Published 16.01.2016
by Kids’ Own

Kindness: New book project with pre-school children

Kids’ Own is currently working with six childcare settings in Waterford, Kilkenny and Carlow to create a new book with pre-school children, exploring the gift of kindness. Artist Naomi Draper and writer Mary Branley have been leading the creative sessions. The Kindness Project is funded by the ESB Energy for Generations Fund and is delivered in partnership with Carlow, Kilkenny and Waterford Childcare Committees.

Project insight by artist Naomi Draper

Our sessions began with introductions and songs. Taking this time to get to know the group was really important as the children did not know us yet. This was where the kindness began in each setting we visited; we received a lovely warm welcome from everybody we met.

Kindness Project workshops

The introduction of a little friend we brought along named Robyn created a lot of interest and excitement. Robyn is a puppet made out of small paper cubes. The children recognised him as a “little box man” or robot. Through storytelling Robyn brought the children with him on a treasure hunt, to find gifts and kindness hidden in little boxes within the crèche settings. Carefully the little robot was carried by the children into all the nooks and corners of the spaces we were using.

Kindness Project workshops

There was lots of curiosity and excitement on finding the treasure and opening the boxes to reveal what was inside. From simple materials and shapes the children saw beautiful things inside the boxes – rain drops, diamonds and even rainbows.

Kindness Project_2

Taking these gifts, the children used them to create a new gift for someone who is kind to them; there were gifts for mums and dads, nannies and grandads, friends and cousins, and lots of gifts for Robyn too. Within this making process the children showed kindness to one another, assisting and supporting one another through the art activity. Again these gifts were shared with the group; some were left hidden in spaces in the crèche so the children could return to check on them again, or for another person to find.

Kindness Project_3

In our conversations together I realised that the children recognised kindness, that they knew many kind people and wanted to show kindness to them in return, but they do not de-construct why or how these people are kind, they just know they are kind and good to them.

The Kindness Project will culminate in a new publication in spring 2016.