Thursday, March 22, 2018

Our Favorite Books to Teach Kids About Kindness (Guest Post)

"You never know what light you might spark in others just through your kindness and your example" Jennifer Rockwood.

As a parent of 5 children and founder of a program that teaches kids about giving to others through crafting, one of my parenting/teaching goals is to help build a foundation for kids to be kind, respectful, and show compassion for others. Like other things you want to teach your children, it takes time, patience, and understanding. Books have become so important because they help explain the concepts and also ignite our kids desires to take action. Through the years of running our program, we have found a great collection of books that teach children about being kind, showing compassion and being empathetic. These books have been excellent in starting the conversation about why it is essential to be kind. Here is a list of some of our favorite books.

A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead and Erin E. Stead, is a story about Amos, a zookeeper who spends his day caring for the animals at the zoo. However, when he gets sick, he gets a pleasant surprise and is visited by his zoo friends. This book is a warm and sweet story that shows kindness comes in all different shapes and forms.
Age Range 2-6

Have You Filled a Bucket Today? A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids by Carol McCloud and David Messing
A great book that helps children understand the effects of being kind to one another. Everyone has a bucket. Positive affirmations and actions fill the bucket. However, negative behavior and words can empty the bucket. Everyone has the opportunity to be a bucket filler and bucket receiver. Using this concept provides an excellent opportunity for children to understand how their kind and thoughtful actions (bucket filler) makes other people feel (bucket receiver).
Ages 4-9

How Kind!
by Mary Murphy is a wonderful book for young children to help understand the impact of being kind. It starts with Hen giving Pig a present. Pig is touched by Hen's actions that Pig decides to continue the kind act. In this story, young children can see how one kind act can lead to another and another and eventually returned back to the Hen who started it all!
Ages 3-5

Miles of Smiles by Karen Kaufman Orloff and Luciano Lozano
How far can a smile travel? This book shares the journey of a smile that begins with a baby smiling at her mother. The mother then passes on the smile to someone else, and it continues a chain reaction, brightening each person's day that receives the smile.
Ages 3-7

What Does it Mean to Be Kind? by Rana DiOrio is a wonderfully illustrated book that shows what it means to be kind. From complimenting someone to forgiving someone who has hurt you, this book gives several examples that children can understand about acts of kindness. The last page best summarizes this book "And spread the word - if we can all be kind to each other, our world will be more loving, caring, and harmonious.
Ages 4-8

The Mitten Tree by Candace Christiansen and Greenstein Elaine is a sweet intergenerational story about an elderly woman, Sara, who notices a little boy at a bus stop who doesn't have mittens. One night, she knits a pair of mittens and hangs them on a tree for the little boy to find. It soon becomes a game where children are finding mittens on this tree and Sara knitting a new pair of mittens each evening.
Ages 3-6

If You Plant a Seed by Kadir Nelson is a simple and beautifully illustrated book that shows children the benefits of being kind. The story begins with a rabbit and mouse planting vegetable seeds. Then birds appear, and the question is asked ~ "what happens if you plant a seed of selfishness?". However, how does the situation change if you plant a seed of kindness? Kadir Nelson does a beautiful job differentiating the two scenarios so children can see the impact of being kind.

Sitinee Sheffert is a wife, mom of five, and a social entrepreneur. She is the founder of Giving Artfully Kids, a curriculum teaching children the importance of kindness and giving through crafting and Giving Artfully, a platform connecting crafters and organizations needing handcrafted items.


  1. Lovely book ideas - will have to try some of these. I think it's so important to teach children about the importance of being kind. x

    1. Absolutely, especially in this day and age.

  2. I haven't heard any of these books. I must have a read of them all. Thank you very much for the suggestion. I shall share and pin this also. x

    Thank you very much for linking up with us on #FabFridayPost

  3. What a fantastic project first of all, I think it sounds really interesting and am off to read more about it! Thank you also for sharing all of these ideas about books which encourage kindness. What a wondeful world it would be if everyone practiced kindness with their children from the start! #FabFridayPost

    1. It DOES sound like a great project, doesn't it?! I've been meaning to read up more on it myself, but things have been crazy since having our most recent baby. Thanks for stopping by!