National Children’s Day UK (NCDUK) takes place on 15 May and offers a chance to celebrate the rights and freedoms of childhood. This year, the focus is kindness…
NCDUK aims to explore all aspects of kindness, including celebrating difference and diversity, and the benefits of being kind. Here’s 5 ways to celebrate in your early years setting.
Think about the different ways we can be kind. For example, the way we talk to people, helping others and being kind to our environment – both indoors and out.
Encourage the children to consider how acts of kindness and unkindness make us feel, and how we might respond when people are kind or unkind to us. What would the world be like if everyone was kind to each other?
Pay special attention to the words you use throughout the day and explore a range of vocabulary with the children, such as “caring”, “helpful”, “smiling”, “generous”, “gratitude”.
Kind is written by Alison Green and illustrated by 38 different illustrators. This book can spark so many conversations about what it means to be kind – from listening to others and holding someone’s hand if they’re worried, to making sure no one’s left out of a game and helping someone new to feel at home.
The book also provides opportunities to celebrate difference and diversity as Alison Green writes, “Everyone is valuable and we all have gifts to share”... “Let’s be curious about the world and all the people in it. It’s fun to see what we do the same and what we do differently.”
How many acts of kindness from the book do the children recognise? Inspired by the story, why not create your own kindness jar? How quickly does the jar fill up?
Head out into your local community and have fun carrying out acts of kindness. You might deliver cards, donate toys to charity, or take part in a community litter pick.
One Tiny Dot, written by Lucy Rowland and illustrated by Gwen Millward, is perfect inspiration. This story offers a charming way to explore how kindness can grow and help others to overcome anger and sadness.
Let the children choose some paints and craft supplies to make thank you cards or pictures for someone they care about.
Or they might prefer to use their art to express how they have felt when someone has been kind or unkind to them. You could also use this as an opportunity to talk with the children about how they feel when they are kind or unkind to someone else.
Give the children some time to explore nature and think about how we can be kind to animals and respect our environment.
Go on a bug hunt and take some photos of the things different bugs need for food and shelter. This could also be an opportunity to talk together about why trees and wildlife are so important for our planet.
For inspiration, take a look at these ideas from Helen McGonigal about how to help kids care for the environment.
NCDUK was founded by the Save Childhood Movement, based on a United Nations initiative to celebrate the rights and freedoms of children across the world on one special day every year.
On 15 May and the week running up to it, they will be celebrating the rights and freedoms of childhood, and promoting the work that organisations and individuals do to help children grow up happy and healthy.