Friday, February 17 is Random Act of Kindness Day. We wanted to help kids prepare for spreading kindness on this special day-so not really random, but we will take advantage of any day to spread love to others!
We offered 9 different acts of kindness stations. Families could spend as much or as little time as they wanted at each station. Some required more time than others and we wanted to let kids have a choice in the type of activities they did for Kindness Day. To encourage them to do as many as possible (and to make sure they didn't miss any!) we created a colorful Bingo card they could use as a checklist as they roamed the room.
So let's checkout what kindness we crafted for our February service project, shall we?
Station 1: Dog Toys
First up was the dog toy station! We offered instructions for two types of dog toys-one more challenging than the other. In order to make the dog toys, we decided to repurpose old cotton t-shirts as opposed to spending money on material. Check out these sweet scouts working hard with their moms-teamwork!!
Special thanks to all who donated shirts and to all who spent time cutting strips of shirts for us! If you are interested in how to make dog toys, here are the instructions!
Station 2: Gratitude Station
Next up we had the gratitude station! We wanted kids to think about who they are thankful for. They made two Survival Kits-one for a local police station and one for a local fire station. They will deliver them on Random Acts of Kindness Day!
Here's what is written on the Survival Kits :)
To remind you of the many times you've been one
To help everyone stick together
Sometimes you have to roll with the punches
To remind you of life's best medicine-laughter
For a burst of energy when you need it
To give you wisdom for those split second decisions
To download a copy of the "Survival Kit for Firefighters" label click here.
To download a copy of the "Survival Kit for Law Enforcement Officers" label click here.
3. Sandwich Station
Our third station involved making sandwiches for the hungry served by A Gathering of Friends-a local group that is a gathering place for people in the Kansas City Metro to work together to be able to share meals with our friends who are experiencing homeless or who might have shelter but are experiencing food insecurity and in need of a good meal. They also have the opportunity to provide friends with essential items in hopes of keeping them safe, healthy, and comfortable, and most importantly love on them!
KindCraft volunteered to make deli meat and cheese sandwiches so each child at the event could practice their sandwich making skills :) These sandwiches were delivered last Tuesday night after the event!
Station 4: The Giving Plate
One of the most visited stations was The Giving Plate! The idea behind this plate is that you design it yourself, bake some treats to share, and deliver them to someone special-a neighbor, a friend, or just someone you know who needs a smile. They then pass the plate and their own treats on to someone else :)
It was fun to see ALL ages really get into this activity!
Want to make one? Check out our instructions sheet here:
Station 5: Bookmarks
Kids chose from hundreds of bookmarks to color. Bookmarks will be given to Johnson County Library for their HomeConnect readers. For library customers who are unable to visit the branch, they have a program where the library will mail them their books to read. For each HomeConnect patron, they like to include a useful bookmark to brighten their day. We sure hope our bookmarks make them smile!
Station 6: Making Plarn
We partnered with Bed of Bags to help make "plarn". Plarn is used to make plastics sleeping mats for the homeless. We collected thousands of plastic bags, and linked them together to make plarn. Bed of Bags will then weave the plarn into plastic mats she donates to the homeless. They are so comfortable AND even have a strap to carry them around (made of plastic bags of course!)
Station 7: Mother's Refuge
No sew blankets are such a wonderful handmade gift of comfort. We decided to make some blankets for the moms at Mother's Refuge shelter. Since 1987, Mother's Refuge has operated a maternity shelter for homeless, pregnant, and parenting young women, ages 12-21, and their babies. Their mission is to provide shelter and education to these young women by providing comprehensive services to empower them to make successful life decisions for themselves and their babies. The moms they serve have lived in unsafe and unstable living environments and have experienced various forms of abuse. Many have little to no financial or emotional support. They are often behind academically and lack life-skills required to care for themselves and their infants. Mother's Refuge provides a safe home, food, clothing, individual case management, access to medical care, counseling, transportation, hands-on life skills training, and 24-hour direct care support. We were honored to partner with Mother's Refuge!
Station 8: Mail a Hug
Sometimes we want to give someone a hug but they live too far away-so why not mail them a hug! KindCrafters traced their hugs on large butcher paper, decorated their body with markers, and plan to mail their hugs to a special loved one.
Station 9: Mail A Smile
Started by Green Springs kindergarten teacher Genia Deets, this program brings a little happiness into the world with a simple smile.
“Our Mail-a-SMILE program started out about 20 years ago. It started super small, with a few letters each year, but has really expanded over the years with the support of our principal. My kindergarteners put together care packages for kids and adults who are facing a serious illness or overwhelming sadness from a life event,” Deets said. “My classroom is full of loving and kind kindergarteners who love to share a smile with others to show them how much we care.”
Over the years, Mrs. Deets’ kindergarteners have sent packages to children battling cancer, siblings who are facing their brother or sister’s diagnosis, families who have lost a child, and those who could simply use a smile from a class of caring kindergarteners. KindCraft kids loved joining in on the letter writing fun!
Whew! That was a lot to summarize because it was a LOT of kindness! Today is Random Act of Kindness Day and we hope these ideas inspire YOU to spread some kindness. Be sure to tag us if you share your kind deeds on social media!