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22 Kid-Approved Acts of Kindness You Can Do THIS Week

22 Kid-Approved Acts of Kindness You Can Do THIS Week

Has anyone else noticed how crazy easy it is to get overwhelmed with all of the things we want to teach and work on with our kids? We see their struggles and insecurities, and we want to take each one head on.

22 Acts of Kindness You Can Do THIS Week | Love the idea of helping our children develop compassion and empathy by starting with simple kindness! And a lot of these don't require any prep work!

But for me at least, wanting to do everything usually leaves me doing a dozen things on a surface level instead of a few things wholeheartedly.

At the beginning of the year, my husband and I decided to focus on just three things this year with our children. That way we wouldn’t get so distracted by all the shiny objects (taekwondo! swim team! science camp!) and the problems that feel big for a couple of weeks but really aren’t (like our son going commando a little too often).

When we were brainstorming, the first thing to pop into my head was kindness.

Simple kindness.

These 22 acts of kindness may seem insignificant in the grand scheme. But my hope is that by continually doing things like this, your children and mine will develop a habit of simple, everyday kindness that will one day grow into a profound compassion for the people around them.

22 Acts of Kindness You Can Do THIS Week | Love the idea of helping our children develop compassion and empathy by starting with simple kindness! And a lot of these don't require any prep work!

22 Kid-Approved Acts of Kindness You Can Do THIS Week

(The last five are a bigger investment of time or money, but I bet the memories would reflect that. :))

  1. Leave bubbles on a family’s doorstep.
  2. Decorate the inside of your mailbox, so your mail carriers smile every time they open it.
  3. Record a video love-note and text it to grandparents.
  4. Send dessert to another family at a restaurant.
  5. Pay for the drive-through order behind you. (Something about this makes kids giddy.)
  6. Leave a note and candy or microwave popcorn on a DVD rental machine.
  7. Help someone load their groceries into their car.
  8. Visit a cemetery and tidy up overgrown headstones.
  9. Go outside when the garbage truck comes and wave your little hearts out. (A toddler favorite!)
  10. Tape change to a parking meter, or run around looking for any that are about to expire and buy the driver more time! (Be warned: Once you do this, your kids will want to do it every time you’re near parking meters. Not a bad thing, though…)
  11. Dry the slides at the park after it rains.
  12. Take in a neighbor’s trashcans—or the whole street of them!
  13. When a sales rep knocks on your door, always give them something to leave with (even if it’s not the sale!). Think: bottles of water or Gatorade, a sleeve of cookies, a travel-size tube of sunscreen.
  14. Pick up trash in your neighborhood or at the local park.
  15. Take your child’s teacher a box of tissues or a bottle of hand sanitizers. (Teachers can never have enough of either!)
  16. Offer everyone in a line a stick of gum.
  17. Invite some children over for the evening so their parents can go on a date. (What child doesn’t love the excuse to hang out with friends in their jammies?)
  18. This holiday season, buy a living Christmas tree. After you enjoy it indoors for a few weeks, your family can plant it outside. One less tree chopped; one more tree providing you clean air. :)
  19. Bury treasure at the playground. A piece of tupperware filled with small toys or goodies is sure to light up a child’s eyes sometime in the future.
  20. Offer to pick fruit from an elderly person’s trees. If you see a tree laden with fruit and know your neighbor can’t attend to it, offer to pick it for them. Bonus: fruit for them and fruit for you!
  21. Sponsor a child. Your monthly contribution covers medical and school fees, healthy food, and more. You can also send and receive letters from your child, which makes the experience much more real for children and adults alike.
  22. Trade your close-up tickets at a sporting event with a family in the nosebleeds.

My dad and I had a tradition of going to the Blackhawks games together. We always had really good seats. One day before the game, we headed up to the nosebleed section and walked around looking for a father/child pair to give our great seats to. At first the dad didn’t believe what we were doing, but they eventually enjoyed our seats while we sat so high we could barely see he puck. But I was just so excited to see how happy the father and son were with their special surprise. I can’t wait to recreate it with my own boys. Amanda Simkin, Chicago

22 Acts of Kindness You Can Do THIS Week | Love the idea of helping our children develop compassion and empathy by starting with simple kindness! And a lot of these don't require any prep work!

“How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and the strong, because someday in your life, you will have been all of these.”

George Washington Carver | botanist, agricultural chemist, inventor, educator

Have fun spreading the love! 

If you enjoyed this post, don’t miss Erica’s 42 Ways to Make Your Kids Feel ABSOLUTELY Loved, and be sure to check out her new ebook!

How to Craft a Family Purpose Statement

How to Craft a Family Purpose Statement: A Guide to Discovering the “Why” of Your Family and Building an Identity that Will Stay with Your Children Forever


Erica Layne

Writer at Let Why Lead
Erica Layne writes Let Why Lead, a place for wholehearted women building wholehearted families. For regular reminders to step back and see the big picture, connect with her using the social media buttons above, or stop by letwhylead.com.

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41 thoughts on “22 Kid-Approved Acts of Kindness You Can Do THIS Week”

  • Hi, Great article, really got me thinking about ways to get the kiddos thinking of others. Do you have any articles about teaching gratitude at all? My son is nearly 5 and never seems happy with what he has, he always wants more. Mostly our fault as he was our first and we’ve always mostly just given him whatever he wanted (within reason) but now I see the results and I want to change before its too late.

