Teach your Kids to Be Kind with these Fun and Easy Activities
The world is a better place when we choose kindness. For some kids, being kind come naturally and without effort or reminders. But for most kids, kindness is something they need to learn and practice over time before it becomes a habit.
Today’s post contains 25 Acts of Kindness to help teach kindness to kids. These activities are just a few of the ways you can help teach your kids how to practice kindness. Through the practice of kindness, kids bring joy into their lives and lives of others.
Kindness bring joy. Joy is contagious and helps build everyone up.
When your kids realize how good they feel when they choose kindness, they will want to repeat the kind behavior. Before you realize it, being kind will become a strong character trait and your kids will be thinking less about themselves and more about others.
The Ideas – 25 Acts of Kindness for Kids
Being kind doesn’t need to take a lot of time, effort, or money. But being kind is not always easy. It will often require your kids to stretch outside of their comfort zone and do things that may be difficult – at first.
With some practice, your kids will share more, reach out to those who need help, and spread joy. If your family is looking for more opportunities to practice kindness in bigger ways, check out my post – Change up Your Normal Routine with a Family Service Project.
On to the kindness ideas:
It’s easy to smile when you’re happy. When your kids are having a great day, encourage them to share that joy with others and smile. Smiles are very contagious and are often just the thing to change someone else’s day around. And if your kids are having an off day, consider smiling at them to change the mood at home.
2. Pick up Litter
This idea is two fold – don’t litter and help clean up litter. When you’re out at the park, on a walk, or around town make sure to do your part to not leave litter behind. Your example will show your kids how important it is to keep our earth clean.
Point out ways your kids can help keep the earth clean. Encourage them to pick up trash they see and throw it away. It’s also important to stay safe and teach your kids to stay safe and not pick up items that can cause injury.
3. Invite a Friend Over
A great way to teach your kids about kindness and friendship is to have play-dates. Kids love being invited over to play. And your kids will enjoy having their friends over.
4. Say Please and Thank You
One of the first lessons parents teach their kids is how to be polite by saying please and thank you. When kids are respectful and appreciative of others, they are showing kindness. Give reminders to your kids and encourage them to use their manners.
5. Donate Clothing and Toys
Have you ever tried to donate some clothes that were too small or toys your kids no longer play with only to have your kid proclaim that is their favorite shirt or toy? It’s not always easy for kids to part with something that is theirs. With practice and encouragement, kids can learn that donating their unused items helps everyone. It is a wonderful way to practice kindness.
Donating helps your kids, because they are able to fit all of their clothes in their dresser. It also helps your kids, because they are able to find the toys they love to play with and clean up is much easier. Donating helps others because they can wear the clothes and play with the toys.
6. Call Extended Family Members
Family relationship are important to foster. Whether family lives close by or far away, they all want to hear from your kids and strengthen relationships. Tweens and teens tend to text more than call. Encourage them to stretch out of their comfort zone and show a little extra kindness. Encourage your kids to make a phone call rather than send a text. It may be a little awkward at first, but with some practice, the phone calls will be something everyone looks forward to.
7. Leave a Kind Note in a Library Book
This idea is so fun, because it allows your kids to be kind to a stranger sometime in the future. This doesn’t have to be anything big. Just a little note of encouragement like:
- a little drawing
- you’re awesome
- have a great day
- I loved this book and hope you love it too
8. Offer to Help Your Teacher at School
Teachers work so hard every single day. You may not be able to always volunteer in the classroom, but that doesn’t mean you cannot help. You can teach your kids to watch for opportunities to help their teachers.
Sometimes the best way to help a teacher is by showing kindness to the other students. And by showing kindness to the teacher by following directions and having appropriate behavior.
9. Let a Sibling Play with Your Favorite Toy
Siblings and sharing. Yikes. Sometimes it seems like a recipe for disaster to put siblings in the same room and expect them to share and play well together. Learning to share with siblings is a challenge for most kids, but let’s be real, sharing and being kind as an adult can also be a challenge. Some of the hardest, but most important life lessons are learned when kids are at home.
Give your kids opportunities to share their toys and help them learn those big life lessons. You’ll be raising a kid who can share, is kind and considers of others.
10. Paint Rocks – The Kindness Rock Project
Paint some rocks with inspirational messages and leave them around your neighborhood. This video show just how it’s done.
11. Make a Special Effort not to Complain for an Entire Day
We’re almost half way through the list of 25 Acts of Kindness for Kids ideas and your kids may be thinking – You want me to pick up litter, call relatives on the phone, give away my stuff, share my favorite toys and now you’re saying I shouldn’t complain about it? For an entire day?
Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying.
Being kind isn’t always easy. But I do believe we can practice and exercise kindness to the point where doing these kind things becomes easy. With practice, being kind becomes part of who we are and then doing these things come naturally without a lot of effort. But it’s not possible if we don’t have the right mindset.
In our house we (meaning I) really like to have family rules. Over the years these rules have changed, but at one point our 3 rules were:
- No Fighting
- No Whining
- No Crying
I would repeat those rules over and over again. In my post 3 Simple Ways Kids Can Practice Gratitude I talk about one of the most important thing I’ve learned as a mom
It’s far more important to teach positive character traits than point out negative behavior.
