Encourage kindness to nature with the Kindness Elves. Encouraging kindness with the Kindness Elves is a fun eco-friendly activity for kids perfect for Earth Day, or, any day of the year. Encouraging our children to be kind to planet Earth creates the environmental stewards that we need for a sustainable future. Help the Kindness Elves Save our Planet today!
What are the Kindness Elves?
The Kindness Elves are cute little dolls for children that can be used to encourage simple acts of kindness year-round.
They were first introduced as a refreshing alternative to the Elf on the Shelf, but unlike the Elf, they can be used to encourage kindness all year!
How to Encourage Acts of Kindness to Nature with the Kindness Elves
There are currently 6 color sets of Kindness Elves available. Each set or color of elves has its own story and primary kindness mission. The green elves are nature lovers, so we like to use them to encourage kindness to nature in our home.
- Have the Kindness Elves (you) leave a message for your children with a suggestion of a way that they can be kind to nature.
- Encourage the kids to look in their mailbox to see if the nature elves have left a message or kindness mission for them.
- The Kindness Elves (you) leave your children a little postcard congratulating them on their act of kindness for your children to record in their Little Book of Big Kindnesses.
10 ways to encourage kindness to nature with the Kindness Elves can be found below. Doodle the notes from the Kindness Elves on leaves like Liska over at Adventure in a Box for even more nature fun.
Repeat as many times and in as many ways as you like!
Related: Nature Crafts and Art Ideas
10 Ways to encourage Kindness to Nature with the Kindness Elves
1. Encourage Children to go Outside to Play
The Kindness Elves can help Encourage your children to go outside to play. Getting outside will help them fall in love with nature.
When you hear your kids say the words “I’m bored,” you can have the kindness elves leave a note. The Kindness Elves can ask, “Have you played outside today?” as a reminder to them that playing outside is a way to share kindness with the natural world.
My brothers and I were constantly told to go outside and play when we were kids. It was the best thing our mother did for all of us. It gave her the space she needed to stay sane, and my brothers and I the opportunity to fall in love with the great outdoors.
Encourage children to notice and appreciate nature to get them to start caring about it. Have the Kindness Elves leave a note with a simple outdoor play kindness suggestion. It can even be an imaginary play kindness mission!
One day I left a note from the Kindness Elves that read, “Make mud pies and throw a party for the woodland creatures.” My daughter played for hours on her own in the backyard… I was thrilled!
2. Stay on Marked Trails
Stay on marked paths, it matters more than you think. When you stay on designated trails you are preserving nature for future generations to appreciate.
Before going on a hike in a protected area, I had the kindness elves leave a note for my daughter. The note read,
“Please take good care of all of the beautiful wildflowers today by staying on the trails, and please don’t pick them. The flowers want to grow big and strong like you. When you come home we would love it if you could draw us a picture of them.”
The hike was in a protected area with posted signs telling visitors not to pick the wildflowers and to stay on marked trails. I struggled to keep my daughter from running into the fields of flowers picking them all.
On this day she helped mom take pictures instead. When we returned home she drew a beautiful picture of all the wildflowers.
The next day the kindness elves left her a note to learn more about the flowers that she took pictures of using our wildflower field guide. It was a wonderful day filled with learning thanks to the Kindness Elves.
3. Reduce Plastic Use
The plastics we use don’t disappear when we are finished with them. Plastic doesn’t just go away when we don’t need it anymore. Plastic never goes away and it is devastating to our planet.
With help from the Kindness Elves, you can encourage the kids to cut down on plastic use. Ask them to use less plastic cups, bags, bottles, and straws.
For my daughter, it was single use straws. The next section shares how I used the Kindness Elves to help her see how damaging this habit is to the health of our waterways, wildlife, planet, and people.
4. Stop Sucking, Ditch the Single-Use Straw
I didn’t think I was going to be able to convince my daughter to say “No thank you” to the single-use straw. Her obsession made me want to find a way to convince her that straws are the last thing that she, or our planet, “needed.”
One day I came up with a plan that I hoped would get my daughter on board. The Kindness Elves left a note that there was a video she needed to watch about something very important.
As soon as we finished watching the video we decided to purchase portable steel straws for my purse so my daughter could still enjoy using a straw even when we were out and about. This made her super excited to make the change and say goodbye to the single-use straw.
She is now on a mission to inform others of the dangers of the single-use straw, like the girl in the video below, and I am so proud of her!
Donate time to your favorite park or wild space to be kind to nature. Contact your local city, state, or national park to learn more.
