We have been doing very well with continuing our practice of kind speech but there was never any reason announced to the kids as to why we don't say those things besides telling the kids that 'it's not nice.' And then I was contacted by the folks over at Tacky Box and I was thrilled to get a chance to review their new Tacky Box set as a tool to help children (and adults!) practice kindness in the way that they speak.
Chris Kent Phelps and Cindy Kent; a Mum and Grandma duo, created the Tacky Box set to use as a fun and easy way to talk to kids about unkind language and how it might hurt others. The book; Max's Magnificent Choice (there is also a Margo's Magnificent Choice version) along with the actual Tacky Box come together as a set. The Tacky Box and accompanying book have been proven as great visuals for young children to make connections between the words that we say and how they may affect those we say them to.
We were eager to read our 'monkey book' (described by our 22month old Gemma). The kids sat nicely for the reading of the book. Each page is illustrated with bold colors of jungle scenes. For a 22month old and a 3 and a half year old, the words on each page were just the right length to allow them to pay attention for each page.
I made a point to stop during the reading when Max chose to say anything that we 'don't say' at our house. I'd turn to the kids and say, "Uh Oh, that wasn't a very nice thing to say!" or asked Greyson, "Why do you think the other animals didn't want to play with him?" It was a nice interactive read that kept Greyson's attention for the entire book.
After reading about Max's Magnificent choice (to stop saying unkind, 'tacky' things), I showed the kids our very own tacky box. Which, they were overjoyed to see we could have one of our own! We got right to sharing and painting the box together while I wrote our family's name on it since we can always use the practice of using kind words!
After our Tacky Box was dry, we took a few minutes to talk about the book again and how Max made a magnificent choice to speak nicely to others. Grey was very excited about coming up with Tacky Words to add to our box as well. The thing I loved about the book and set combo is that at three and half, our son has trouble thinking up words and ideas out of thin air. But because of Max's story, he was able to use the Tacky Words that Max said in the book to start. Our first three tacky words were the same that Max said in the book, but thinking about Max helped Greyson begin to think about tacky words (and things 'we don't say') from our own life. So we added some of those in as well.
Our Tacky Box is sitting prominently in our living room as a reminder about speaking kindly to each other. The week following our first reading, Grey said, "I don't like you!" and we reminded him that it was a Tacky thing to say. The glimmer of realization was visible in his eyes that he understood both that it was not a nice thing to say and that it was hurtful to the person he said it to (me; his mum).
I am anxious to see how over the next few weeks the Tacky Box continues to help keep us focused on speaking kindly to each other. I will be back to update on any changes or improvements soon!
In the meantime - head over to these places to check out The Tacky Box
And make sure to see how the folks over at Tacky Box have started a Campaign for Kindness. It is a mission meant to provide Tacky Boxes to Kindergartners all over the nation; in hopes that we can help kids make the 'Magnificent Choice' to choose kind words.
disclaimer: I was provided a Tacky Box set in exchange for publication of my review and experience with the product. Opinions in this post are my own.