Kindergarten is a time for children to develop their social and intellectual skills. In turn, teaching kids to care about each other will help them become compassionate adults. Playing games that promote caring will help kindergartners build character.

Caring Links

Help kindergartners make paper chains to illustrate how caring they can be. On differently colored strips of paper, write down phrases such as “help my mom/dad with chores,” “help clean up after dinner” and “share my toys.” Read the phrases aloud so the students will know which types of activities show caring. Instruct them to cut out the links and then glue or tape the links together to form a chain. Ask the students to take the chain home. Each time a kindergartener performs a caring act, that child -- with a parent’s help -- will remove one link from the chain. The purpose of this exercise is to see if the students can perform enough caring acts so that they’ve removed all the links in one week. You can reward the first student to have succeeded with a prize or special announcement.

Caring Hearts

Promote caring, compassionate acts with rewards. Cut out 10 to 20 small hearts from red construction paper and write the word “caring” on each. Explain to the kids that for one week, you will be paying special attention to students who show caring acts to their fellow students. Caring acts may include sharing supplies, helping another student with an activity or being especially polite to the teacher and students. Each time you see a child demonstrating a caring act, reward that child with a caring heart. At the end of each day, give each student who received three or more hearts a small sticker or prize.

Mystery Friend

Teach kindergartners to care for their friends with a mystery friend game. Once a month, write the children’s names on small pieces of paper, fold them and place them in a hat or bag. Ask each child to pick a name from the hat. This will be each child's mystery friend that must be a secret for the entire day -- if possible. Ask the kids to do something special for their mystery friend. This could be a simple act like helping the child put away supplies, helping the child with coats and boots or playing with the child at recess. Reward the kids with small prizes for showing caring behavior.

Caring Words Toss

Use a beanbag toss game to demonstrate caring. Ask the kids to sit in a circle outside or in the classroom. Give them a beanbag to toss around to each other in the circle. When a child catches the beanbag, that student says hello to another student in the circle and then says something nice about that student as she tosses the bag. The game continues until all kids have said hello to another student and at least one nice thing has been said about everyone.