The Secret Life Of 4-Year-Olds is a UK television series in which a group of preschoolers are filmed (via hidden camera) in their 'natural habitat' – a playroom.
Parents watch on from monitors as their children embark on navigating this social world, forming friendships and identities.
And yes, we all agree that kids are hilarious (intentionally or not), but we had no idea they were capable of helping a little friend overcome her phobia.
In a recent episode, four-year-olds Ada and Tomas show us grown-ups a thing or two about friendship and kindness.
Ada, who has Down syndrome, forms a best friend bond with Tomas, who helps Ada.
Clearly frightened by the sight of a bunny rabbit in the playroom, Ada recoils but Tomas comes to her rescue.
Watch what happens:
Helping a friend overcome a fear may not be within your skill set, but we're all capable of sweet talking a plant, no?
That's what Riverside College – a school in the Western Cape – is taking on with their Kindness Project.
An experiment of sorts
Launched yesterday – the official World Kindness Day – the undertaking aims to encourage compassion and consideration in our (at times) unkind world.
For the experiment, Riverside has planted two seeds in different parts of their school, and the learners have received instruction to talk to, sing to and provide generous attention to only one plant, while completely ignoring the other.
At month's end, the school will observe which of the two plants has seen the most growth.
Yes, it sounds a little out there but here's the end game:
“The kindness experiment shows the impact that kindness can have on those around you in an easy to understand and tangible way,” explains Riverside’s primary school vice principal, Madelein Luttig.
“In a world run by social media and adults that aren’t always the best role models, it is vital that children are taught the importance of kindness,” she elaborates.
Want to include the project at your school? Here's how:
- 2 x small jars
- 2 x seeds (soaked overnight)
- Cotton wool
- Permanent marker
What to do:
- Label one of the jars ‘be kind to me’ and leave the other one unlabelled
- Wet the cotton wool lightly and place into the jar
- Place the seed inside the cotton wool
- Place each plant in two different spots in the classroom (this is important)
- Make sure the cotton wool is always slightly damp (but do not over water)
Now for the experiment:
Every day show kindness to the plant that is labelled and completely ignore the unlabelled plant (other than giving it water).
At the end of the month, ask these questions:
1. Which plant has grown more?
2. Has being kind to your plant helped it to grow better?
3. What have you learnt from this experiment?
Have you been utterly surprised by something unbelievably kind your little one has said or done? Would you try this at your school? Tell us in the comments.
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