These last summer days can be slow, making a perfect opportunity to put kindness in focus, especially with kids in the mix. Researchers in Canada have found that being intentionally kind can lead to happier, more accepting children who are also more popular among their peers. What’s more, intentional acts of kindness are a beautiful way to build family bonds while teaching children important lessons of empathy and altruism.
Take peek at these 22 kid-tested acts of kindness over at Kids Stuff World and surprise your neighbors and strangers with gentle gestures like these this summer:
- Pay for the drive-thru order or coffee for the person behind you.
- Send dessert to another family at a restaurant.
- Find a parking meter that’s nearly expired and add change.
By modeling kindness as part of everyday life, you can quickly show your kids that even the smallest acts of kindness can lead to feel-good rewards for both givers and receivers.
Here are a few suggestions of our own:
- So many little ones love to see the garbage collector arrive on the street. Leave a small cooler with drinks near the cans as a refreshment and sign of gratitude.
- Collect change for a cause. Get a big Mason jar and fill it up all summer. When the jar is full, take the money and donate to a local charity, or buy grocery gift cards to give to someone without a home.
- With the kids’ input, write affirmations and feel-good quotes on sticky notes, and place them around town for others to find. Put a note on your neighbor’s car window, leave one at a restaurant for the server to find, or simply hand a happy note to a passerby.
- Bonds between the generations can be a source of happiness for old and young alike. Consider taking your youngsters to a senior center to work on a project or play a game. The joy a child brings to often-isolated seniors will bring happiness to all.
Need more ideas? Coffee Cups and Crayons has free Summer Kindness Calendars you can download, packed with daily suggestions just for kids. Once your little ones see how the kindness game is played, they are sure to bust out with some ideas of their own.
We’d love to hear how you spread kindness around your world this summer.