How To Use Books to Inspire Kindness

Hello, my name is Cheryl and I am a book-a-holic.

My favorite store when I was little wasn’t 5-7-9, The Limited or Claire’s. It was Waldenbooks in the Fashion Square Mall. I could sit for hours in that bookstore, pouring over the endless supply of information, inspiration and knowledge.

Now that I am a mom, I am happy to say we are a family of readers. I have books on every floor of our house, and it is a treat rather than a chore to sit down and read with my kids. My 3 year old has been “reading” since she could talk:

I recently thought about books that I give my kids, and had the idea to use them to inspire random acts of kindness. Take the book to another level- use the information inside and apply it to real life. These are truly the gift that keeps on giving- the love of reading, knowledge, kindness and gratitiude.

Here’s how it came about.

Remember the company World Book? Yep, those encyclopedias with gold-edged pages that lined the bookshelf in your home or took up entire sections of the library. I distinctly recall using these as references for every single research paper I wrote. A friend of mine mentioned to me that she currently works for World Book (still around and still an amazing resource- do you know that they are over 100 years old??), and that they had a reading club for kids.

I decided to grab a few samples and see what my kids thought. Many of the books they currently read are of the superhero/princess variety and while they are entertaining in their own way don’t provide the added benefits of education.

The club has three different options:
Independent Reading (Grades K-2)
Fundamentals of STEM (Grades 3-5)
STEM Mastery (Grades 6-8)

There is a 14-day trial period that makes testing it out affordable- $1 for 2 books with free shipping, then you get 3 books per month for $35 with free shipping. Find out more info here!

The first book we received was Community Helpers.

I don’t think my children really understood all of the components necessary to run a functional community, so this was a great jumping off point to start discussions.

After reading, I asked my kids what kind things we could do for the helpers in our community. First, we identified the specific helpers in our community. Next, we brainstormed all the ways we could be kind. We eventually narrowed the ideas down and plan to execute them next week during Thanksgiving break.

Police- make Batman BBQ Sauce for them
Firemen- make soup or chili for them
Mail People- give her flowers
Trash Collectors- make him a book

The other book we received was Things I Like.

I feel that our job as parents is to expose our children to as many opportunities as possible, and let them choose what they like. This book highlighted a number of activities that my kids love, and showed how they are used in other ways (building forts translates to being an architect!). We brainstormed our own list of things we love and then tried to find ways to deliver random acts of kindness with them.

Drawing- draw a picture for GiGi and O.D.
Painting- make our mail person something
Building Legos- build Legos with someone who doesn’t have any
Reading- read to people in the nursing home

How do you use books to inspire your children? Do you have other ways of performing random acts of kindness?

Cheers to books and kindness, two of my very favorite things in life!