At the beginning of December I liked to do a project with my class to help them count down to Christmas, or our Holiday break. But I also really wanted to find some ways to help the children realize that the holidays really are a time to think about other people, not just which toys they hoped to get. I created this Kindness Calendar –
By the way – it took me YEARS to figure out that making a list like this Kindness Calendar was a better idea than formatting it like a calendar. For many years I retyped it every year onto a December Calendar. Duh…
Then we made a project – I usually had the children make a Santa that had 25 circles on his beard. They took it home with a letter of explanation, and every day when they completed their Kind Act – they would add a cottonball to the beard. I also attached a baggie and had the children count out the cottonballs, but you wouldn’t have to provide them.
Here is a link to the Santa project I used. I copied the hat onto red construction paper and the face on white. The children cut and glued them together, then colored in details.
A friend of mine adapted it so the hat and face are all on one paper:
Another simple idea would be to make a paper chain and they could remove a link each day. I kept one of the Santa’s in my classroom and looked for ways to do these kind acts at school too.
There were a few times I had children in my class who did not celebrate Christmas, I helped them make a snowman to hold their cottonballs, and instead of using 25 I would put 31 circles, or the amount of days until our holiday break.
Our class also visited a Nursing Home or Assisted Living center. I know these facilities get a lot of visitors during December, but it was another way to help my class reach out and think about others – and the residents loved having them.