Acts of kindness often come naturally to kids—which makes sense, since children are typically warmhearted and generous by nature. But sometimes they need a little help understanding how to share their compassion with the world.
By taking some time to model kindness, you help kids learn how to exhibit these behaviors themselves. And once you have a few activities under your belt, chances are your kiddos will be coming up with their own creative ideas on how to express their gratitude for their family, friends, and neighbors.
1. Leave Inspirational Messages
Chalk messages are fun to create and a delight to stumble upon. These notes can be anonymous or personalized. For example, wishing everyone a good day might be great for an entrance to a school, while a personal message on a neighbor's driveway is ideal for a birthday or anniversary. Chalk messages are one of many ways you can beautify your neighborhood, making it a joyful environment for all.
2. Share the Magic of Stories
Kids outgrow books quickly. When organizing your child's bookshelf, have your little one choose the books they are ready to give away. From there, donate the books to a children's center or local library. When you are dropping them off, take note of other families enjoying children's books. Then, you can explain to your child that their books will be enjoyed in the same way.
3. Donate Your Time
When you give your time as a family, you are rooting your family tree and connecting with your community. There are oodles of volunteer opportunities, too. You can spend an afternoon pitching in at a local river cleanup, or maybe donate a morning to organizing blankets and toys at an animal shelter. Or, simply take the time to give an unexpected treat to someone you know; it can be anything from baking cookies for your child's teacher to leaving flowers on a neighbor's doorstep.
4. Create Secret Treasure
If you've ever watched a child discover a toy at a playground, you've seen how much happiness something small can bring. One way to spread that joy? Try hiding a toy shovel in your local playground's sandbox. Everyone likes to find something special, little ones included. You can retrieve the shovel later, imagining out loud with your child the life it had while you were away.
5. Give Away Your Extra Tickets
I'll admit it. I didn't think of this one on my own—it actually happened to me. On the way into a local fair, a family gave their extra ride tickets to my daughter, and it really made our day. The tickets weren't expensive, but just having them gifted and talking about how our rides were courtesy of a stranger was memorable and uplifting. This could also extend to gifting unused coupons at a store or restaurant, or maybe even passing along a pair of movie tickets just to brighten someone's day.
When you model acts of kindness for kids in your daily life, you get to bond as a family and create personal joy. After all, random acts of kindness might make someone else's day, but it improves your own day, too. Plus, helping others and being generous are two key ingredients for making grateful kids. It's a win-win all around.
What acts of kindness do you participate in with your kids? Let us know on Twitter!
Image Sources: Pixabay | Mali Anderson | Mali Anderson
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Why It's Good
Participating in acts of kindness improves your life and the lives of others. Seize the teachable moments that life offers and share the power of kindness with your kids.