“Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind”
I came across this quote from Henry James when I was searching for the perfect words to use to start this post, and it’s just what I wanted. One of the things I truly believe is that if we can raise our children to just be kind, then we’ve done a great job as parents.
And the thing is, it takes so little to be kind. But when we all do it, repeatedly, it makes such an impact on the world.
The 17th of February is national random acts of kindness day, which makes this month a perfect time to make that little bit more of an effort to put more kindness out there.
If you’re after some inspiration of random acts of kindness to carry out, here are 31 ideas. Some you can do alone, some your children can do alone, and some you can do together as a family.
1. Give compliments to as many people as you can.
If you see someone wearing an outfit that looks amazing on them, tell them! Comment on how much you love a friend’s new haircut. Get your children to tell their friends how great they think they are at drawing/dancing/making them laugh.
Any time you think something nice about another person, make a point of actually telling them rather than keeping it to yourself.
2. Leave your pound coin in the shopping trolley.
Next time you go to the supermarket, leave your pound coin in the slot when you return your trolley so the next person who comes along can use it. You can also do this if you use a locker somewhere like the local swimming pool or the gym.
3. Do a family member’s least favourite chore for them.
If you know that your partner hates doing the washing up, then surprise them by tackling it for them.
Think about the one job that someone in your family complains about doing every time, and take that annoyance away from them now and then.
4. Volunteer to help out at a school event.
Whether it’s helping set up, run, or clear up afterwards, if you can spare the time then volunteer to help out. You can also bake or buy cakes if there’s a sale, or have a clear out and donate some old toys for the toy stall at the next fete.
5. Share a small business owner’s social media post.
I would put money on the fact that you know at least one person who is running their own small business, whether they sell jewellery on Etsy, have a coffee shop or are a blogger like me. One of the nicest things you can do for these people is like and share their business’ posts when you see them on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
6. Take a hot drink or sweet treat for the school lollipop lady.
This is one that the children would love to be involved in.
Our lollipop lady is so patient and kind, and the children all really love seeing her, so handing her a little treat to say thank you for keeping everyone safe would be a lovely RAOK to do together.
7. Donate some toys to a charity shop or a local play group
Another one to do as a family is sort through all the toys that don’t really get played with and find some to donate to a charity shop, a local playgroup or maybe even the doctor’s surgery for their waiting room.
8. Bake some cakes and share them with your neighbours or friends.
These fairy cakes are really simple to make and come out perfectly every time.
9. Send a recipe or an article to someone you think would like it.
If you come across an article or a recipe in a magazine or newspaper that you think a friend or relative might like then cut it out and post it to them. My mum does this for me now and then and it makes me so happy.
The same idea works for things you find online too, grab a link to the post and send it on to someone through social media or in an email.
10. Buy a few extra items with your weekly shop and donate it to a food bank.
Most supermarkets have a drop off point where you can put donations after you’ve done your shop. So pop a few extra items in your trolley when you do your weekly shop. Things like pasta, rice and tins of food are always good options, as well as toiletries and tampons/towels.
11. Paint rocks or hide books for other children to find.
If you’re not sure what I mean then try searching for your town’s name and rocks (i.e Swansea rocks) and see if you can find a Facebook group for your area. A lot of places have set up groups to encourage people to paint rocks and hide them for other people to find. The idea is that when you find one, you share a photo of it in the group and then hide it again for someone else to find.
There’s also a few groups starting to pop up with the same idea but where people hide books. It was really huge in Swansea last summer and such a lovely way to get children excited about reading.
12. Chat to the parent standing alone at the school gate.
The school gate can be quite a lonely place if you’re shy and haven’t managed to get chatting with the other parents. So if you see someone standing alone waiting for their child to come out, reach out to them and have a chat.
13. Send a copy of your favourite book to someone you think would like it.
You can do this with books you’ve read yourself, or books you’ve read with your children that you’ve all really enjoyed. It’s such a lovely way to let someone know you’re thinking of them.
14. Tweet a positive comment about a shop or cafe you’ve had a good experience at
People can be really quick to comment publicly about a bad experience they’ve had, but for some reason we don’t tend to do the same with good experiences. So start getting in the habit of leaving comments when you’ve had a great time somewhere, if the coffee at the local cafe really hit the spot, if the staff you met were particularly helpful or friendly.
15. Feed the birds.
Make some treats for them or just sprinkle some food about in the garden.
You can also go one step further and head to the park and feed the ducks.
16. Let the person in the queue behind you at the supermarket go ahead of you.
I do this one all the time and it always makes me smile.
If you’re at the tills in the supermarket and the person behind you only has a handful of things in their basket then offer to let them go ahead of you.
17. Tell a friend something kind/good you’ve seen their child do.
If you see a friend’s child so something kind, like comfort someone who’s hurt, pick up some rubbish and put it in the bin, or do anything nice for someone else, make sure you tell your friend.
We all want to hear these stories to be reassured that we’re doing ok, that our children act with kindness when we’re not around.
18. Smile at everyone you see when you’re out and about.
It’s such a little thing, but smiling at people you pass in the street can really brighten their day.
19. Phone your parents, grandparents or siblings for a chat.
Better still video call them with your children.
20. Write a note to your children’s teacher letting them know how much you appreciate them.
21. Tape some money to a vending machine with a note for the next person to treat themselves.
22. Send a letter or a card to a poorly child via Post Pals.
This is a really lovely service that lets you write letters to children who are unwell, to try and cheer them up and let them know people are thinking of them.
23. Send someone a bunch of flowers.
You can buy a bunch and take it to a friend, neighbour or relative yourself, or order a bouquet online and have it delivered to their house.
24. Make a bookmark and hide it in a library book before you return it.
If your children love crafty activities then they’ll enjoy this one, let them get really creative with designing a fun bookmark. Then pop it in the book with a note saying please keep and use me.
25. Look after a friend’s children for a few hours.
Offer to pick them up from school when you collect your own children and take them back to your house for tea. Or take everyone out to the park at the weekend for a few hours. Give your friend a few child-free hours to get a few jobs done or just enjoy a bit of peace.
26. Hide a surprise.
You can make it a bit of treat for someone, like popping a bit of money in your partner’s pocket (it’s always great to find random cash in your pocket isn’t it!). Or you can make it a silly bit of fun, like hiding a gnome in your sister’s garden. Then wait and see how long it takes them to discover it!
27. Write a letter to a friend telling them how much they mean to you.
Find a nice notecard and write to a friend for no reason other than to tell them how great you think they are and how much you appreciate their friendship.
28. Support local small businesses.
Visit the local market for your fruit and veg. Have a coffee in the independent coffee shop in town rather than one of the big chains. Buy presents for people from local crafters.
29. Offer to take a photo of a parent with their children.
If you see a parent taking photos of their children, go and ask if they’d like you to take one with them all together.
30. Put together a care package to someone.
It might be for someone you know is unwell, or having a hard time, or it could just be to let someone know you’re thinking of them. Package up some tea/coffee, some of their favourite chocolate, some bath bombs, basically any little bits and pieces you think they’d love to have arrive in the post.
31. Plant some flower seeds and then give the plants to friends when they start to grow.
Sunflowers are a great option for this but you could also plant some tomato or strawberry plants and then pass them on to people as they start to grow.
Hopefully these 31 ideas will have inspired you to get out there with your children and start doing more random acts of kindness.
How many of these do you already do?
What other little things do you like to do to put some kindness out into the world?
This post is linked up with KCACOLS from A Moment With Franca.