Being a kid has never been so stressful. With increased bullying, loneliness, and social pressures, we have to deliberately teach and model kindness in our families and communities. We hope our Pop-Up Mini-Box this month raises awareness for teaching kindness to you and the children in your circle.

Research from Emory University finds that when you are kind to another person your brain’s reward and pleasure centers light up as if you were the recipient of the good deed, rather than the giver?

Kitchen Table Question:

“How does it make you feel to do something nice for someone?”

Kindness can be deeper than “please” and “thank you.” But it can be confusing sometimes when if actions are mistaken.  How can we show kindness?  How can we be clear about our intentions to do good for others?
This exercise prompts kids to explore how the same act can be kind or unkind depending on context and intent. 
1. Choose any or all of these prompts that you think are best for your kids. You can write these acts down on pieces of paper that the kids can draw from a cup or hat, or you can choose a few to read out loud and talk about.
2. The person who draws the questions will answer the question, “when have you experienced this as kindness?” Another person will answer “When have you experienced this as unkind?” If they don’t have a personal experience with the prompt, they can make up a story.
3. Go until all of the prompts are gone. Then, talk about the discussion questions.
Draw one:
Telling someone what they did wrong | Saying “you hurt my feelings when…” | Laughing | Hugging someone| Complimenting someone | Saying “no” | Saying “yes” |Stopping someone| Helping someone | Making a joke
For example: The card drawn says, “making a joke.” The person who draws the card might say, “Last week at lunch, Jim was joking about how dumb my drawing looked, and that wasn’t kind.” The other person might say, “Yesterday, when I was feeling sad, Aza was joking with me to help me feel better, and that was kind.” 
What makes something kind or not? How do you know if someone else is being kind or not?
How do you know if you’re being kind or not?
What are some important things to remember about being kind?  
What’s a time when you were trying to be kind, but it actually came out unkind? What would you do differently next time?
Now that you have new insights about kindness, how can you share your experience with others?
Picture Books
Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed
by Emily Pearson
A great story that teaches kids how one good deed can make the entire world a better place. Ordinary Mary lives a very ordinary life, but she makes one extraordinary decision. When she shares blueberries with her neighbor, Mrs. Bishop, she starts a kindness revolution that blooms through the entire world.
A Sick Day for Amos McGee
 by Philip C. Stead and Erin E. Stead
This sweet story about a zookeeper teaches kids that the kindness you give to others is often brought back to you. Amos the zookeeper loves the animals he takes care of and makes sure to spend time with them each day doing what they love. When he calls in sick one day, the animals decide to take a trip to visit and take care of him.
Last Stop on Market Street
 by Matt de la Pena
Young CJ and his grandmother are on a bus trip to volunteer at the soup kitchen, and CJ has a lot of questions about the people around him. His patient grandmother responds to all of his questions with empathy and respect for all involved, teaching CJ and the readers that everyone has a good story if we are wiling to kindly listen.
Chapter Books
R. J. Palacio
10-year-old August Pullman is an ordinary boy who happens to have a facial anomaly. As he enters public school for the first time, we hear from him and from those who he meets about their profound experience. In the end, August wants the same things as any other person: friendship, understanding, and the freedom to be himself.


Each month we will be featuring the story of a past POP-Up Festival host. Meet Huong Thai Vu, a superstar POP-UP Festival host from last year.

Where did you hold your POP-UP Festivals? A community school for underprivileged children and a shelter for HIV-infected children in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

How many children attended your POP-UP Festival(s)? 30 5th graders at the Community School and 15 6th, 7th, and 8th graders at the Shelter 

What were your favorite stations? We had a few favorite stations including: Emo Heads Up, the Emotion Iceberg, and Emo Message 

What one emotion describes your POP-UP Festival? Inspired 


What would you do differently next year? More interactive activities, including role plays, movies for children to learn to practice emotional intelligence at home and school
Would you like your POP-UP Festival story to be shared here? E-mail Maria at [email protected]


Share your Mini Pop-Up story with us on Facebook or Instagram!

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