    • Hi Sarah! I absolutely love your question because it is so relatable! I have a friend who has this same concern (and honestly, sometimes I do too!), and she and I were brainstorming about it just the other day. Do you mind if I ask the ladies on my facebook page for any ideas? I’d love to get their brains around this too! (facebook.com/letwhylead)

      • My friend’s parent would always make a point of getting their children involved in this….they would have to pick out a certain number of toys, games, outgrown clothes, etc., (in good shape of course) before any holiday or birthday….they would then find a family through their church or school that was in need, a children’s home, or someone with several children that would appreciate receiving these things and they would have the children help deliver them. Once the children saw what little these children had, they were so grateful for what they had and what they were probably going to get for their birthday or holiday, that they became more grateful each year….they looked forward to this more and more and even started to put things aside, for their next visit…

    • Hey Sarah, excellent question and I haven’t touched on gratitude in awhile. Perhaps Erica and I should talk about making that a more common thread. I did take part in a series awhile back with some other bloggers called 21 days of gratitude, you can see our entry here: http://kidsstuffworld.com/2012/11/21-days-of-gratitude-thankful-for-our-teachers/ and there is a link to 20 more ideas at the bottom of the post. That might help you get some ideas, in the meantime I’ll be thinning about this and will talk to Erica some more!

  • I love this a lot! We are doing “service Sundays” this year – we make treats (I am terrible at treats, but this is not about being Pinterest-worthy) and i make the kids (yes, make them) write notes and then we deliver them as a family. I think our friends like them but it’s not really about them – it’s about training my kids to see outside themselves (they are part of the “committee” to choose who we surprise with treats, and they come up with some great suggestions!). We also use Sunday afternoons to respond to letters and gifts from grandparents and send birthday cards to aunts and uncles and cousins.

    Thanks for sharing these ideas – we will have to incorporate a few!

    • I love this, Beth! I know I’m not on top of it enough to do this every Sunday, but I could definitely see us doing it the first Sunday of every month. Thanks so much for the idea!

      And I love what you said about your treats not being Pinterest-worth and not caring! Amen to that!

    • such a wonderful idea! I hear you on the not being Pinterest worthy … I wish you could see the sad little cupcakes i made today :) A few turned out alright, but some others .., well that’s just have to be eaten right away!

    • What a great idea! Also about keeping up with correspondence! That is perfect modeling of taking the time for what and who is important to you!

  • I lived on the Gulf Coast and our high humidity summers were brutal. Twice a week, on garbage days, I’d leave a small cooler loaded with ice and canned drinks by my trash can. I put a note that said, “For my G-men.” They really appreciated the cold drinks and I was glad to spread a little cheer to them for an otherwise thankless job. Little things really do mean so much!

    • I grew up in South Carolina and we live in Texas now, I know what you mean about those brutal summers! That sure is a wonderful idea, we might have to try that this year! Maybe hot cocoa this week, brrr

  • My 6 yr old daughter actually packs a brown bag lunch filled with goodies for our trash guys! They love it! And she has a blast waiting for them to come! In the summer time we give them ice cold water or popsicles. Nice cold treat for a hot day.
    Also we give hot coffee to the snow plow truck guy. He is very grateful!

    • That is the sweetest thing ever, Shay! You’re obviously on the right track with your daughter. I hope mine is doing things like that when she’s six. (And my boys too, even sooner.)

      I bet that snow-plow guy is hugely grateful. Those guys get up EARLY—and in the COLD! :)

  • I don’t understand it, but be careful regarding feeding low or expired parking meters! Some areas have made this illegal and will cite you for this generosity!!!!!

    I guess the problem is that the cities want to sock people with big fines rather than just get another quarter or two!!!

  • I love this article my five-year-old twins drew all these little picture books and stapled and taped them together. they took them with us to the grocery store and handed them out to little kids it was the sweetest thing ever. they were so embarrassed and brave and luckily all the recipients were kind. I was so proud of them it was nothing I would’ve ever done as a child.

    • Kerry that sounds like the sweetest thing ever! Would you mind if I mentioned this story on our Facebook page? Happy to link to you’d like or leave it anonymous whichever you prefer

  • I am a teacher in a low income district. Any idea of something like this that I could do for one child a week? Unfortunately, teachers in low income districts usually have the lowest pay and they can’t provide everything to meet a child’s basic needs. Maybe some of the readers could “sponsor” a classroom with your ideas and make the kids feel special that someone cares about them that they don’t even know.

    • My daughter works in a low income school and they do what’s called bull pen days. The child brings things that are special to them. Including a baby picture. They put it in a “bull pen ” the other kids in their grade guess who it is. Then at lunch of the day they say who it is. They also let family come eat with the child. I am taking pizza over to my granddaughter later this week to share.

  • Love these ideas. One suggestion, though – bury your playground treasure in plastic, instead of a mason jar, so unknown children don’t find and break a glass jar.

  • Fantastic suggestions! I love that they’re all kid-centric acts of kindness, too. We used to have neighbors that would bring a whole box of fruit snacks or popsicles to the pool with them, for their kids to share with anyone they found there. It was so sweet and thoughtful! Really made our day :)

  • Great ideas…leave flowers at a divorced neighbors door in the spring.

    put money in the drink machine at work for the next person.

  • These ideas are great…and NOT just for kids!!!!! Adults too can gain a lot by dishing out the kindness. I blew away four of my local police officers recently by buying their dinner for them anonymously. I felt terrific about paying it forward/back…and it’s true…karma is wonderful. I found out when I went to pay their bill, the waitresses had all pitched in and took care of my dinner bill as a way of saying thank you to me for thinking of others.

  • I love the idea of paying it forward but I would be really careful about leaving kind of food. I would never consume nor would I allow my grandchildren to consume any food found out in public. It’s a shame we have to live like this but safety first!

  • I love your suggestions and I’ll try a few with my boys. My favorite is number 21, because it is something I didn’t expect to read it. We do sponsor two kids and write to a couple more, my oldest always gets excited when I asked him to help me with the letters.

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