We’re focusing on K for Kindness and sharing simple acts of kindness that kids can easily do. I’ve seen with my own family that these are acts of kindness my children enjoy and that often lead to more kindness in our family as we treat each other with respect and understanding. I have two children, age 6 and almost 8, but many of these acts of kindness are ones we’ve been doing for quite a few years. They work well with children in a wide variety of age ranges!
1. Pick Up Trash – Kids can do this at the park or perhaps at an empty lot in your neighborhood or even along the side of a not-too-busy road with very diligent supervision, of course. Perhaps on the walk home from school once a week. (Wild Thing picked up trash at a community event when he had just turned 2!) Right now on the Pennies of Time Facebook page you can follow Everett as he participates in Trash Me For Kids!
2. Shovel Snow/Rake Leaves/Weed – No matter what the weather/season where you live, a great way to surprise a neighbor and make someone‘s day would be for a child to help a neighbor out by doing any of these things – whichever they need. This would be an especially kind thing to do for an elderly or ill neighbor who could truly use the help.
3. Make a Card for a friend, family member or even a simple card that says Have a Nice Day to give to a stranger or the cashier at the grocery store. This does not have to cost anything – encourage kids to get creative and use art supplies you already have as they create their card(s). We love using paint samples and stickers to create cool cards that bring a little joy to someone’s day.
4. Play a Game! (Seriously!) When I ran an after-school program, our students loved playing FreeRice.com games during their computer lab time. These educational games lead to donations of rice to people in need. Everyone will love this act of kindness. My oldest son is now really into Free Rice!
5. Select Toys or Books to Donate – Encourage your child to select some toys or books (or both) to donate to your local thrift store or (in the case of books) public library. This also helps the environment since it encourages reuse and reduces waste.
7. Be a Friend/Reach Out – Encourage your child to reach out to a child at school that is sitting alone in the cafeteria or standing alone outside at recess. Teaching our children to engage in active empathy and empowering them to be kind and understanding can transform the lives of others. This is something that parents can model, too. As we walk through our days, we can be kind to others and model how important this is for our children.
8. Help a Friend or Family Member Learn Something New – My sons love it when they can share their experience or knowledge with someone else. It can be teaching a friend’s younger sibling how to play a new game, teaching their sibling a new song on the piano, helping each other with reading or math, or even teaching Grandma how to play Pokemon! So often, in their lives, children are the learners, but it’s incredibly empowering for them to be the teachers! Giving them an opportunity to help someone else learn something new (or improve a skill) not only empowers the child who is teaching, but is also a wonderful act of kindness. It’s what we call a win-win in our house and we are all about the “win-win!”
What small acts of kindness do you catch your child doing?
Is kindness part of your daily habit?