Relationships - day 2 - empathy

These activities can be done alone, but work best with one or more friends on a video chat like Skype, Zoom, Facetime, etc.

Grades K-3

Mindfulness activity:

Trivia question: How many planets are there in our solar system?

  1. Eight
  2. Twenty
  3. ​Twelve

Mindfulness activity:

  • Put your palms together at chest height.
  • Push your palms against each other as hard as you can.
  • Which muscle gets tired first?

Kindness jar

Supplies:

  • jar
  • marbles or dried beans

Think about acts of kindness that can happen in your home. It could be playing fair, cleaning up after yourself, helping with dinner, or sharing.

For every act of kindness that happens during the day, place a marble or bean into the jar. For every unkind activity, remove a marble or bean from the jar.

Let each marble or bean in the jar represent one minute of something that kids can choose (like a favourite game or activity).

Goldilocks and the Three Bears

Supplies:

Have an adult help you make porridge.

  1. In a saucepan, place the instant oats and the water. 
  2. Bring to boil and simmer for 2 minutes.
  3. While the porridge is simmering, mash the banana and stir through at the end before serving.
  4. Lie some banana slices on top and drizzle with honey on top

While eating your porridge talk about the video and discuss the following questions:

  • Should Goldilocks apologize to the bears? Why or why not?
  • Is there a good/bad way of apologizing?
  • How to properly say I'm sorry (I’m sorry for... This is wrong because...In the future I will...will you forgive me?)
  • Do you always have to accept an apology? Why/why not
  • What is the best way to accept an apology?

I am human

Supplies:

  • Sidewalk chalk

Directions:

  • Using sidewalk chalk, have someone outline your silhouette onto pavement and think of all the different things that make you unique.
  • Decorate your silhouette creatively and think about all the ways you can show empathy towards others. For example: how you can help others or treat others with equality and fairness.

If you want to explore this topic more, here’s a book reading called I am Human that explores our uniqueness, and our abilities to make good choices: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9RxO3HG9bM​

Review questions

Ask your child:

  • How does it make you feel to do an act of kindness for others? (Feel)
  • Do you think an act of kindness can make someone else feel better? (Think)
  • What other acts of kindness can you do? (Act)

Mindfulness trivia answer

There are eight planets in the solar system.

Grades 4-6

Mindfulness activity

Trivia question: What is something that gets bigger the more you take away from it?

Mindfulness activity:

  • Get comfortable.
  • Take a few deep breaths.
  • As you breathe in, picture yourself as the big blue sky, with lots of space in and around you.
  • Breathe out, you feel very free and at ease.
  • Breathe in space, breathe out freedom.

Gratitude basket

Supplies:

  • box or basket
  • paper
  • markers
  • special items

Directions:

Lately, we have had to spend some birthdays and other celebrations at home. Think of someone you want to celebrate for any reason, and make them a basket.

  • Make them a note/card of the reasons why they are awesome.
  • Fill a box or basket with items that they would enjoy. This could be their favourite snacks, or photos of you together.
  • Find a way to deliver your gratitude box or basket to them.

Kindness coupons

Supplies:

  • Paper
  • markers

Directions:

Create different coupons with activities you could do for neighbours. Examples include:

  • raking leaves
  • cutting grass
  • decorating their sidewalk
  • a nice card
  • kind rocks
  • a planted flower

Go to neighbours’ houses with a family member to safely drop off your coupons.

Situation map

Supplies:

  • paper
  • markers
  • pen or pencil

Directions:

  • On a piece of paper draw a square in the middle and write “SITUATION” at the top of the square.
  • Around the square draw a heart for “feel”, a check mark for “do”, a thought bubble for “think”, and a speech bubble for “say”.

Mindfulness trivia answer

Answer: A hole

Grades 7+

Mindfulness activity:

Trivia question: The longest border in the world is 8,891 kilometres long. Which two countries share that border?

Mindfulness activity:

  • Sit down however is most comfortable for you.
  • Take a moment to notice 1 thing you taste.
  • Now notice 2 things you smell.
  • Now, 3 things you feel (inside or outside your body).
  • Now, 4 things you hear.
  • Now, 5 things you see

Feelings Collage Poster

Supplies:

  • old magazines and newspapers
  • paper
  • markers, crayons or coloured pencils
  • scissors
  • glue sticks

Watch the Feelings Collage Poster video

Directions:

  • Cut pictures from the magazines or newspapers of people expressing any kind of feelings, and use these images to build a “feelings collage.” 
  • Use markers and label each picture in the collage with a feeling word explaining the collages and feeling labels.
  • Try to pay attention on the details of what the person’s facial expression, their body language, or the context of the photo or illustration.
  • Try to find as many emotions to add to your collage.
  • See a list of examples of emotions you can look for.
  • Hang your poster in a place where you can go back and continue to add more emotions.

List of emotions:

  • Anger
  • Fear
  • Sadness
  • Disgust
  • Surprise
  • Trust
  • Joy
  • Amusement
  • Anxiety
  • Awkwardness
  • Boredom
  • Calmness
  • Confusion
  • Craving
  • Empathetic
  • Envy

Pay it forward

Empathy is about understanding and sharing the feelings of others. Let’s use our empathy skills and think of someone that could use a cheer-up.

Think of an act of kindness you can provide for someone in your household or community. It could be for your neighbours, friends, or relatives. Do something kind by writing them a card, leaving a complimentary message on their voice mail, or dropping off a care package.

Once they have received your act of kindness, instead of receiving gratitude back to you, ask them to pay it forward to another person. In other words, have them pass the act of kindness onto another person they think could use a cheer-up.

Family appreciation box

Supplies:

  • shoe box, or other small box
  • tape
  • scissors
  • markers
  • pen
  • paper

Directions:

  • Wrap a box with paper on the outside and decorate your appreciation box for your family members. Cut pieces of paper to write messages of appreciation to your family members. For example, you can write “thank you for making dinner tonight”.
  • Put the message in the box and leave it in a central place where all family members can see the box.
  • Ask other family members to share their appreciation messages as well.
  • Try to leave a message for each family member every day.
  • The goal is to share your appreciation for one another.

Review questions

Ask your child:

  • How does it feel to think about how others are feeling? (Feel)
  • Why do you think is the difference between empathy and sympathy? (Think)
  • What are other ways we can show appreciation for each other? (Act)

Mindfulness trivia answer

Answer: Canada and the United States


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