Kindness is something that is so rarely rewarded or seen as being important in a child’s development. Forming relationships with their peers can be a very challenging task, especially for those from one-child families. Sharing, manners and helpfulness are something that I personally believe should be at the very core of a kindergarten program. For this reason, in my classroom we have a kindness tree. This allows the children to physically see how their kind acts can grow into something beautiful.
This particular project was actually done as a small group activity. I had a group of five or six children help me draw the base of the tree and colour the area around the words. Having the ability to help decorate our classroom helps the children develop a sense of ownership within their learning space. This also helps the children to build a level of respect for their environment and deepen an overall connection with their class.
Surrounding the children with positive attitudes and displays helps to instill an increasing sense of well-being and identity (important parts of the Australian Curriculum). Having this positive approach to early years learning has very deep roots in Yoga as it is allowing the children to build a connection to their natural environment as well as becoming aware and mindful of their own behavior. While this isn’t moving through an increasingly complicated salutation, it is still allowing them to build a deeper connection to themselves.