Sure, kindness should be a lifestyle, but in honor of Random Acts of Kindness Week— February 10-16—we’re spotlighting 10 acts of kindness for kids to carry out. Choose from our list—or come up with your own—and spur a family discussion about what it means to be kind.
1. Make cards and deliver them to your local nursing home.
Many elderly people do the same thing day in and day out, and they don’t get to spend much time with family or friends. A cheery card from a child is a priceless gesture that will remind nursing home residents they are remembered and appreciated.
2. Closet redux and donate.
Growth spurts and closet clutter are two excellent reasons to cull the outgrown favorites for donation. Help kids pick five to 10 gently used items to take to the Salvation Army, Goodwill or another local organization.
3. Volunteer at the animal shelter.
Our furry friends appreciate kind acts, too! Consider taking a family trip to the Humane Association and walking dogs for an afternoon.
4. Bake cookies for a neighbor … just because!
Whether it’s for a favorite playmate or all-around great neighbor, a sweet treat in the mailbox is always a welcome surprise.
5. Write your teacher a thank you note.
Teaching can be a thankless job. A thank you note is an unexpected way to encourage your child to notice the efforts of those in authority.
6. Hold the door for a stranger.
Holding the door open for a stranger is an easy way to polish manners and show respect.
7. Leave an encouraging Post-it on the school bathroom mirror.
Particularly for girls, a well-placed “You’re beautiful, smart and important” can go a long way.
8. Pick up trash at school or the local park.
Remind kids to be mindful of litter in public places or trash scattered in the lunchroom or hallway at school. A 5-minute tidy can go a long way in cleaning up public spaces and lightening the loads of others.
9. Take on a sibling’s chores for the day.
Encourage your children to give siblings a chore-free day. Brother or Sister can kick back and relax because important tasks are covered.
10. Volunteer to read to younger students at school.
Older kids can volunteer to read to a kindergarten class or help younger students who are new to the reading game.
WE WANT TO KNOW: What acts of kindness do you encourage your children to carry out?