The Jar of Joy

IMG_20141215_150837225As a way of acknowledging acts of kindness, one child care program uses pompoms. That’s right… pompoms and a Jar of Joy!

First the educator explains the concept of random acts of kindness and introduces the pompoms and the Jar of Joy. Then the group talks about what kinds of things each child could do to receive a pompom to put in the Jar of Joy. They also discuss what fun activities they could do as a group once the Jar of Joy was full. Then the fun begins!

When the educators witness a child doing something kind or considerate for another child or for the group, she gives the child a pompom to put in the Jar of Joy and specifically labels what he or she did to receive the pompom. Some examples include: helping someone with a difficult task, sharing a toy or materials, helping a child in conflict or need, using kind words with a peer, consoling a child who is sad or hurt, inviting and including others in play, demonstrating respect for the environment, helping someone tidy up. It is understood among all members of the teaching team that pompoms are never to be removed from the jar or used to bribe a child to do something.

When the Jar of Joy is full, the group has cause to celebrate. Some examples of celebrations are: a pizza party, a special group game or activity, a treasure hunt, purchasing a new toy for the program, making goop or reading a special story.

This simple strategy helps motivate the children to be kind while becoming aware of how kindness can create a caring environment for everyone. Likewise the teaching team member focuses on and reinforces the kindness of the children’s actions.

Resource Consultant Team Leaders
Children’s Integration Support Services