If you want my expert opinion, teaching our kids about the importance of being a good, kind person is the greatest lesson we could teach them.
It’s the absolute biggest, most important lesson ever.
And it’s not like we can just say, “You’ve got to be kind to others,” and we’re done.
Teaching our kids about kindness is something we need to do nearly on a daily basis from the time they’re toddlers until they graduate from high school. (And probably beyond high school. I know my mom still has to remind me to send thank you’s and birthday cards sometimes–I still forget.)
Kindness is an everyday lesson, and it’s taught best by example.
So when I learned about T.A. Barron’s Spark Goodness Program, I knew it was something I needed to share.
Here’s the skinny. . .
Create Summer Sparks With Everyday Acts of Kindness
First of all, who’s T.A. Barron?
photo from T.A. Barron’s facebook page
T.A. Barron is an award-winning author (this man has won an incredible amount of awards for his work!) of over 30 books ranging from is books that include The Merlin Saga (now being developed into a feature film by Disney), The Great Tree of Avalon (a New York Times bestselling series), The Ancient One (the tale of a brave girl and a magical tree), and The Hero’s Trail (nonfiction stories of courageous kids).
T.A. Barron also does a ton of community work and great things for young kids.
And now, he’s continuing his work with the Spark Goodness Contest.
What’s the Spark Goodness Contest?
According to T.A. Barron, the Spark Goodness Contest “challeng[es] parents and kids this summer to perform at least one “spark of goodness” each week — large or small — in order to help make the world around you a better place.”
How awesome is that, right?
I was totally in when I read this: Keeping kids occupied during school holidays can be pretty challenging. That’s why I created my Summer Sparks activity sheet filled with inspiring ideas for kids of all levels!
Thank you, T.A. Barron! On behalf of all the busy parents, babysitters, grandparents, and caregivers everywhere, we thank you!
Wait. This sounds too good to be true. Tell me more about the Spark Goodness Contest.
Believe me, this is not too good to be true.
Read on, my friend.
The Spark Goodness Contest:
- is open to anyone to join (so join now!);
- gives families a super reason to start spreading kindness every, single day (think: prizes for participants!)
- offers a super-cool freebie printable — “50 Ways to Create Summer Sparks” to give you ideas to get started;
- has a “Summer Sparks Tracker” sheet to keep track of all the things you’re doing;
- makes it super easy to track and share your acts of kindness;
- recognizes participants who are “sparking kindness” on the website and on social media;
- is just a really great way of keeping our kids busy and doing great things!
Now what? I’m overwhelmed.
Are you sure my kids will go for this? All they want to do is play Minecraft or Fortnight or make musical.lys with their friends.
I get it. It’s hard to sell certain things to our kids as they get older.
But here’s what I did:
- I printed out the “50 Ways to Create Summer Sparks” sheet and the “Summer Sparks Tracker”.
- I started filling in a few of the great, kind things my kids had already done to show them how easy it was to do this.
- I told them about the contest, the super-fun prize. (We totally want the yard games but prizes change monthly through October and then each !).
- I asked if they could think of anything else to add to our list and I brought out a bunch of cool gel pens. (Who doesn’t like to write with fun gel pens?)
- I asked one kid to write the ideas on the list and another to add them to the website and enter them into the contest. (My kids are game for anything having to do with electronics!)
- I showed them how their #SparkGoodness entry looked once it was up on the website. (They were impressed!)
And that was that.
The rest is history.
And the rest of the summer will be a challenge to spark goodness each and every day.
Now our “Summer Sparks Tracker” is on our fridge, and I told the kids that any time someone adds a kind deed to the list, he or she can also add it to the website and enter it into the contest.
So what are you waiting for?
Let me know what you think–will you enter the contest?
Here are some other teachmama.com posts about kindness. Check them out:
And definitely give T.A. Barron a follow as well:
- T.A. Barron on instagram
- T.A. Barron on facebook
- T.A. Barron on twitter
- T.A. Barron on youtube
fyi: This post was written as part of a partnership with T.A. Barron and the Spark Goodness Program. As always, my opinions are all my own, influenced only by my experience as a parent, educator, and someone who encourages others to “choose kindness”.