We could all use a little bit of a feel-good boost these days. In a time where uncertainty is abundant and anxiety is pervasive, random acts of kindness can go a long way in spreading positivity and cheer.
Practicing kindness ourselves is a great first step, but we can’t stop there. Starting small, (literally) by teaching and encouraging our kids to be kind will keep the positive energy going with the younger generations. Plus, fostering kindness, compassion, and empathy within your kids will set the stage for them to grow into a healthy, happy, and good overall person.
Tips for Teaching Kindness
Explain that kindness and compassion can catch on, acting as a domino effect that sparks others to do the same. Leading by example and enacting random acts of kindness yourself will influence and inspire your kids. Start with small, uplifting gestures that you can do together. Not only is it a chance to bond with your kid, but it’ll get those little wheels turning in their own heads, planting the seed for them to do it on their own.
Encourage your kid to brainstorm and get creative with their ideas. We often hear stories of people paying for the next person’s coffee; something as simple as that can serve as an added pick-me-up to go with their cup of caffeine.
Random Acts of Kindness Ideas for Kids
Here are a bunch of random acts of kindness ideas that come from the heart. These thoughtful actions won’t break the bank or be too difficult, but they will bring plenty of warm, fuzzy feelings to all.
Smile: The simplest starting point is as easy as smiling — often and unsolicited. Smiling has a contagious effect, especially when it comes from an adorable kid.
Compliments: Everyone likes to hear something nice about themselves. A thoughtful comment is a surefire way to sprinkle a bit of joy on someone’s day.
Hold the door: Chivalry is not dead and your kid is here to prove it.
Deliver groceries to the elderly: More than ever, the elderly can benefit from some extra help. Facilitate a grocery run for items they need with your kid as the little helper for shopping and delivering.
Bake cookies for a neighbor: Baked goods have a way of warming people’s hearts, especially if a kid helps to make them. (Plus, you’ll reap the rewards of extra sweet treats.)
Treat your teacher: Teachers are going above and beyond (per usual) during the pandemic. Have your kid bring some colorful flowers to school or mail them a thank you card (for online learners). This small act will have them feeling appreciated.
Essential worker card drive: Along with teachers, essential workers like doctors, nurses, and grocery store clerks are among those who have gone the extra mile. If anyone deserves to be on the receiving end of a little nugget of kindness, it’s them. Help your kid organize a card drive and deliver handmade notes of gratitude to these amazing workers.
Lemonade stand with a twist: Make a lemonade (or hot cocoa) stand with your little one but give it away for free, because nothing spreads joy like free things!
Donate to a food bank: Donating is a classic act of kindness and a stellar teachable moment for your kid. Giving food items to those less fortunate is a lesson that will truly stick and this is a great jumping off point.
Donate toys and books: Sticking with the donation theme, have your kid go through their toys and pick out whatever they don’t play with anymore to donate to charity. You can encourage them by pointing out how happy it will make another kid now that they’re too old for it. Sorting through books they’ve outgrown to donate to the local library is another simple act that can go a long way.
Set up a clothing drive: Keep the donation train going by setting up a seasonal clothing drive with your little one. Knowing that other, less-fortunate kids will be getting a warm winter coat, or a good pair of shoes will make you both feel good.
Chalk messages and drawings: Put your kid’s creativity to work and encourage them to draw upbeat chalk messages around the neighborhood like “have a good day!” or “smile!”
Joke notes: Like “thank you” notes, but with a funny twist. Leave them in a mailbox, in a shopping cart, or on someone’s windshield to deliver some much-needed laughs.
Doorstep meals: Make an easy meal with your kid to deliver to a neighbor, especially if someone is sick. Food is a foolproof way to show kindness.
Friendship bracelets: This is one of the cutest acts of kindness — with a bonus because they’re wearable. Oh, and they’ll keep your little one occupied for a while.
Walk a dog: Have your kid offer to walk someone’s dog; particularly essential workers with long shifts, or elderly neighbors that aren’t able to get out as easily. It might even keep you off the hook from getting a family pet for just a little bit longer (maybe).
Leave a note for postal workers: With the mountains of online products being delivered these days, a small note of appreciation for delivery drivers will go a long way…designed by your adorable kid for extra points.
Window signs: Arts and crafts are the perfect way for your kid to get involved in a creative act of kindness. Have them make colorful signs to display in your windows and brighten people’s day as they pass by.
Paint rocks: Join the ‘paint a rock’ trend with a cheerful design or inspiring message like “spread love” or “be kind” and leave it outside for someone to find.
Volunteer at a local pet shelter: Kids that love animals will jump for joy at this random act of kindness. If volunteering isn’t possible, drop off some dog or cat food.
Start a little free library: These cute miniature libraries bring joy and entertainment, and encourage people to take a book and leave a book — the ultimate sharing activity that’s socially distant!
Along with bringing joy to others, kindness can have a positive effect on social interactions and self-esteem for kids, too; a win, win. Gifting small acts of thoughtfulness here and there will make your kid feel good about themselves for brightening someone else’s day.