Kindness is a trait that I think we all hope to instill in our children. The hope is that if our little ones are kind to others, that people will be kind to them in return. Often, children are kind instinctually without even realizing that their actions have made an impact on someone else. Acknowledging those moments – as well as the intentional ones – can help children see just how valuable their acts of kindness can be.
Create An Acts of Kindness Calendar
A great way to bring intentional kindness into your child’s day is to create a calendar of kindness! Here are ten acts of kindness to get you started! On each day write a new random act of kindness for kids to try. At dinner that evening everyone can share their story and how it made them and their peer feel. Talking about these emotions will also help children develop empathy.
1. Give someone a hug or a high five
This can really brighten a person’s day and make them feel loved or cared about.
2. Give someone a handmade thank you card
Nothing is more special than a handmade gift. Children can not only have the fun of creating something by hand, but also the joy of giving it to someone to let them know they are cared for!
3. Share with a friend
Sharing can be hard when you’re young, but it can also make people feel really happy and accepted. It is always beneficial to point out another child smiling from the act of kindness.
4. Donate to a food bank
There are so many people less fortunate than others. Let children help go through cabinets and pick out non-perishables to donate to the local food bank for those who don’t have as much access to food. You can even go to the grocery store and let your child pick out some of his favorites to donate!
5. Donate outgrown toys to children in need
Giving away the toys that they have grown out of is a great way to teach children to help others. It can be hard to separate from beloved toys. However, allowing your child the opportunity to help select a few items that another child might love can help. You can even have your child help write a card saying how much they loved the toy and hope it’s new owner loves it just as much.
6. Hold the door for someone
Being courteous never goes out of style. This is a nice way to teach children to be aware of those around them and always lend a helping hand.
7. Give someone a compliment
Even a simple compliment can make someone feel so good and can turn a bad day around! Your child may find out they do this more than they realize.
8. Give your teacher, nanny, or babysitter flowers
Showing appreciation for the efforts of others is a great way to express kindness. A handmade note or card to accompany the flowers will sweeten the gesture!
9. Draw a picture for someone
Again, showing that you took the time to make something with a specific person in mind can mean a lot. People love to know they are being thought of!
10. Bakes something yummy for someone
Delicious treats are always appreciated and will bring a smile to people’s face. If your child is often picking the same person to give a picture, compliment, or baked good to suggest other people such as a neighbor or Pastor. Point out that spreading happiness to as many people as possible makes us feel good inside!
Of course there is no need to stop at 10, 20 or even 30! Kindness can happen every day, all year long. As children start to understand what random acts of kindness are, they can help you fill out next month’s calendar!
About The Author
Sarah Proctor has worked with young children for over 25 years as a teacher, childcare director, nanny, and mom of two girls. She has her Bachelors Degree in Early Childhood Education and Administration from UMass Amherst. In addition, Sarah has her Director 2 certification from the Department of Early Education and Care.