We were the first to arrive Saturday morning and we began by filling out name tags and a little paper that asked what we thought kindness was. (Harper and Dakota were both feeling very shy since they didn't remember Ms. Kristen or her boys so they spent about the first half hour clinging to my leg and lap, but overall, they did well.)
As other people trickled in, the kids and I brainstormed and I helped them to write what they thought kindness meant. Dakota wrote: Kindness is giving someone a rose, sharing. Harper wrote: Kindness is sharing my toys. Both 100% accurate and their own words after we talked about ways to be kind.
While the other kids filled out their "kindness is" paper Harps and Kota found the playroom and enjoyed some of the toys available while they waited.
Once everyone had finished what they wrote we all gathered in the playroom to read what they had written. (I was extremely proud that both of my kids introduced themselves and said what was on their paper!) There were lots of great suggestions like "giving my dog a hug", "sharing toys with my cousin" and "doing something for someone who doesn't know you well". It was a good start and it seemed like everyone in attendance had a good idea what it meant so we moved into the living room for a couple of stories.
The first one Kristen read was called The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig. It was a great story about a boy who felt invisible among his peers until a new boy starts in his class and they become friends. The other book was called Ordinary Mary's Extraordinary Deed by Emily Pearson. This story was about how one girls act of kindness encouraged a chain reaction of good deeds that spread far and wide. Both books were terrific and I loved that my kids understood their meanings and were able to answer some trivia questions about them in order to win prizes. (Dakota won two colors of nail polish purple and green and some bubbles. Harper won silly string, giant chalk and bubbles.) The idea was that they would win the prizes and then give them away in a random act of kindness, and while that may still happen with the bubbles and chalk, that silly string and nail polish is here to stay!)
After they had all won some prizes they settled down for some snacks that each family provided. They ate and played and talked and then Kristen explained the craft ideas she had ready. First, they were each given 2 black rocks and some paint pens. They were to write messages on their rocks, one to keep for themselves and one to give to a friend.
Next, each child was to grab three Ziploc bags, place 4 Hershey kisses inside with this little note:
The final treat of the day was one the kids can hand out to the neighbors. They can choose one of the prizes they won or something from home to give away with this tag:
I thought the party was really great and felt that Kristen did a terrific job putting it all together. Her activities and books were perfect examples of ways to spread kindness and joy and left us feeling inspired to make a difference in our community. Harper said he can't wait until next year's party and Dakota cannot wait to leave little trinkets of happiness for her friends!