“Kind words and actions can seem so small, but their effects are truly endless.” (Author Unknown)
The lovely month of February is a perfect time to teach your kids about the power of kindness. Try out these 28 tips for instilling the value of kindness towards others. From simple gestures such as a smile, to making a bird feeder – we’ve listed 28 ideas to show kindness. It doesn’t take too much effort to show someone that you care.
- Give a compliment. This is an easy first step into teaching your kids to do random acts of kindness. They can give a compliment to a classmate, a teacher or someone else.
- Write a letter. Everyone loves getting mail that isn’t a bill! Ask your kids who they think might smile when they open a letter from them. I bet grandma or grandpa would!
- “Pay” it forward. Leaving a dollar in the vending machine or pay it forward in the drive thru. It would be a nice surprise for the next customer! Your kid can even hang around for a second to see who benefits from their surprise – but don’t say anything!
- Kindness at the store. Let’s face it – shopping is generally done in a hurried manner. Offer to let someone go ahead of you in the checkout line. Or, offer to grab an item for a person who may not be able to reach it.
Do a chore for a sibling. Talk with your child about what they think their sibling’s least favorite chore is. Encourage them to do it for their sibling, and maybe their sibling will get inspired to return the favor.
- Send a silly picture. What’s more fun and kind then sending a virtual laugh?
- Be neighborly. Maybe it’s something as simple as bringing up the garbage can or bringing over cookies or flowers will make two people smile – your child and the neighbor.
- Pick up the park. Being careful to avoid anything that could be sharp, encourage your child to help pick up trash at the park (with gloves!) Or, if there are lots of limbs down that could be dangerous, make a pile somewhere out of the way.
- Donate. A bag of dog or cat food will go a long way at the local animal shelter. Call ahead to find out what brands are in demand. Also, there are many local organizations accepting donations of clothing and other household items. Check out out Where to Donate Clothes.
- Chalk the walk. If there happens to be clean sidewalk around, the neighborhood would love a cheerful message!
- Share toys. Especially for young children, sharing can be tough! Take a trip to the library preschool area or encourage sharing at home.
- Walk the dog. Your dog, grandma’s dog, the neighbor’s dog…any dog! Especially after some seriously cold weather, Fido will be so happy to get out and get moving.
- Hide some toys. How fun would it be to put some old Matchbox cars or toys in the sandbox?
- Make a bookmark and leave it in a library book.
- Paint rocks. Leave them on a walking trail or around park and watch, secretly, in delight as other kids discover your rocks.
- Help make dinner. Not only will this be helpful for the family chef, your child will learn a thing or two about cooking! A great bonding experience as well.
- Bring up the carts. If you see several stray carts in the parking lot, bring them in the store! Especially if the parking lot is not so clean that day (carts in the snow are the worst!). The store associate will be grateful for a little help!
- Remember the mail carrier. Giving your mail carrier a small snack or bottle of water is a great way to give back! Maybe you can write a letter or draw a picture as well.
- Shovel. See some snow on the neighbor’s driveway? What about the sidewalk? Get the shovel out and take care of it!
- Read. Practice reading a book to a younger sibling.
- Give. Your teacher probably needs tissues. And glue sticks. And hand sanitizer.
- Send dessert. After enjoying a nice meal at a restaurant, pick out a family to send dessert to.
- Say thank you. If you are out and you see a police officer, firefighter, first responder, or soldier, stop and say “thank you.”
- Return bottles and cans. Brainstorm with your child what to do with the money. Maybe you’ll give it to the children’s hospital. Maybe you’ll donate it to the women’s shelter.
- Make a bird feeder. Find out what birds stick around in your neck of the woods.
- Hold the door. Teach your child the habit of holding doors for the people around them. It’s a great time to teach them manners and how to make eye contact.
- Leave flowers. Pick someone special in your child’s life – the principal at school, their violin teacher, even your favorite checkout person at the store. Flowers make the day a little brighter!
- Smile. Teach your children the power of a smile when someone is having a bad day. Make it a point to be friendly, speak kindly, and spread happines
For more information visit the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation.
What are your acts of kindness? Share them with us in the comments below.