We are kicking off our Character Challenge Kids Camp with the virtue of Kindness! Today is Day 1 make sure you follow along to get 7 days filled with meaningful and fun activities.
As I look at the recent news headlines I think now more than ever it’s important to remind our children to show kindness, love, and respect to everyone. Not just those we like or those who like the things we like nor to those who look like us.
In John 13:35 we are reminded by the disciple that if we are calling ourselves Christ-followers then our actions need to display that he actually follows that theme later in the Bible in the letters of John.
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Character Challenge Kids Summer Camp
This Character Challenge activity is a part of our DIY summer camp! Below is a schedule where you can check out what our next camp counselors “aka” awesome faith bloggers have in store for you ALL week. We designed our DIY summer camp to be fun and meaningful. Each day we focus on a character trait with a faith object lesson, family activities, and other fun. Join us!
There are lots of ways we can show kindness which I love to share about acts of kindness. But we are going to focus on kind words. It’s gotten easier with texting and online communication to be very unkind with our words. Why do you think? It’s probably because we can’t see how it hurts someone, we can’t see their expressions or tears.
But we can be the change.
Kindness Object Lesson
- 2 apples
- Optional: Character Kids Verse Cards (free download below)
Scripture passages: Proverbs 16:24, Genesis 50:21, Proverbs 15:1, Micah 6:8
- Pick one apple that will be the “harsh words apple”. Before you start and when your kids aren’t watching carefully tap it on the table several times to bruise it you don’t want to damage it so don’t drop it too hard.
- Tell them you’re going to see how harsh and kind words affect others.
Start by asking each child to read one of the following verses. Notice how most of these verses are action verses that require saying something. Proverbs 16:24 -Use gracious words. Genesis 50:21- Joseph after being mistreated by his brothers meets with them again. Notice how he treats them. What does he do? Proverbs 15:1 A gentle answer. Harsh words stir up anger. Micah 6:8 asks us to do 3 things. What are they? Discuss the verses as they are read.
- Now show your child the 2 apples. Ask them to describe each of the apples. After they tell you some minor differences then remind them they are both still apples.
- Then pick up the “harsh words apple” and tell them that you just don’t like this apple. So everyone will go around and say mean harsh words to this apple. Do this for at least 2 rounds.
- Then grab the other apple and tell them that you really love this apple so you’re going to tell it kind words. Do this for 2 rounds.
- Now take both apples and place them side by side. Ask:
Did you see any damage done to the apple that you spoke harsh words to? Most likely not but even if they say they do, it’s fine. Say, “The harsh, discouraging words or critical words that come out of our mouth aren’t always evident how they impact another person but they do.”
- Let’s see what the harsh words did to this apple. Cut the apple in half. The “harsh words apple” will be bruised on the inside.
Ask some questions:
What do you observe? What does the “kinds words” apple look like? How about the one we spoke harsh words to?
The kind words apple is fine and the other one has brown spots and is bruised. In the same way, even when you say things jokingly we are “bruising” and hurting others on the inside. Even though the damage is not evident on the outside it hurts others on the inside. Remember we just read Proverbs 15:4 and it said, “harsh words crush the spirit.”
What does “bruising” look like for people? Who caused the bruising? It’s important to take responsibility for our actions. Sometimes we like to say, “I don’t know why she’s crying or why he’s so upset.” But the reality is our harsh words hurt.
What are some ways people can be unkind with their words? Gossip, criticizing, negativity, shaming, bad words, making fun of someone who is different.
- What are some ways we can show kindness to each other?
How would we have felt if we were the apple who had harsh words spoken to? How would it feel to be the apple who had beautiful words spoken to it?
Do you know that you can make others feel beautiful inside? Today let’s find ways we can speak kindly to one another, to those who don’t like the same thing we do or look different from us.
Character Lesson: When we are unkind to others with harsh words or criticism it hurts and bruises others inside but we don’t always see it. Today let’s find ways to act justly, love kindness, and walk humbly.
End by memorizing Micah 6:8 as a family by using the Character Kids Verse Cards. You can look online for the song Micah 6:8 to help your kiddos memorize this verse. You can also download the Character Kids Verse Cards that go with our Character Kids summer camp by subscribing HERE.
Kindness Family Activities
- Cooking: Make Apple Crumble in the Crockpot with the apples you just cut up for your object lesson! Here’s a Apple Crumble Crockpot recipe it’s super easy and it doesn’t heat up your whole kitchen since you’re using the crockpot. While my other two boys went with their daddy to help the neighbor prep his pool my youngest had lots of fun helping me make this yummy apple crumble.
- Domino Chain Reaction Activity: Here’s a fun activity to remind your kids one little word of kindness can cause a chain reaction. Arrange Dominoes in a formation. You can even get creative and make them curve or fall from the table to another spot. Explain how it only takes a small force to get the chain reaction going. In the same way, kindness is contagious and all it takes is one person to get it going. You can be the element that gets the chain reaction going.
Be the change you want to see in the world.” M. Ghandi
You can also use this activity to talk about how harsh words and a bad attitude can spread really fast. There’s also an educational element to this if you want to explore something more academically. The force and motion, a domino chain reaction is a great activity to demonstrate potential and kinetic energy.
- Kindness Rocks – We have loved doing this activity so much so we’ve done it several times. It’s a simple and great way to share God’s truth on the rocks to encourage others. Paint rocks and write a message of God’s love on the rocks. It can be as simple as “God loves you!” and place them around your community to encourage someone. We have placed ours in parks, around water fountains, near restaurant doors, on the ground near a mailbox, in hospital waiting areas, bathroom sink, and napkin areas…
- Kindness with Siblings– This is one of my favorite activities that I use on a “hard sibling rivalry” day or to break the cycle of negativity that may have been stirring because of some other situation. It’s also great for traveling trips in the car. Go get the Kindness punch cards activity HERE.
- Acts of Kindness Jar – Another activity we enjoyed doing. Go HERE to get the details for our I Spy Random Acts of Kindness Jar
- Spread Kindness at Home Bucketlist – You’ll love this list of simple ways kids can start spreading kindness at home. Go here for the list.
Children’s Books that Foster Kindness
I love sharing our values by reading books to our children. Now that they are older it’s not as easy but when they were young the Bible and children’s books were my go-to resources to develop character in my kids.
- Books that foster empathy and kindness: I have a huge list here of children’s books that foster empathy plus a book list printable you can take to the library.
Here are some other great children’s book ideas.
Family Movie Ideas that foster Kindness
- Wonder is a lovely family-friendly movie that reminds our children how our words impact others and compassion. It’s also a book!
- The BFG movie
- PollyAnna movie reminds us of the power of acts of kindness.
DIY Summer Camp Character Kids Challenge Schedule
Well, that was a shock full of kindness ideas!
Now hop on over to Not Just a SAHM blog for Day 2 of our FREE DIY Summer Camp–Character Challenge Kids Camp! Our DIY Summer Camp is designed for 7 days starting on a Monday but feel free to adjust the schedule according to what works best for your family. If doing one character trait each day doesn’t work for you then spread it out between two weeks. Get the full details HERE!
- Day 1 – Be Kind by Inspired by Family
- Day 2 – Be Honest by Not Just a SAHM
- Day 3 – Be Content by Laurie Christine
- Day 4- Be Respectful by Frugal Lancaster
- Day 5 – Be Obedient by Families with Grace
- Day 6 – Be Faithful by His Purpose in Me
- Day 7 – Be Generous by Raising Everyday Disciples