by Erica Daniels
Participating in random acts of kindness is not only an act of good service, it’s a great way to show your kids how to give back and show compassion. It can be an excellent way to bond as a family, and teach your little ones how doing good feels great!
Since World Kindness Day is just around the corner, there’s no better time to participate in random acts of kindness. Set a great example for your kids by teaching them about random acts of kindness and make it a point to do some acts this World Kindness Day (and every day)!
What is a Random Act of Kindness?
A random act of kindness is something that is unexpectedly done by a person in an attempt to cheer up or help someone else. It can be done anonymously or the person may be known. Sometimes a random act of kindness can be for a stranger, as long as a parent or guardian is around to supervise. A random act of kindness can be a physical act, spoken words, a written note or even just a smile!
Teaching Kids About Kindness
It’s important to teach kids the different types of kindness; some are with friends and family and some are with strangers. Make sure you explain which acts of kindness are appropriate for certain settings. For example, make sure your child asks you before speaking with someone they may not know.
For educators, these are great to incorporate within the classroom. Have your students choose and print out their favorite random act of kindness. Then assign them to perform their act of kindness over the Thanksgiving break. They’ll have a story to tell at Thanksgiving and to bring back to class.
Random Acts of Kindness Ideas
Below, we share environmental, charitable and more act of kindness ideas. Choose a few to do with your little ones, or print them all out and place in a jar. Then, once you’ve completed the act of kindness, add a checkmark to your printable and place it back in the jar. Once the year is up, see how many you have completed and reward your child with a random act of kindness!
These are perfect for those who want to help out the earth. Whether it’s a random act of kindness idea for Mother Earth herself or a family member, these will help create a healthier environment.
- Pick up litter.
- Offer to mow your neighbor’s lawn.
- Help Mom garden.
- Buy reusable shopping bags for the person in front of you.
- Offer hand-me-downs to a younger sibling.
In the Classroom
These ideas are perfect for a little one who wants to give back at school. These can be printed out and distributed to each student. Then, whenever a child does a random act of kindness, they can cut out the act of kindness, write their name on the printable and place it in a box or container you host at your desk.
Give them a couple sets of printables to motivate them to perform these more than once. To encourage kids to participate, offer a prize to the student who turns in the most printables. To ensure they are being truthful, ask them to write about their experiences at the end of the year.
- Offer to help your teacher pass out papers.
- Offer to read a book to the class.
- Clean the classroom without being told to do so.
- Talk to someone new at school.
- Sit with someone who is sitting alone.
These printables are perfect for giving back to your local community. Especially around the holidays, helping those in need is a great way to show appreciation and love for what you have. Make this a family event and choose a few to do all together. Consider asking if your child will donate one or two of their gifts for the holidays to a local toy drive such as Toys For Tots or a local shelter.
- Volunteer at a soup kitchen.
- Help Mom deliver clothes to a local shelter.
- Ask for donations instead of birthday or holiday gifts.
- Donate food to the food pantry.
- Help a mom with small children load groceries into her car.
Food-Related Acts of Kindness
If your child loves to cook or bake, these are great ways to show compassion for others. If your child is too little to cook or bake themselves, suggest that they add the final touches like sprinkles. Or, they can get the silverware for a meal.
- Bake cookies for the local fire station.
- Give a treat to the bus driver.
- Offer to make (or help to make) dinner for your parents.
- Take a meal to your neighbor.
- Bring fresh baked goods to the local church.
Acts of Patriotic Kindness
Random acts of kindness are especially important when involving people who serve our country, and those who help keep us safe. This is also an excellent opportunity for kids to get to know what it takes to serve our country and practice gratitude.
- When you see a police officer, thank him for being on duty.
- Buy a lunch for a soldier you see at an airport.
- Send a thank you letter to a service member through Operation Gratitude.
- Attend a Veterans Day parade.
- Thank your mail carrier for their services.
Simple Acts of Kindness
These are simple, quick acts of kindness. They take less than a minute to complete, and can make someone’s day. Reiterate that these can be done any time, whenever your child feels the need to make someone feel better. Come up with your own on our fill-in-the-blank printables to keep the kindness going!
- Smile at everyone.
- Give someone a nice compliment.
- Give your parents a hug.
- Give a friend a high five.
- Tell someone that they are important.
Focusing on kindness can improve your family as a whole and teach your children to have empathy and compassion for others. Something as simple as giving someone a nice compliment can turn their day around. Reward your family for the random acts of kindness you perform with a personalized gift for Thanksgiving.