Skip to main content

Ten Random Acts of Kindness for Kids That Cost Nothing

I am excited to be participating in Toddler Approved's 100 Acts of Kindness Project, which kicked off yesterday and runs through Valentine's Day. Coffee Cups and Crayons, a blog I love that often focuses on kindness and giving, got things started with the Kindness Challenge for Week 1: Love the Environment, which couldn't be more perfect for our post since we have some environmentally-friendly ideas on our list too. Everything on our list is an act that may take some time and effort, but does not take any money.

1. Pick Up Trash - Kids can do this at the park or perhaps at an empty lot in your neighborhood or even along the side of a not-too-busy road with very diligent supervision, of course. This is something anyone/everyone can do. (Wild Thing picked up trash at a community event when he had just turned 2!)

2. Shovel Snow/Rake Leaves/Weed - No matter what the weather/season where you live, a great way to surprise a neighbor and make someone's day would be for a child to help a neighbor out by doing any of these things - whichever they need. This would be an especially kind thing to do for an elderly or ill neighbor who could truly use the help. 

3. Select Toys or Books to Donate - Encourage your child to select some toys or books (or both) to donate to your local thrift store or (in the case of books) public library. This also helps the environment since it encourages reuse and reduces waste. It would be a great way to encourage your family's involvement with International Book Giving Day coming up on February 14th.  

4, Make the Bed - Okay, so this is simple, but is still kind. One sibling can make the bed for the other or do a household chore for someone else. Trust me, this act of kindness will not go unnoticed or unappreciated!

5. Play a Game! (Seriously!) When I ran an after-school program, our students loved playing games during their computer lab time. These educational games lead to donations of rice to people in need. Everyone will love this act of kindness. 

6. Make a Card for a friend, family member or even a simple card that says Have a Nice Day to give to a stranger or the cashier at the grocery store. This does not have to cost anything - encourage kids to get creative and use art supplies you already have as they create their card(s).

7. Donate Clothing - I listed this separately from toys and books because, depending on the age of your child, picking clothes to give can be a very big deal. For younger kids, donating clothing may not even register, but for older kids it can be pretty major to select clothes to donate and can be a real opportunity for pre-teens and teens to really think about this as an act of kindness. Teens for Jeans is a really cool example of this - it is a campaign that encourages teenagers to donate their jeans at their local Aeropastle store from Jan. 14th-Feb. 10th. The jeans are given to homeless teenagers for whom a pair of jeans can make a real difference. (Plus, another act that is kind to the environment as well - reduce, reuse, recycle).

8. Make a List - Have your child make a list of all of the things they love about a family member. You can write the list for them (depending on their age) or they can write it themselves. Of course, you can give it to the family member or (if it is a grandparent or cousin that lives elsewhere) you can always email the list to the relative. Receiving a list/email like this can really make someone's day. 

9. Be a Friend/Reach Out - Encourage your child to reach out to a child at school that is sitting alone in the cafeteria or standing alone outside at recess. This amazing and powerful post from Lasso the Moon speaks to the importance of teaching our children active empathy and empowering them to be kind and understanding in such a way that they may actual transform another. Parents, you really must read the post! Also, this is one for us adults too - if you pass somebody who looks like they could use a kind word, say one. :) 

10. Remember, small things matter - Pick one simple small thing and do it everyday for a week: Kids (depending on their age) can open/hold the door for someone, let a friend play with their favorite toy, put away stray shopping carts at the grocery store (depending on their age of course), share their snacks during playgroup or lunch and so much more - any of these small acts of kindness can make a big difference! 

What small acts of kindness do you catch your child doing? Is kindness part of your daily habit? 

Visit Toddler Approved for complete details about  the 100 Acts of Kindness Project and the rest of the weekly challenges, and please, join us and keep the kindness kicking! Thanks!


You might also like:
Random Acts of Kindness Kids Co-Op/Adventure
Teaching Gratitude: Thank You Post Cards


  1. Love these great simple suggestions! We are going to work on doing something outside this week to be kind to the environment... so I think we are going to try going on a trash hunt around our neighborhood! :) I love the reminder to reach out to other people too... especially if they look lost or lonely or need a friend!

  2. Wonderful list, Jennifer! I love how you mention that small things matter.

  3. Huh, I thought I commented on this but it must have only been in my poor mommy brain!

    I really enjoyed this post, and have thoroughly enjoyed all the kindness/giving posts you have been writing recently. My favorite from this particular post is #10 - small things really do matter - a whole lot, sometimes!

  4. Simple yet profound really. Indeed small things matter. A lot! Thanks so much for sharing with us at Eco-Kids Tuesday. Please be sure to join us again tomorrow!

  5. Great list Jennifer! These things can really make a huge impact!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Happy Very Hungry Caterpillar Day: Celebrating 45 Years with Caterpillar and Butterfly Crafts from The Kid's Co-Op

March 20th is Very Hungry Caterpillar Day with celebrations and programs being held around the world to honor the 45th Anniversary of the book. 

We love The Very Hungry Caterpillar, so of course we're joining the fun. Plus, my youngest son's blog nickname is Caterpillar, after the book. Just as Wild Thing is my 4 year-old's nickname inspired by Where the Wild Things Are. 

Today, we'll be doing another Very Hungry Caterpillar Food Drive. We did our first one for Eric Carle's birthday last June and called it a Very Hungry Caterpillar Virtual Food Drive and loved hearing that the virtual part worked, as others were inspired by our online shares and also did VHC-inspired food drives.

P.S. The Very Hungry Caterpillar Virtual Food Drive post 
also features 40+ Activities Inspired by the Book, so you'll definitely want to check it out.
For our VHC-inspired food drive this time, Wild Thing will be helping me write the grocery list for food items to donate as we read the boo…

{A Season of Giving} 12 Days of Christmas: Celebrating through Giving

Stacy (the Great) of Kids Stuff World brought to my attention the 31 Days of Service/Giving Calender (and great e-book) from Mom It Forward. 

Having gotten to know Stacy really well through our joint Moms Fighting Hunger effort during Hunger Action Month, I was all too happen to jump on board and take on 12 Days of Christmas, the action prompt for Dec. 4th.

The e-book describes the prompt in this way:
Choose another family in your area to be the recipient of 12 days of gift giving. Try to think of a family that may be struggling financially, emotionally, or with health problems and might need a boost during the holiday season.E ach day, starting December 13, leave a gift anonymously on the doorstep of your chosen family. Involve the kiddos in your secret acts of service. Your gifts can relate to the “12 Days of Christmas” song verses (i.e. partridge in a pear tree, turtle doves, French hens, etc.) but it’s not necessary. Try to choose or provide handmade gifts, drawings or tre…

Ten for Tuesday: Activities for Fire Prevention Week

October 7-13 is Fire Prevention Week, so I am sharing 10 Fire Safety Crafts, Activities, and/or Books to help kids learn about fire safety and to encourage them to have some fun too! At our house, fire trucks and fire fighters always get Wild Thing excited so engaging with some new activities was a lot of fun.

1. Get Inspired through Books - We loved reading Alphabet Rescue and creating a fire truck from a juice box that we drove our letters around in, just like in the story. I have loaded up our library list with many of these other fire truck and/or fire safety books. Felix the Fire Engine gets great reviews and No Time for Flashcards has a comprehensive list of 20 firefighter books. I also have to share this great PreK Fire Safety Pack from Royal Baloo!

2. Make a Shape Fire Truck - We previously shared this great one from No Time for Flash Cards and here is another one from Teach Preschool.

3. Abstract Art Fire Trucks - Using red, black and yellow tape, Teach Preschool shares som…