We don’t need an excuse to be kind, but it definitely doesn’t hurt. We want our children to be nice to others, but it isn’t always at the forefront of our minds. February 17 is National Random Acts of Kindness Day. It is the perfect opportunity to encourage your kids to perform acts of kindness for their friends, neighbors, and the community. These acts can be big or small and can vary based on the age of your child. Need some ideas on what to do? Check out the list below and come up with something that will work for your family!
Older siblings can show kindness right at home. Suggest something that they are good at that they can teach to a younger sibling. It can be a new song, a skill, or imparting their knowledge. Explain that it is kind to share our skills and knowledge. Have an only child? Encourage them to teach their friend a skill or teach you about what they learned in school.
Encourage your children to be helpful to others. They can help a neighbor with packages, pick up something that someone dropped, or help set the table at dinner. There are so many little things that our kids can do to be helpful that are greatly appreciated by those that they are helping.
A great way to show kindness is to support one another. Cheer on a teammate, encourage a friend, or give compliments. Being supportive to those around us can brighten someones day and turn frowns upside down.
What is the coin we always need but can never find enough of? Quarters! Encourage your kids to collect quarters and leave them at the laundromat or near a parking meter. Write a little note saying, “This one’s on me.”
Especially for young kids, sharing can be hard for the sharer but can bring great joy to the sharee. Encourage your kids to share their toys or snacks. They can also share their time. Older kids can spend time playing with younger siblings. Your kids can visit with an older relative or neighbor.
Bake and Give
Head into the kitchen and bake some cookies or a cake and bring them to a neighbor or a nursing home. Give it to someone who could just use some cheering up. Who wouldn’t smile at the sight of a cake or some fresh baked cookies!?
Make and Give
Kids love to make things. Whether it’s a picture, a piece of jewelry, a card, a craft, or a toy, encourage your kids to make something and give it to someone who would really appreciate it. They can draw a picture for grandma or make a bracelet for a friend.
Fill a Need
This one is great for older kids. Encourage them to pay attention to those around them and find someone who has a need. For example, they might see a neighbor who always runs out of the house barefoot to get the paper. Help them buy a pair of slippers for the neighbor and leave them on the front porch for your neighbor to find when they get the paper.
Work together with your kids to go through their things and pull out items that they no longer need or want. Donate old toys to a preschool, donate books to a library, or donate clothes to a shelter. Or do all three. Not only are you helping others, but you are actually being kind to yourself by making space.
Be Kind to Your Server
Restaurant servers work hard and are often not treated the best. If you are heading out to a restaurant, make a conscious effort to be kind to your server. Remember please and thank you. Compliment them for fast service or getting a tricky order correct. Write a little note and smiley face on the receipt and leave a good tip.
Write a Letter
Suggest that your kids write a letter to someone whether it be a family member, a friend, or someone they admire. In the letter they can write about what they like about the person, why the admire them, or how that person makes them happy.