Teaching Kids Empathy for Animals | Kindness Activities for Kids

Kindness Activities for Kids: Empathy With Animals

Animals have a lot to teach us about empathy. For many, the simple act of being around an animal naturally evokes our empathetic spirit. Are they comfy? Do they like us? Can we pet them? Do they want to play? 

As we interact with animals, we are constantly gauging their emotions, feelings and needs. In this kindness activity, kids will tune into their internal empathies and take note of their own actions and feelings in response to interactions with animals. 

Collecting donations for your local animal shelter or spending time volunteering is a fun way to show kids how their actions impact the way another person (or animal) might feel. Check to see if shelters in your area have family or junior volunteer programs.

You can also set up your own pretend play animal shelter where kids can learn about what an animal shelter is, why animals live there, why the shelter is important and how to care for the animals.

Incorporate conversations about how the animals might feel throughout the adoption process from being nervous when first entering the shelter, to bonding with a fellow animal or caregiver, visiting with potential fur-ever families, being adopted and finally going home! You can later visit a shelter in your area, use this kindness activity, and apply what was learned in a real-life environment. Furry snuggles are a bonus!


EDMO is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing equitable access to out-of-school learning experiences for kids. We offer summer day camps, virtual tutoring and mentoring, and after-school programs with curriculum focused on educating the whole child.

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