National Random Acts of Kindness Day is February 17th, 2020. Celebrate in your classroom to teach students why kindness is essential!
“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.”
Henry James, British-American author
Teaching strategies like service learning and experiential learning teach students the value of civic responsibility and help them develop critical social skills. But to build a positive school culture, students have to understand the value of kindness.
We’ve put together a list of 93 ways you can practice random acts of kindness in and out of the classroom to get you started!
Random acts of kindness ideas
Want to encourage your students to participate? Here’s a list of random acts of kindness for kids and adults that will brighten up anyone’s day.
1. Host a classroom crafting session to make cards for residents at a local nursing home.
2. Venture out of the classroom and go on a class litter pick-up to clean up the neighborhood.
3. Feed the birds.
4. Set up a thank-you note station, where students can write notes for other classmates or staff members in the school.
5. Partner with a local business to help customers bag groceries and carry purchases out to their car.
6. Host a fundraiser and donate the proceeds to a local charity.
7. Let someone go ahead of you in line.
8. Give someone a genuine compliment.
9. Write positive, encouraging things on sticky notes and leave them where random people will find them.
10. As a class, write letters to people in active military service through a program like Operation Gratitude.
11. Hold the door for the people behind you.
12. Tell someone a funny joke.
13. Leave heads-up pennies on the sidewalk so the next person gets a lucky day.
14. Write a thank-you note for your mail carrier.
15. Host a clothing drive, and donate what you receive to a local shelter or organization that helps distribute clothing to those in need.
16. Hold a food drive for your local food bank.
17. Learn to say hello in different languages, and greet people with a smile.
18. Write a nice note to a coworker you appreciate.
19. Make a “Get Well Soon” card for someone who needs it.
20. Set up a water station along a busy path on a hot day (or a hot chocolate station for a cold day).
21. Write your friend a letter. Tell them why they’re special and what impact they’ve had in your life.
22. Make (don’t buy!) a present for someone, just because.
23. Visit senior citizens at a nursing home.
24. Write thank-you notes for the school janitor.
25. Make someone laugh.
27. Collect soda tabs to support Ronald McDonald House.
28. Help set the table for dinner or clean up after a meal — without being asked.
29. Talk to a classmate, coworker or stranger that looks lonely.
30. Read a book to someone.
31. Leave money on a vending machine for the next person who wants a snack.
32. Bake cookies for friends, coworkers or family members.
33. Volunteer at a homeless shelter.
34. Hand out flowers to strangers.
35. Help out at your local animal shelter.
36. Buy coffee for the person in line behind you.
37. Shovel your neighbor’s driveway after a snowstorm.
38. Walk a neighbor’s dog (and make a furry friend in the process!)
39. Do someone a favor.
40. Wash someone’s car.
41. Bring in donuts (or fruit, if you’re feeling healthy) for your coworkers.
42. If you can, donate blood regularly — it saves lives. Find a blood drive near you!
43. Volunteer at your local library or a non-profit organization.
44. Plan a surprise birthday party for someone.
45. Make breakfast in bed for someone special.
46. Rake the leaves for your neighbor.
47. Spread encouragement online by leaving a positive comment or post.
48. Make someone a cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate.
49. Give up your seat on public transportation to someone else.
50. Lend a friend your favorite book or movie.
51. Bring a meal or do some housekeeping for a friend who needs it.
52. Write to an old teacher or mentor that made a difference in your life, and tell them why you’re so glad you met them.
53. Call (or visit) your grandparents.
54. Ditto for your parents.
55. Talk to the person sitting by themselves at a party. They might surprise you!
56. Tip your barista.
57. Share an inspirational quote.
59. Relay an overheard compliment.
60. Adding a furry friend to your family? There are hundreds of animals in your local shelter waiting for a good home like yours!
61. Run an errand for someone.
62. Bring some extra pet food to your animal shelter.
63. Say yes the next time the cashier at a store asks if you’d like to donate to a cause.
64. Help an elderly person take their groceries to their car.
65. Bring flowers to someone special.
66. Let that car into your lane.
67. Hold the elevator.
68. Check on elderly neighbours after a snowstorm or during a heatwave.
69. After an event, don’t throw out those expensive flower arrangements. Donate them to a local nursing home or hospital. Bonus points if you deliver them to the residents yourself!
70. Send a shoutout to a coworker who’s doing a great job.
71. Offer someone a ride.
72. Sign up to become an organ donor. It takes five minutes and can save up to eight lives.
73. Help tourists take a photo.
74. Mow your neighbor’s lawn.
75. Call up a friend and ask how they’re doing — just because.
76. Feed someone’s parking meter when it gets low.
77. Pick up garbage and litter when you see it.
78. Send a handwritten letter to a friend you don’t get to see often.
79. Donate old towels or blankets to an animal shelter.
80. Leave an encouraging note in a library book when you return it.
81. Buy someone a nice pair of comfy socks.
82. Bring back a souvenir from your trip that you think a friend or family member would like.
83. Plant some new plants and help them grow.
84. Return someone’s cart at the grocery store.
85. Make care packages with gift cards, gloves and extra socks, and give them away to homeless people in your community.
86. Welcome your new neighbors with baked goods or a potted plant.
87. Instead of birthday presents, collect donations for a cause that’s close to your heart. (Hint: Starting a Facebook fundraiser makes it easy for your family and friends to give, even if they live far away!)
88. Set up a Little Free Library in your neighbourhood.
89. Draw a picture for someone.
90. Donate toys to organizations like Toys for Tots.
91. Offer your babysitting services for free.
92. Make a meal for a friend or your significant other.
93. Say something kind to yourself first thing in the morning.
How to celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Day at your school
Now it’s time to get students excited! Are you a school administrator? Host a kick-off assembly for Random Acts of Kindness Day. Are you a teacher? Chat about it in your classroom.
Ask students to think of a time someone did something kind for them, or they were kind to others.
What happened after?
How did it make them feel?
Share stories of people in history who changed the world through their kindness.
Then, use these ideas to help them spread kindness to even more people!
To get students even more involved:
- Create a bulletin board or set up a display to motivate students
- Write down ideas from the class or from the list above on slips of paper, then put the slips in a box or jar. If a student doesn’t know how they can show kindness, encourage them to draw a slip and complete the challenge
- Set up a Random Acts of Kindness calendar
- Create kindness “cootie catchers” and write down ideas under each flap
- Give students journals where they can record what they did, if someone did something kind for them, and how it made them feel
- Print up Kindness Cards for your students with an explanation of Random Acts of Kindness Day and how they can help pay it forward
- Give each student a quote about kindness that they can keep in their backpack, pencil case or wallet, and look at daily as a reminder to be kind
Final thoughts: Random acts of kindness day 2020
Practicing kindness benefits everyone in your classroom, school and community. Challenge your students to show kindness to those around them, and you might be surprised to see what happens! Be sure to make time and share stories as a class.
Afterwards, ask students to discuss how being kind to others made them feel, and how it felt when others were kind to them. Then, be sure to keep building a positive classroom environment where kindness is a key value.
Have any other random acts of kindness ideas? Share them in the comments below!
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