If I could go back in time, I would change those rules to
- Choose Kindness
- Practice Gratitude
- Give an Appropriate Response
In my experience, it’s not enough to tell a kid not to do something. You need to give them a positive action or behavior to replace the negative behavior. Instead of focusing on not complaining, teach your kids to be thankful for what they have or what went right – instead of complaining about what they don’t have or what went wrong.
12. Say Sorry when you’ve Done Something Wrong
Another thing that is easy to complain about is when someone has done something wrong. It’s quite humbling when you’re feeling angry and complaining about the injustice and then you hear the other person quickly apologize and say they are sorry.
Being quick to say I’m sorry is a behavior most kids need to practice. Teach your kids to own their mistakes, say they are sorry and move on. This is another lesson on kindness that is really good for parents to model with their own behavior.
14. Choose to be Kind Even When it is Difficult
Choosing to be kind isn’t always easy. Even when our kids know what they should do, it can seem easier to choose not to be kind.
If a sibling takes a toy and first reaction is generally to snatch it back. If someone says an unkind thing the first reaction may be to say something unkind back. Just like my mom always said to us growing up – two wrongs don’t make a right – you can teach your kids the same principle.
Show your kids through your example how to choose kindness, especially when it is difficult. It’s easy to be kind when someone is kind to us. It’s a lot harder to choose kindness when we are being treated in an unkind way.
13. Turn Off the Water When Brushing Teeth
Let’s lighten things up and give a few easy ideas. Be kind to our natural resources and ask your kids to always turn off the water when they are brushing their teeth. Super easy and it makes a difference.
15. Play with a New Friend During Recess
Kids can be on the lookout for other students who need a friend. It’s not always easy to reach out to someone they don’t know, but they can start with a wave or a smile. Then say hello and then finally do you want to play on the swings with me?
You can’t always expect your kids to do something that is hard for them, but you can help them break those hard things up into manageable steps. Talk to your kids and develop a plan they can follow. Maybe they need to smile at someone each day for a week before they feel comfortable saying hello. It may take a month for them to have the courage to say – want to play on the swings with me? But they are making progress, developing great skills and showing kindness to others.
16. Say Good Job when Others Succeed
A great way to show kindness to others is to say Good Job! Whether it’s on a sports team, with siblings at home or playing in the neighborhood, kids can learn how to recognize the good other’s do and congratulate them.
17. Put Dirty Clothes in the Hamper
This may be in the list because this week one of my kids keeps forgetting their clothes go in the hamper and not next to the hamper, but maybe not. Being kind also means being considerate. When your kids make the effort to take care of their things, do their chores properly and keep shared spaces tidy they are being considerate.
Teach your kids that being kind means to think about others. One easy way they can be considerate is by making sure their dirty clothes go into the hamper.
18. Offer a Compliment
Another great way to think about others is to offer a compliment. Teach your kids to notice the good in others and share what they notice. You can start by complimenting your kids. Show them through your example what it means to offer a compliment. Encourage them to practice with family members. That practice will naturally progress to them offering compliments to those outside of the family.
Offering someone else a heartfelt compliment is a great way to show kindness and spread joy.
19. Put up a Bird Feeder
Practicing kindness doesn’t have to be just focused on people. Being kind to nature and nature is also important. Hang up a little bird feeder and fill it with bird seed. Your kids will feel good knowing they are helping and showing kindness.
20. Hold the Door Open
This is another easy way to practice kindness. Simply open the door or hold the door open for others. Common courtesy and kindness shows those around us they are important. It makes them feel good and your kids will feel good too.
21. Listen the First Time
Whether it’s at home, at school, on the bus, or with another caretaker, it’s important to teach your kids kindness by expecting them to listen the first time. So much can be said on this idea, but by encouraging and practicing good listening behavior at home, your kids will learn to show kindness to others.
22. Clean up your Mess
A great way for kids to practice kindness to those around them is by cleaning up their mess. When kids practice cleaning up at home they are more likely to clean up after themselves when they are out in the world on their own.
23. Wave and say Hello
It’s the cutest thing when a baby learns to wave. When kids get a little older they often wave and say hello. You can’t help but smile. Sometimes as kids get older, they become more shy or reserved. With a little effort and some practice, kids can show kindness by waving and saying hello to those they interact with during the day.
Kid can acknowledge other people, show kindness and spread joy when they greet their neighbors, friends and those who help them during the day.
24. Help a neighbor
Kids can take a smile greeting a step farther by building relationships with those close to them and their family. A neighbor may need help getting their garbage bin to the street, bring in their mail, feeding their pets when they are out of town or would just enjoy a little visit.
A great way for kids to practice kindness is by reaching out and helping a neighbor.
25. Say I Love You
We all know – actions speak louder than words. But, that doesn’t mean saying the words isn’t important. Kids need to show and receive love in so many ways. When you say I Love You to your kids, you are helping shape future relationships. When you encourage them to also express their love through words you are helping them shape future relationships. Whether you grew up in a family that vocally expressed love or not, you should definitely try vocally expressing love with your kids.
The Support – Let Your Kids Practice, Practice, Practice
Every parent wants to raise a kid who is kind, thoughtful and looks out for others. Some kids are born with these qualities and they are always considerate. Most kids need to be taught about kindness and learn to be thoughtful of others. Just like most things in life, the best way to learn kindness is with practice.
Give your kids lots of opportunities to practice kindness with the 25 acts of kindness activities in this post. Before you realize it, your kids will be thinking less about themselves and more about others.
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