Children spread kindness through their community
Kindness and generosity, as well as emotional well-being are essential life skills being encouraged at Goodstart Wishart
, through a new Kindness Collective project developed by educators and children within the service.
Children have been identifying what kindness means and how they can demonstrate kindness with each other and their wider community, said centre director Stephanie Kennedy.
“The children have really driven the Kindness Collective program and we have spent a lot of time seeking their voice and ideas so we could take the lead from them,” she said.
“Our kindergarten children have painted pictures and posted them to the local nursing home and they also did meal times with the younger children as a way to talk about and role model healthy eating.
“Our pre-kindy children created an ice-block shop for the toddlers who had made and painted their own money.
“Through these activities we are working on connecting the different age groups and exploring the idea of ‘buddies’ across the centre.”
The children have also explored notions of personal space and body awareness through tracing the shapes of their bodies; and they have focussed on listening and using their voices by using a talking stick to demonstrate respectful relationships and valuing the voice of the speaker.
“We have also gathered a lot of resources that support and reflect our focus on kindness, generosity and wellbeing like books on belonging, mindfulness and emotional regulation; as well as strength cards,” Ms Kennedy said.
“The aim of this set of experiences is to gain an understanding of ourselves and a way for us to provide our families with a holistic service that is geared towards learning about ourselves and others within our community.”
Ms Kennedy said the Kindness Collective started as a holiday program, but would now be embedded across the service through a range of growing initiatives.
“These holidays have given us a great opportunity to brainstorm ideas and ways we can really build on the engagement with our community,” she said.
The children were planning to post flowers to neighbours around the service, educators were planning on holding lessons in the local parklands a d the centre was going to source fresh fruit and vegetable boxes for families.
“Our future plans also involve reaching out to our parents and wider community to run events and sessions relevant to our families,” Ms Kennedy said.
“We are also developing a community garden which is in line with our vision that is built heavily upon experiences spent in the outdoors and in nature.
“Within our service we have used the Kindness Collective as a way to create amazing and inspiring change and identify ourselves as having a holistic vision geared towards our children’s wellbeing and development.”