This book tells the inspiring true story of Jadav Payeng, who planted a forest in India to combat deforestation and protect wildlife. It shows how one person’s kindness and determination can have a huge impact.
- “The Potato Chip Champ: Discovering Why Kindness Counts” by Maria Dismondy – This book teaches about the importance of kindness and empathy through the story of a boy who learns that being a good friend is more important than winning a potato chip-eating contest.
- “Unselfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World” by Michele Borba – This book provides practical strategies for parents and educators to cultivate empathy and kindness in children and create a more compassionate society.
- “The One and Only Ivan” by Katherine Applegate – This novel tells the story of a gorilla who learns about the power of kindness and compassion through his friendship with a young girl. It shows how small acts of kindness can transform lives and change the world.
- “The Kindness Diaries: One Man’s Quest to Ignite Goodwill and Transform Lives Around the World” by Leon Logothetis – This book follows the author’s journey around the world on a motorcycle, relying on the kindness of strangers for food, shelter, and gas. It shows how acts of kindness and generosity can transcend cultural and linguistic barriers and bring people together.
- “Be Kind” by Pat Zietlow Miller – This book teaches children that kindness is a choice and encourages them to look for opportunities to be kind to others. It shows how small acts of kindness can make a big difference and how kindness can create a ripple effect that spreads positivity and joy.
These 30 books about kindness teach children about the importance of empathy, compassion, and inclusion.
They show how small acts of kindness can have a big impact and how every person has the power to make a difference in the world.
Through these stories, children learn to see the world through the eyes of others and to treat others with kindness and respect.
They encourage children to look for opportunities to be kind, to stand up for what is right, and to make the world a better place.
Why It’s So Important to Read Children’s Books About Kindness
Understanding the significance of reading children’s books about kindness cannot be overstated. When we engage our children with these stories and discuss them together, we accomplish several essential objectives: conveying the value of kindness, encouraging the practice of kind deeds, and fostering empathy towards others. In essence, incorporating kindness-themed books into our children’s reading routine fulfills all three prerequisites for raising compassionate individuals.
Research indicates that storytelling is far more effective than mere lecturing when it comes to instilling qualities of kindness in young readers. Traditional lectures often fail to make a lasting impact, as they tend to go in one ear and out the other. However, delving into fictional narratives triggers a response in the brain that simulates real-life experiences. By reading children’s books centered around kindness, we create a virtual reality simulation where our children can immerse themselves, gaining a deeper understanding of diverse perspectives and empathizing with the characters they encounter.
By infusing these stories with keywords like “good deed,” “different ways,” “kind actions,” and “random acts of kindness,” we unlock a wealth of opportunities for children to explore the multifaceted nature of kindness. From a little girl performing a good deed in the heartwarming story of “Enemy Pie” to the main character in “Amos McGee’s Case” who exemplifies kind actions towards his animal friends, there are countless tales that capture the essence of compassion.
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