Lifestyle & Parenting

This Mouse Helps Kids Learn About Kindness (Win!)

February 15, 2024

Jana Hallam is an entrepreneur who recently launched The Kindness Mouse, an adorable toy that uses mindful prompts and discovery to help children start to understand kindness. She was inspired to create this after having her twin daughters and struggling to find ways to help them connect with these themes. With Random Acts of Kindness Day coming up on February 17, we sat down with Jana to learn more. —Vita Daily

Hi Jana! Please tell us a bit about yourself to start.

Ever since I can remember I’ve had an entrepreneurial drive. I recall being 9 or 10 years old and creating a children’s newsletter, I remember the very first house I went to that gave me $1 in exchange for my newsletter. It was that feeling of being able to bring a vision to life and offer something that is valuable to others and this feeling stuck with me. I’ve dabbled in startups and I ran a video production business for almost 10 years. It wasn’t long after my twins were born that I was inspired to create a product that I longed for and couldn’t find. I think there is a lot of pressure and a greater need for parents to support their children’s mental, emotional, and social health, and parents are expected to do this in ways they haven’t done before. When my twins were 3, I was looking for an alternative to a popular children’s holiday tradition. Not only did it not align with my values as a parent, but it had a very seasonal approach. From this, I was inspired to use play to inspire good values, in a fun and unique way that could be used year-round. I have to say that WonderWell is a brand that couldn’t be more aligned with who I am, who I want to be, and the impact I would like to make.

When and why did you launch The Kindness Mouse? What niche were/are you aiming to fill?

I wanted to create a new toy option that would inspire good values, mindfulness, and empathy in kids throughout the year. The Kindness Mouse was born, a purpose-driven play experience consisting of a storybook, plush mouse character, and activity cards that encourage children and families to explore empathy and acts of kindness through a fun adventure. Even without the challenging and uncertain time of the pandemic, we know there is a spotlight on children’s mental health and social-emotional learning and that parents are feeling more responsible than ever to support their children with innovative, holistic, and engaging methods. We chose to focus on themes of kindness for our first product.  In a national survey completed by the creators of Sesame Street, findings indicated that 73% of parents believe that it’s more important their child is kind to others over being academically successful.1 According to BullyingCanada, we also know that bullying occurs once every seven minutes on the playground.We believe that kindness increases happiness, connection, and belonging and contributes to a better world and that this focus in particular could not be timelier.

What are some of your top tips for other parents who wish to help their kids connect to themes of kindness, compassion, and understanding?

I believe that as parents we need to role model the behaviour. How do you treat people – strangers or otherwise when you are out in the world? Even more importantly, how do you treat others when you are in a bad mood? If you have a tendency to road rage, remember that little ears in the backseat are listening and taking it in. It can also be helpful to point out kind acts from others. For example, “I noticed the lady in the store chased that family to give them back a toy their child had dropped. How do you think that made them feel?” How do you suggest we proceed, if we want to have important conversations with children around the topic of kindness? For parents to want to have these conversations with their kids, make sure to make it fun! When kids feel that you are doing something together (as opposed to telling them what to do), they will be more receptive. Asking open-ended questions to get them thinking and make it more of a conversation than a teaching moment. Children often connect well through stories. You can also start with a story or example: You could start with a story that illustrates kindness, or recount a recent event where you witnessed or experienced kindness. Here are three prompts I love to get the conversation started

  • “Can you tell me about a time when someone was really kind to you? How did it make you feel?”
  • “Have you ever done something kind for someone else? What did you do and how did you feel afterwards?”
  • “If you saw someone sitting alone at lunch, what could you do to show kindness?”
  • “Imagine your friend is feeling sad about something. How could you help them feel better?”

What are some ways to discover kindness through play?

Games! You can choose games where players work together to achieve a common goal that can teach children about helping each other and the value of working together. Another fun one is engaging in crafts that can be shared or given away, like making cards, friendship bracelets, or art projects. Discuss how these crafts can be gifts to show appreciation or to cheer someone up. And a favourite – encourage children to use plush animals or dolls to act out kind behaviors, such as sharing toys, helping each other, or comforting a friend who is upset.

What are some ways to brighten someone’s day?

Tell someone you care about why you think they are special or express gratitude. Maybe you really appreciate how funny your sister is, or how helpful it was when you moved and a friend helped you paint. Sending a personal and genuine note of acknowledgment (this could be a text, a phone call, or even a letter) can really brighten someone’s day. Reach out just to say hi and let someone know you’re thinking about them

What are some fun ways we can practice Random Acts of Kindness with strangers?

There are simple acts we can do daily, like smiling at a stranger, holding open a door or even just asking “how are you?” in a really genuine way. Then there are the acts that take a little bit more work, but can be really meaningful. Some of my favourites are:

  • Buy a coffee for the person in line behind you
  • Writing a thank you note or leaving positive notes
  • Donating to those in need

Win! A Kindness Mouse Prize Pack!

Congrats Adrienne M. of Grey River, NL, who will receive The Kindness Mouse! Please note: if you are the winner, you will receive a DM (direct message) in Instagram directly from @vitadailymedia. Please be wary of fake accounts, which often use similar handles with an extra or missing letter, number or symbol. We will never ask for a payment or for your credit card number, and we will never ask you to click through a link. If you are unsure whether you have been contacted, via Instagram, by us or a fake account, email us before responding.


  1. Carla McShane

    February 16th, 2024 at 6:01 am

    I have worked for 30 years in educational setting, I am so grateful for these products. Special needs and high need students would benefit as well as all young children. Wonderful way to interact and engage with an important message.

  2. Christine Erb

    February 16th, 2024 at 10:02 am

    I like to invite the childrens friends for a group playdate so it teaches them to play nicely with everyone. There are a variety of persalities and ages.

  3. laurel jones

    February 16th, 2024 at 11:59 am

    sometimes it’s just a smile and good morning

  4. Carole

    February 16th, 2024 at 8:25 pm

    Teach them to be kind by being kind. They learn lots by example. ❤


  5. Xu Li

    February 17th, 2024 at 8:55 pm

    Leading by example! @xuliang889

  6. Mary Ann Dudragne

    February 18th, 2024 at 8:26 am


    Leading by example helps in teaching kids to be kind.

  7. Lana H

    February 20th, 2024 at 7:15 am

    Teach your kids to be kind through example

  8. ronnie_2684

    February 20th, 2024 at 9:31 am

    Teach discipline set rules to follow and show how to respect others, very important! Etc

    -ronnie_2684 instagram

  9. Hoda

    February 23rd, 2024 at 5:39 am

    Consistency leading by example!
    Thank you 🌟
    FB: Hoda Montazeri Motlagh

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