Our 6 favourite kids books about kindness
Friday November 13th is World Kindness Day – one of my favourite days of the year!
If we want to raise kind kids, we need to make kindness the norm – in our families, in our homes, in our schools and in our communities. As the adults, we can set the tone by modelling kindness for our children and showing them how it’s done. But we also need to explicitly teach kids about kindness – what it means, what it looks like and what it feels like – for us and for others. I’ve written about teaching kids to be kind previously, so for more on that, check out this blog post: How to Teach Your Kids to Be Kind.
But of course, a great way to start teaching kids about kindness is by reading books about kindness! Kids love to learn through story telling – it helps them make sense of the world and their place in it! So if you want to teach kids something important, using books and stories will always be a great place to start.
Now, we are huge book lovers in our house and we have lots of books about kindness. But the 6 books below are the ones that my 3 year old daughter asks to read over and over again.
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6 of our favourite kids books about kindness:
By Alison Green
Imagine a world where everyone is kind. How can we make that come true?
This book is full of ways children can be kind to others, from sharing their toys, to giving someone a hug when they feel sad, to helping people from other countries feel welcome. It is full of the most gorgeous illustrations from a selection of brilliant artists and illustrators and is all about celebrating diversity and the simple things we can all do every day to make the world a better place. PLUS, a percentage of all sales goes to Three Peas, a charity that provides practical help and support to refugees from war-torn countries.
2. When I’m Feeling Kind
By Trace Maroney
Kindness is something that makes everyone feel really good…especially me!
We love the When I’m Feeling…series! And When I’m Feeling Kind is no exception. I love that these books explore what emotions actually feel like for kids, in language that they understand. And of course, the notes for parents in the back of these books are always helpful to inspire more conversation and exploration of the topic!
3. Have You Filled a Bucket Today?
By Carol McCloud
When you’re a bucket filler, you make your home, your school, and your neighbourhood better places for all
This book is one of my personal favourites! I LOVE the idea of bucket filling, and it helps turn what can sometimes be an abstract concept into something a little more real for kids. It helps kids understand how rewarding it can be to express appreciation, kindness and love by filling up the buckets of others, as well as their own buckets. It is also full of simple bucket filling ideas for kids like telling your parents you love them, or smiling at your bus driver! This book has changed the way we speak in our home and has us all thinking about the way we fill buckets throughout the day.
4. What Does it Mean to be Kind?
By Rana DiOrio
Being kind means having the courage to treat others the way you like to be treated
This book is all about the ripple effect that happens when we complete just one small act of kindness. It explores what kindness looks like, offers up ways for children to be kind to others and explores how your act of kindness can influence the people and the world around you. I also adore the illustrations in this book and the way it represents a range of cultures and abilities – it allows for so much discussion, not only about kindness but about the beauty in diversity and differences.
5. Bear Feels Kind
By Garry Fleming
When Bear feels kind he wants to help people and make them happy. He feels good about himself and everyone around him
This beautifully illustrated board book follows bear as he interacts in a kind and helpful way with his family and friends. He gives his dad a cuddle, helps grandma with the shopping, shares his toys with his baby sister and stands up for his friends. His parents are very proud of bear and his kind actions, and bear feels good when he is kind to others. Kids can really identify with bear and his actions and are able to see their own behaviour reflected back at them in this sweet story. My daughter loves to identify all the things that bear does that she also does in her day to day life!
6. Find Out About: Kindness
by Mandy Archer
How can you be kind?
This book is probably my daughter’s favourite – I swear we have read it at least 100 times!! Aimed at preschoolers, this book explores common situations and interactions that this age group will have with friends, siblings and adults in their lives and helps them understand how they can be kind in those situations. It helps kids develop empathy and social skills and is not only relatable for kids, but also interactive – my daughter loves to lift the flaps! It also includes discussion questions to explore with your child about things like kindness to animals, taking turns, helping others, and making friends. A total winner in our house, and sure to be one in yours also!
I hope you enjoy reading these books with your kiddos! Got your own favourite books about kindness? Let me know in the comments below so I can check them out – I’m always looking at expanding our collection!
Sarah is a psychologist, mama of 4 and the creator of Mindful Little Minds. She has over 10 years of experience working with children, adolescents and families experiencing mental health problems and has a special interest in anxiety disorders in children. In her spare time she enjoys hugging her kids, drinking coffee, and telling anyone who’ll listen how tired she is.