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7 Random Acts of Kindness for Kids (second part)
7 Random Acts of Kindness for Kids (second part)
By Amy Morin, LCSW

Care for Animals

Children often love doing acts of kindness that involve animals. Here are a few ways you can care for animals:

Ask to volunteer at a local animal shelter. Some shelters may allow kids to assist with simple chores, such as putting away donations or getting food ready for the animals.
Some animal shelters allow kids to read to dogs. Inquire about an opportunity for your child to share stories or read books to animals who may feel lonely at the shelter.
Volunteer to walk someone’s dog or care for a pet whose owner will be out of town.
Help your child pick out a special treat for your pet.
Make a Gift for Someone

Encourage your child to create small gifts he can give away to others. Gifts could be simple crafts that she makes or pictures that she draws. If she earns an allowance, encourage her to spend her own money on craft items. Here are a few ways your child can make gifts for someone else:

Provide your child with art supplies so she can create gifts. A homemade card, a simple bird feeder, or a painting can brighten someone’s day.
Rather than encouraging him to write out lengthy wish lists for the holidays, help your child create a list of kind acts and homemade gifts he can give away.
Write down the names of several friends, family members, and neighbors on slips of paper. Put the papers in a jar. Once a week, draw a name and work with your child to identify a gift you can make for that person.
Give Compliments

Random acts of kindness can be as simple as saying something nice to someone. Teach your child to make it a habit to offer compliments and praise other people’s efforts. Here are a few ways to get your child involved in giving compliments:

Set a goal at the beginning of the day to give away kind words and compliments. Whether your child says, “I like your sneakers,” to another child at the playground, or she says, “Your hair looks good today,” to her sister, talk about giving compliments to people.
Carry around colored note cards. And let your child write small compliments on them to leave for other people. Leave one behind on the table at a restaurant to compliment your server or leave a card for the company who takes care of your yard to compliment them on the job they do.

Spread Some Cheer

Random acts of kindness can include any simple gesture that brightens someone else’s day. If you purposely spread cheer on a regular basis, kindness will become like second nature to your child. Here are a few easy ways to get your child involved in showing kindness to others:

Cut some flowers from your garden (or buy some flowers at the store) and give them to someone.
Visit someone who could use some company, such as an elderly neighbor or someone who may not get out of the house often.
Volunteer at a nursing home. Some nursing homes may welcome children visiting with the residents. Or you may be able to deliver homemade items to the residents, like pictures your child has colored.
Pack extra drinks and snacks when you go to the playground and offer to share with the other children.
Choose a different person to give special surprises to each month. Then, work with your child to identify kind deeds you can do for that person. See how long you can keep it a secret.
Say, "Let's see if we can identify some people to help today." Then go through your day looking for opportunities to hold the door for someone or to let someone go in front of you in line at the store.

The End.

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