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7 Kindness Activities for Preschoolers

 Cultivate a culture of kindness in preschoolers through engaging activities that nurture compassion and create a positive impact on their social development.

They say kind words create confidence, and these words ring especially true for our kids. Instilling kindness and compassion in young children sows seeds for positive lifelong social-emotional skills, teaching empathy and appreciation for others.

Preschoolers are at a prime age for learning kindness, with ages 3 to 5 often marked by increased curiosity and interest in other people outside of their immediate family.

With the right activities, educators and caretakers can nurture this important milestone in social and emotional development to teach kids important life lessons that they can carry with them for years to come. Let’s explore fun ways to teach preschoolers about kindness through engaging hands-on learning.

How Do You Teach Little Kids About Kindness?

By definition, kindness means doing something good for others without expecting anything in return. So a key part of teaching kindness to kids, especially preschoolers, is to create opportunities for them to:

  • Be inclusive 
  • Help others
  • Express gratitude

Guiding kids to make connections between actions and emotions can motivate them to be kind from within—without needing stickers or candy as a reward. 

7 Kindness Activities for Preschoolers

Since most kids are still developing their emotional and social skills, hands-on activities can be an effective way to help them navigate their big feelings and develop empathy for others.

With that in mind, let's delve into specific kindness activities for preschoolers designed to encourage genuine care for others:

#1. Encouraging the Sharing of Toys and Games

Sharing is caring, but kindness also means being kind to yourself. For kids, this balance can be hard to learn—especially when it comes to sharing a beloved toy or game.

As educators and caretakers, our goal should be to encourage sharing, not to force it. Help children to think about others so that sharing comes from genuine motivation rather than because they were told to do it.

#2. Having Inclusive Playdates

Group activities where every child is invited and has a role are a great way to teach teamwork and inclusivity. 

You might use this time to introduce a collaborative board game or a fun activity that requires partners or teams—further reinforcing the importance of giving everyone a chance to participate and be part of the group.

Narrate kind behavior like taking turns, inclusion, and cheering each other on when teaching kindness through these types of activities. Follow-up games with discussion questions like "How did you feel when your friend cheered for you?" to help reinforce that little acts of kindness can go a long way.

#3. Expressing Gratitude and Appreciation

Expressing genuine appreciation, even for small acts, is a great kindness activity that can cement habits of compassion. Activities for preschoolers to help encourage gratitude might include:

  • Channeling kindness into creative artwork, crafts, or thank-you cards.
  • Thinking of someone who helped them recently and sharing why they are thankful.
  • Writing down one thing they are grateful for to post on a gratitude board.

By cultivating an appreciation for others, kids build essential empathy skills. It helps them see that they can create these same feelings in others through a simple act of kindness.

#4. Cleaning Up Together

Very few young children enjoy cleaning time. So why not turn this activity into a fun, cooperative game? Challenge the kids to see how quickly they can clean up the play area together, or set up a team competition with a small prize for everyone once the room is tidy. 

You might also gently emphasize the link between kindness and cleaning up with statements like, "Let's get all the toys back in the basket so no one trips on them." 

Even if a simple cleanup activity is more fun than functional at this age, it lays the foundation for showing consideration to others through tidiness.

#5. Learning Kindness Through Stories and Books

Books are a great way to teach compassion to kids. Children tend to absorb lessons more deeply when they’re conveyed through imaginative stories. So try reading picture books with themes centered around: 

Afterward, you might follow up by highlighting examples of kindness from the stories, asking the children how certain actions would make them feel. Book series with toys and recurring characters or SEL activity books are a great way to help young ones remember the lesson in between readings or spot the random act of kindness within each story.

#6. Creating a Kindness Jar

A kindness jar is a simple and fun activity for kids to celebrate good deeds. To create one, simply have your preschool kids write down, dictate, or draw pictures of any kind act they performed or observed others doing. Read or show everyone each entry, allowing the "author" to share the story behind it. 

Leaving the kindness jar in the open and periodically pulling out past examples is a great way to celebrate your kids’ kindness and compassion.

#7. Establishing Reflection Routines

Reflection helps ingrain kindness by drawing connections to real experiences. During circle time, ask children to share kind deeds or moments from their day. Prompt them with questions like: 

  • "What did you do to help a friend or family member today?" 
  • "How did it feel when your friend or family member helped you?" 

Giving generous praise for their answers can help strengthen the kindness culture. To inspire new ideas, consider sharing your own stories of small acts of kindness by others and how that made you feel to encourage kind behavior. 

Cultivate Kindness With Slumberkins

Like watering little seedlings, kindness activities for preschoolers contribute to healthy, balanced growth. Even if it takes time for those seedlings to sprout, caretakers and educators can be confident that patient care and consistent efforts will yield fruit. 

Wondering where to start? Slumberkins toys and storybooks are designed to support children during these important emotional and social development phases. Lovable characters and relatable stories teach skills that support lifelong wellness—from child gratitude activities to games that encourage self-kindness.

Explore Slumberkins’ cuddly creatures and social-emotional learning books to find the perfect match for your kids today.


CDC. Child Development - Preschoolers. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/childdevelopment/positiveparenting/preschoolers.html

Slumberkins. True or False: Is Sharing Toys Effective for Child Development? https://slumberkins.com/blogs/slumberkins-blog/is-sharing-toys-effective-for-child-development

Psychology Today. Motivating Children Without Rewards. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-baby-scientist/201806/motivating-children-without-rewards

Brightwheel. Teaching Compassion with Kindness Activities for Preschoolers. https://mybrightwheel.com/blog/kindness-activities-for-preschoolers

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