"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around."
What does happiness mean to you?
When it comes to teaching your children how to be kind to others, what does it look like? Do you read affirmations to them daily? Maybe watch a show that promotes positive behavior? No matter the option, I think we can all agree that kindness starts at home.
When the opportunity to act on kindness arises, it often brings joy and happiness into our hearts. The happiness of a child extends beyond the smile on their faces - it plants the seed in their minds of how to be kind and how to be an example to others.
Happiness and what that means to you comes in all different forms. It might be reading a bedtime story to a sibling, helping mom with dinner, being a kind neighbor, watching your favorite movie, or getting cozy with your favorite book. Regardless of the form, happiness should be created not just for others, but for yourself.
What better way to promote kindness and happiness than having your child create their own Happiness Jar!
What exactly is a Happiness Jar?
Let me explain.
To begin, let’s find a jar (could be a large cup, mason jar, glass, plastic, whatever you can find) and decorate it! Let your child paint it or add stickers, this will help make them feel like it’s really their project!
After selecting the jar of choice, this is where the fun comes in! Find either construction paper, printer paper, or any paper you can find. Cut the paper into strips, you’re going to want them big enough to write legibly on.
Once you have your jar and your paper, it’s time to write down your ideas! Write on each slip of paper an act of kindness for your family, friends, and yourself! After writing your ideas down, put the pieces of paper in the jar so that they are evenly mixed up.
Congratulations! You officially have a Kindness Jar! Every day your child can pull out a new piece of paper to help guide how they are going to show kindness. An easy, but fun way to get your kiddos involved in something much more than they realize.
Happiness Jar Ideas
If you need extra help thinking of what to put in your jar, here are ways you can help yourself and those around you:
- Help clean their room with them (vacuum, make their bed)
- Offer to do their chores for the day
- Make a nice hand-written note to express your appreciation for them
- FaceTime or give them a call to say hello! Grandparents love to hear from their grandkids!
- Bake cookies with or for them (who doesn’t love grandma’s cookies?)
- Offer to clean for them (we all know that grandparent that likes to keep everything)
- Give them a call (maybe it’s been a while since you’ve seen them during quarantine)
- Make their favorite treats
- Offer to watch their favorite movie
Ideas for Pets -
- Make homemade treats! Learn more here.
- Take them for an extra-long walk if they’re allowed to be outside
- Buy them a new toy (who doesn’t love a new toy?)
Ideas for Parents -
- Help mom or dad with dinner (set the table, put the salad together)
- Make a nice hand-written note or card expressing your love and appreciation for them
- Watch their favorite movie with them
Ideas for friends-
- Give them a phone call or Facetime! Has it been a while since you’ve seen some of your friends? Let them know you’re thinking of them.
- Send your friend a card in the mail. Even though it’s quicker to text them, who doesn’t love a hand-written card?
- Bake their favorite treats and send them to their house (or door dropoff)
Ideas for yourself -
- Bake your favorite dessert (a little extra sugar before bed won’t hurt)
- Ask a family member to help with your chores
- Pick your favorite songs for the car ride or gather your favorite movies for a fun movie night!
- Make a gratitude journal (every night you can write down a few things that you’re thankful for)
These ideas are just a few suggestions of the endless possibilities that can be added into your Happiness Jar! If you need more kindness ideas, click here!
Remember, there is never an act of kindness that is too small. The world could really use it right about now. Let’s see your own happiness jars!
Happy jar making!