Encourage your children to practice kindness. Just like academic skills, social skills — including kindness, empathy, and respect — become second nature with practice.
The more children practice kindness, the more they’ll notice that being nice to others feels great! Engaging in acts of kindness releases feel-good chemicals like oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine. The person receiving the kind act and everyone who witnesses it feels those benefits, too. The mood-boosting benefits create a ripple effect that encourages people to pay it forward — one kind act can motivate many acts of kindness.
Over time, people who regularly practice kindness feel happier and more energetic. They experience less stress, anxiety, and depression, and research suggests they even live longer. Being kind is a simple way to live a happier, healthier life that creates positive change in the world.
Before you continue, we thought you might like to download our FREE 21-Day Family Gratitude Challenge. Make this challenge a part of your night routine or family dinner time for the next 21 days (that's how long it takes to build a habit).
Tap into the power of kindness with these 31 purposeful activities!
1. Call a relative to say you are thinking of them and ask about their day.
2. Help a family member with a household chore.
3. Write down three people you are grateful for and why then tell them.
4. Give a sincere compliment to five different people.
5. Tell your teacher why he or she does a great job.
6. Create Growth Mindset Rocks and place them around your neighborhood.
7. Pick flowers and give them to someone you love (or make tissue paper flowers).
8. Help a neighbor with an errand.
9. Find a funny joke or think of something that makes you laugh, then share it with three other people in person, on the phone, or in a video chat.
10. Donate items to a clothing, canned food, or toy drive (or to another charitable cause of your choice).
11. Leave a treat or a thank you note for delivery drivers.
12. Tell a family member you love them.
13. Write encouraging sidewalk chalk messages for your community to enjoy.
14. Make holiday cards and mail them to a local nursing home.
15. Share something you care about with someone you care about.
16. Pick up litter in your neighborhood (or throw away trash at home).
17. Leave a nice note complimenting someone’s holiday decorations.
18. Look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself three things you like about yourself.
19. Make a point of smiling at everyone you see today.
20. Create a piece of art and share it with someone you love.
21. Call your grandparents (or an older relative) and ask them about their favorite childhood memories.
22. Plant something.
23. Brighten your family’s day with a story, song, dance, poem, or other forms of entertainment.
24. Tell a friend or family member why they are special to you.
25. Give someone a special handmade gift.
26. Learn something new today, then share it with a friend or family member.
27. Give a thank you note to someone who probably doesn’t hear “thank you” often enough.
28. Notice five beautiful things, then tell someone about them.
29. Call a friend you haven’t seen in a while to say hello.
30. Write kindness notes and leave them in library books or other places where people will find them.
31. Make treats or thank you cards to give to your local fire or police station.
Looking for additional resources? The Big Life Journal helps children develop strong Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) and growth mindset skills through inspiring stories, colorful illustrations, and engaging guided activities. In this illustrated journal, children discover how to believe in themselves, how to be kind, and how to face challenges with confidence.