Next, leave a note from the Kindness Elves to tell them about a volunteer mission they have. Don’t forget to write the location, date, and time on the note.
6. Pick up litter
Have the Kindness Elves leave a note asking the kids to go on a nature walk to pick up trash. Picking up litter is an act of kindness toward nature that has a huge positive impact. Both our environment and our children can benefit from this simple act of kindness.
7. Plant Something
Use the Kindness Elves to encourage the kids to get their hands dirty to plant something. They can even help start a garden! Seeing new life sprout from the Earth is a wonderful way for children to experience the bounty of nature and begin to develop a reverence for it.
8. Start a Compost
Encourage the kids to help recycle food scraps into compost. Composting is one way to help children complete the cycle of nature.
The Kindness Elves left a note for my daughter thanking her for helping dad make sure our countertop compost is emptied into the compost bin outside after dinner every night.
9. Take only Pictures, leave only Footprints
There is a saying that goes, “Take only pictures, leave only footprints.” It is meant to encourage us to leave an area as undisturbed as possible. Do your best to pack your trash and leave no trace to be kind to nature and our environment.
Kids love to collect special treasures in nature to collect and take home, this is fine within reason, as long as it is not illegal. Help your naturalist learn not to take everything home with them with the assistance of the Kindness Elves. Their little notes work like magic!
10. Make a Pledge to the Earth
Have the Kindness Elves help the kids make a pledge to the Earth as a way to encourage kindness to nature. Click on the link to learn more.
Eco-Friendly Gift Ideas for Kids from the Kindness Elves
Give children a gift from the kindness elves if they have done well on their kindness missions. This gift can be both a reward for their service, and, an easy way to encourage them to continue their mission of kindness to nature.
Better For Your – Small Stainless Steel Double Wall Number Cups – 8oz (250ml) – Set of 3 – Tumblers with Numbers and Words 1-2-3reHousavvy Kids Tumbler Double-walled Stainless Steel, Set of 2 -BlackSet of 8 Stainless Steel Straws for 30oz 20oz Tumblers Cups Mugs, SENHAI Metal Drinking Straw with Cleaning Brush for 30 20 ounce Yeti Rambler Rtic Ozark TrailKlean Kanteen Kid’s Stainless Steel Bottle with 3.0 Sport CapEcobamboo Ware Kids Bamboo Sea Utensil Set, Fork and SpoonStainless Steel Lunch Box Containers for Kids and Adults Metal Bento Reusable Food Snack Storage Bowls With Lids Easy Use for Prep Sandwiches LeftoversPlanetBox ROVER Eco-Friendly Stainless Steel Bento Lunch Box with 5 Compartments for Adults and Kids (Rainbow Carry Bag with Rainbow Magnets)Violet Mist Neoprene Lunch Bag Tote Reusable Insulated Waterproof School Picnic Carrying Gourmet Lunchbox Container Organizer For Men, Women, Adults, Kids, Girls, Boys(unicorn&rainbow)LunchBots Trio 2 Stainless Steel Food Container – Three Section Design Perfect for Healthy Snacks, Sides, or Finger Foods On the Go – Eco-Friendly, Dishwasher Safe and BPA-Free – Aqua DotsSoYoung Lunch Bag – Raw Linen, Eco-Friendly, Retro-Inspired, Leakproof, Easy to Clean – Black SharkNordic By Nature Premium Grey & Neon Green Sandwich & Snack bags | Designer Set of 4 Pack | Resealable, Reusable and Eco Friendly Dishwasher Safe Lunch Bags | Functional Easy Open Zipper | Great ValueAva & Kings 2pc Eco Friendly Reusable Snack Bags Sandwich Wrap w/ Insulated Fabric – Great for School Lunch, Work, Picnic Food, Boys & Girls – Sizes: 7×7 in & 6×9 in – Pink ButterflygogoBags Reusable Snack and Sandwich Bags – Handmade In Canada – 100%cotton (Dino)Lunch Bag | Waxed Canvas | Durable | Biodegradable | Brown | For Men, Women & Kids
Encourage Kindness To Nature with the Kindness Elves
Have the Kindness Elves leave a note for your children to encourage them to be kind to nature. Use any of the ideas found above to encourage the kids to be kind to nature.
Learn more about Rhythms of Play HERE!
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Nell has over 20 years of experience working with children and is the founder of Rhythms of Play. She believes in the wonder of childhood, the power of the imagination, learning through play, and getting outside in all seasons! Learn more…