Don’t get so caught up in teaching reading, writing, and arithmetic that you forget all about another critical skill all children really need to learn…kindness! The best part? Kindness “homework” is super-fun and a heartwarming way to bring your family even closer together. Try one, two, or heck all these acts of kindness you can do as a family!

Send kindness through the mail.

Fill a jar with the names of people in your life who deserve a warm pick-me-up. Then, on a regular basis, select a name and send that person a card in the mail detailing why you miss them, appreciate them, and love them.

Clean up the community.

Going on a family hike? Strolling the beach? Walking through the local park? Make it a litter clean-up day, too! Just remember to keep trash or shopping bags with you or in the car for a successful pick-up outing.

Drop and dash!

Put together a basket of yummy treats—or any kind of fun surprise, like a bouquet or a silly lawn ornament—and sneakily drop it off at a friend or neighbor’s door along with a thoughtful message. Ring the bell and skedaddle! You may call it “booing” in October or “elfing” in December, but you can do the drop and dash any time of year!

Set up a different kind of lemonade stand.

Instead of charging customers for a tasty drink, encourage your children to give away the sweet treats to passersby! Alternatively, kiddos can invite customers to donate what they wish to a specific charity in exchange for a lemonade or a hot chocolate on chilly days.

Share your compliments.

Around the dinner table, ask everyone who they complimented today and what they said. Knowing the question will be asked, encourages folks to keep compliments top of mind as they move through their day! (Learn all about the best way to compliment kids!)

Build a Little Free Library.

Turn a small corner of your front yard into a mini library where neighbors can take a book or leave a book for others. If you’re unable to make your own library, gather books you no longer want and distribute them to various Little Free Libraries in your neighborhood.

Start a food drive.

While children aren’t always allowed to volunteer at food pantries and soup kitchens, they can 100% be involved in a food drive that your family organizes! Simply reach out to your local food bank to figure out what items they need most. Then, the fun part! Host a gathering (think: backyard barbeque) where each partygoer brings a donation as their entrance fee.

Hold the door open for someone.

The more your child sees you do this small gesture, the more likely this will be engrained in their everyday, too! And when others hold the door or elevator for you, thank them and point out the kind act to your child. (“Wasn’t that thoughtful of the woman to hold the door for us?”)

Create a “Giving Jar.”

Encourage the family to collect coins for a worthy cause. When the jar is full, together you can decide where the money will go.

Work with Operation Gratitude.

Whether your child wants to write a sweet letter or draw a picture, Operation Gratitude will include it in a care package they send to deployed troops, veterans, wounded heroes, or first responders.

Help your neighbors out!

Does your elderly neighbor need help shoveling the driveway? Maybe the busy new parents across the street could use a dog walker or a hot meal? Brainstorm with your child who could use a helping hand…then set out to offer it! 

Send a just-because text.

As a family, decide who gets kind-bombed via text message each week. Once you select your person, send something like: “Just wanted to let you know that we all miss you!” “We are thinking about you.” “We cannot wait to see you next weekend!” (Don’t forget to include lots of cute kid pics!)

Make a kind “fortune teller.”

Create and play with a paper origami fortune teller—with a kindness twist. Here, the inside flap of each part of the origami is labeled with a kind act. The folks at Doing Good Together offer a free Kindness Conversations printable, as well as one devoted to Acts of Kindness.

Help a family member with a chore.

That means, if your spouse is emptying the dishwasher, join. If your kid is picking up toys, join. And remind your children to do the same. (“I see Daddy is raking the leaves. Why don’t you run out and help him?”)

Give up your seat.

If you’re able-bodied, make a point to offer your seat to another when you’re on public transportation—and encourage your children (who are old enough to handle standing) to do the same.

Take kindness to the streets.

Start each week by writing a new, kind message to your neighbors on the sidewalk with chalk. Think: “It’s a good day to have a good day!” “You got this!” “Good morning!”

Practice “one for me, one for you.”

If you can afford to do so, consider starting a “one for me, one for you” style of shopping with your kids. For example, have your child pick out one book for themselves at the store and another to donate to their classroom.

Rock a sweet message.

Gather some smooth rocks and, as a family, paint words of kindness on each. Then wander your neighborhood leaving your heartwarming messages in your neighbors’ yards or mailboxes.

Share your tickets.

Next time you are at an arcade, encourage your child to donate their extra tickets or tokens to another family. 

Gather donations.

To help instill kindness (and curb clutter) regularly schedule donation days in your home, where everyone boxes up gently used toys, clothing, shoes, books, linens, and more that are no longer needed or in use to donate to a shelter, library, school, or another worthy cause. Be sure to talk to your child about where the items are going!

Pack an extra snack.

When your family packs lunches for daycare or school, always include a little something extra for sharing. (PS: Some schools don’t allow sharing, so check with your child’s teacher first!) 

Write thank you notes.

Thank you notes are perfect for expressing gratitude for gifts received, but there’s no need to wait till birthdays and holidays to write a thank you note. Instead, start writing thank you notes (or thank you pictures) for people you appreciate…just because! That could be for family and friends, teachers, crossing guards, your mail carrier, anyone.


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Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider.