25 random acts of kindness your family can do
4. Send a surprise
Between the consumer madness of Black Friday, Cyber Monday and society’s overall consumer-driven culture, it’s nice to take a step back from the shopping and consider ways to give back to our communities. And, when you get your child involved in can become a great family tradition to practice as much as you can.
Related: 5 Birthday Gifts that Give Back
Teaching your child how to show kindness is one way to raise kind kids. With these easy yet effective random acts of kindness ideas, there are plenty of things you can do as a family. Showing kindness is the gift that keeps on giving. It lifts spirits all around. You might choose an idea every month on a designated weekend dedicated to giving back or, simply take part whenever you can. However works best for your family, it’s another way to spend quality time together. Scroll through and find your new weekend activity!
25 easy random acts of kindness to pay it forward
1. Pick a charity and donate
If your child loves the local animal shelter or has known the pain of a stay at a children’s hospital, today’s a good day to help them email or mail a donation. Whether it’s a couple bucks from your kid’s piggy bank or a larger amount from your bank account, it’s about teaching kids that money doesn’t just buy things, it also helps other people.
2. Pull off a random act of fast food kindness
In the drive-thru line at Starbucks? Offer to pay for the order of the people behind you. Use the moment to have a conversation with your kids about how it’s nice to be randomly nice once in a while.
3. Get crafty
Pull out the construction paper and help your kids make thank you cards for the people in their lives who don’t hear it enough. A teacher, bus driver or coach might be on your kid’s list. Maybe you will be, too.
4. Send a surprise
Far flung grandparents and aunties in other states will be expecting parcels a few weeks from now at Christmas time, but they’re not expecting flowers today!
5. Bake for someone
Bring your kids into the kitchen and get out the mixer (or scoop out store-bought cookie dough, there’s no shame in that) and bake up a treat for a friend or family member who could use some cheering up. Just don’t let the kids eat all the kindness before you have a chance to deliver it to someone’s doorstep!
6. Talk about the importance of saying thanks
Take an extra moment to say thanks today, and talk to your kids about why it’s important to use their manners. Especially during the holiday season, retail workers don’t always get to see people doing that.
7. Buy some diapers for your local food bank
Even if your kids are out of diapers, today’s a good day to buy some. Many parents struggle with the financial cost of disposable diapers and don’t have the resources to use reusable ones. You’re making a Target order today anyway, right?
8. Involve your kids in thoughtful donation
Sometimes donations don’t do as much good as they could because people donate things organizations don’t actually need. Your local food bank may be overrun with canned goods right now, but might not have any milk. Assist your kids in calling up a charity and asking what they really need. Then, whether it’s milk, food, diapers or cash, you and your kids can make it happen.
Ask your kids for their ideas about random acts of kindness and help them act upon the ideas that seem the most reasonable. (“No, we don’t have time to paint our neighbor’s house, but yes, we can drop off some masks in their mailbox.”)
Smile at everyone. Your kids will catch on and it will be contagious. Happy giving!
11. Paint kindness rocks
Go on the hunt for small and smooth rocks. Encourage your child to pain kind words, positive phrases or even goofy smiles. Then, go around your neighborhood and leave the rocks in places for your community to find them.
12. Leave a letter in a library book
Write an inspirational letter and tuck it away between the pages of a library book. Whenever the next reader checks it out, it’s bound to put a smile on their face.
13. Pick wildflowers
Is there an elderly person in your neighborhood or maybe someone just had a major surgery? Well, you can pick a bouquet of wildflowers, tie it together with a ribbon and drop it off on their doorstep.
14. Write chalk messages on the sidewalk
Not only will this get your child outside and decrease their screen time but, this is a genuinely fun activity for everyone to do. Each family member can write messages in different colored chalk for passersby to read and delight in.
15. Write a heartfelt letter to your teacher
Ask your child about something they learned this year that’s truly helped them or amazed them. Then, they can write their teacher a spontaneous letter of thanks for whatever it was.
16. Tape change to a parking meter
Remember that loose change at the bottom of your purse? Put it to good use by taping a few coins to a parking meter for the next person.
17. Visit a nursing home
Your child can entertain the folks in the nursing home with a few nursery rhymes. Or, you can chat with someone who doesn’t get very many visitors.
18. Make a “thank you” sign for delivery workers
Draw and decorate a lovely “thank you” sign for your delivery workers. Then, place it outside for everyone to see.
Related: This amazing video captured delivery driver praying for sick baby
19. Create a “giveaway” box
Ask your child to gather any toys they no longer play with or simply don’t want. Toss it all in a box to giveaway to a family with young children in need.
20. Make “get well soon” cards
Draw a bunch of “get well soon” cards and drop them off at your local children’s hospital. You might also include some stuffed animals if you have them!
21. Shovel snow off a neighbor’s driveway
When it’s snow season, you might shovel the snow off another driveway or two after you do your own. And, when there’s leaves on the ground you can do the same thing and rake their leaves.
22. Share your dinner
Whatever you’re planning on making for dinner tonight, you can make a little extra and send it to a neighbor’s house. Your child can help with small tasks in the kitchen.
23. Decorate tissue boxes
Every classroom needs an abundance of tissue boxes. Decorate a few boxes with your child then give them to your child’s teacher. You can also throw in a few bedazzled sanitizer bottles!
Related: 9 charities helping moms
24. Record a video message
Record a fun video message featuring a positive message or even a simple, “I miss you,” for far away loved ones.
25. Donate to a local homeless shelter
You can call your local shelter and ask them what kind of things they’re in need of. Then, brainstorm with your child about what you can do to make a difference.
A version of this post was published November 28, 2017. It has been updated.