Spread Joy

As we start the school year, anxiety can run high. Not just with the kiddos but also with parents. I remember taking my son to day school for the first time. After I dropped off the little guy I cried all the way to my office. 15 minutes of flooding I-630 and calling my brother, who happens to teach high school, and leaving an unintelligible blubbering voicemail that left the poor man completely baffled. When my son started PreK I was a bit more prepared and had a network of other moms going through the same thing and we spent about an hour after drop off having coffee together and just settling nerves. 

My son is now in high school and there’s more worry about fewer first days but as I started thinking about the start of this school year I wanted to come up with ideas that we could use to spread joy through acts of kindness. 

VIEW PART 1 OF OUR TV SEGMENT HERE… projects: Moms & Mimosas Party, Security Safety Pins, and Sweet Lunch Notes
VIEW PART 2 OF OUR TV SEGMENT HERE… projects: Kindness Rocks and Teacher Gifts

Kindness Rocks
I love the mission of The Kindness Rocks Project: “One message at just the right moment can change someone’s entire day, outlook, life.” 

Paint kindness rocks and leave them around the paths to your child's school or around campus to spread joy. It’s a great project to do with kids too. 


Smooth rounded stones seem to work best-- think river rocks. I was fortunate enough to collect these from my garden because a previous owner used them in landscaping. In fact, craft stores and home improvement stores also sell smooth stones for decorating if you don’t want to seek them out in nature.

When I made my Kindness Rocks I painted the base coat on the first day. Then the second day I added the embellishments such as painting the feather and adding the sayings. Once the paint dried dried I sealed the stones in Mod Podge Outdoor (I did this on the third day, but you probably do not have to wait that long). 


180 Days of Notes
There are approximately 180 days in the school year. Add a little something fun in lunches besides new foods and treats.

For little ones, printing off cute memes, photos of favorite memories, or cartoons to bring a smile mid-day. For older kids, inspirational quotes or funny jokes. Set aside some time and print out a month or so at a time to drop into lunch or backpacks. 

Security Item 
Many kids feel anxious when school starts back. How about making friendship pins that can attach to their shoe laces. Seeing it will remind them that they are not alone. Plus it's a fun way to share joy with other students.

Start with a safety pin, add on colorful beads, and pin to shoelace or clothing. Supplies can be picked up at most craft or hobby stores.


Be Sweet to Teachers
Spread joy to teachers! The school year can be tough on them too. They’re often working parents and busy caring for and teaching our kids. 

A simple candy bar, bag of popcorn, or gum with a cute note can bring joy. I used the free app Canva to create these.

Remember the New Moms (Parents)
Going back to school changes up the family routine and it can be especially tough on new moms/parents who are dropping their littles off for the first time. For those new to your community they may not have a friend network yet which makes drop off even more harrowing. 

A great thing to do after school drop off is to have a meet up at a local coffee shop or a mimosa and muffins party at someone’s home. Exchange numbers, start Facebook groups, and create a community of care and support. It’s a great way to welcome those new parents to your school’s campus.   

Mandy Shoptaw