Random acts of kindness can be small moments in the school day, but they can make a big difference in students' lives. And yet, as teachers, we know that working this concept through a busy school year can be tricky. Whether you're trying to prepare for NAPLAN, trying to figure out why your living areas keep disappearing from your classroom, or keeping up with students' Individualized Curriculum Plans, you've got a lot going on! So how do you go about encouraging your students to be generous and kind and spreading these random acts of kindness throughout the day? In fact, what are some random acts of kindness ideas for kids that you can use in your classroom?
Whether you're looking to celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Day on February 17th (right after Valentine's Day) or just looking for some random acts of kindness ideas for kids to add to yoursocioemotional lessons, the teachers on the Teach Starter team put together this practical guide for teachers to make this concept easier to teach and truly inspiring for kids. Read about where the concept of random acts of kindness came from, plus ideas for students to use in the classroom this school year!
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What is a random act of kindness?
The name can reveal everything. Then again, maybe not.
By definition, a random act of kindness is a selfless action performed by an individual to help or benefit another person, without any expectation of recognition or reward. These acts can be small or large and can have a significant impact on the person(s) receiving them as well as the person performing them.
Some of the most common examples of random acts of kindness include buying coffee for someone in line behind you, leaving a note of encouragement, or helping a neighbor with an assignment, and of course, there are hundreds and hundreds of examples among students. do every day, from offering a pencil to a colleague when he doesn't have one to opening the bathroom door.
What is the origin of random acts of kindness?
The concept of doing kind things for other people has been around as long as people have existed, but the origin of the phrase Random Acts of Kindness is a little murky: there's no telling who said it first.
Majoritygive credit to the phrase's popularityto an American woman named Anne Herbert, who wrote an article entitled 'Practice Random Kindness and Mindless Acts of Beauty' in a 1985 issue of the counterculture magazine 'Whole Earth Review'. Herbert went on to co-write a children's book of the same name in 1993, securing the term's place in the zeitgeist.
Reissued 20 years later with a foreword by Bishop Desmond Tutu, the book is a good start for elementary school teachers looking to implement random acts of kindness in the classroom.
In addition to Herbert, the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation in the USA played a crucial role in establishing 'Random Acts of Kindness' as a worldwide phenomenon. The non-profit organization was formed in the early 1990s and has been the driving force behind making February 17th the official Random Acts of Kindness Day, centered around the mission of "Making Goodness Reign".
The charity offers teachers, students and others the opportunity toRegister as RAKtivists, short for activist Random Act of Kindness. Claim your class and you'll receive free monthly missions to spread more kindness, plus access to the RAKtivist Facebook group!
Random acts of kindness ideas for kids
Looking for ideas for immediate and random acts of kindness for kids to practice in the classroom? Start with small, manageable tasks that kids can do to show them that random acts of kindness are for everyone, regardless of age.
Some perfect ideas for school include:
- Holding the classroom door open for classmates
- Allow a friend to be first in a game
- Ask another student if they need help withtask
- Throw a friend's trash in the trash for them
- Greeting a classmate on the way out
- Pick up another student's pencil when it drops
- Offering to help a classmate with a project
- Leave a thank you note for a caretaker (print onethank you for taking care of us modelin order to facilitate!)
- Baking Cookies for Your Teacher's Helper
- Carrying a friend's food for lunch when on crutches
- Sharing crayons, crayons and other classroom resources
- Offer a hug to another student when they are sad
Print this fun kindness tracker for kidsto color in every time they do something kind for a friend or family member!(Video) Octonauts - Showing Kindness to Others | Cartoons for Kids | Underwater Sea Education
And here are dozens of Random Acts of Kindness ideas for kids to do outside of school!
- Leave a note of encouragement for a friend or family member
- Make a card for a nursing home resident
- Help a neighbor with a task, like raking leaves or shoveling snow
- Donate toys or clothes to a children's charity.
- Bake cookies or cupcakes for a local fire department or police department.
- Leave coins in a vending machine for the next person
- Make flowers for a grandfather and give a bouquet just because (use thisfun flower craft print templateyou can add your photos!)
- Leave a kind note on a park bench for a stranger to find
- Help a younger brother with his homework
- Pick up trash when seen in a parking lot or park
- Leave a kind note in a library book for the next person who picks up the book to read.
- Help an elderly person with their groceries
- Leave extra coins at a laundromat
- Compliment someone at the supermarket
- Leave an encouraging note in a public restroom
- Volunteer to babysit a single parent (best for older students)
- Help a homeless person by buying him a meal
- Leave a thank you note for a clerk or restaurant employee.
- Offer to walk a neighbor's dog
- leave a fundesignin a stranger's car to brighten your day
Explore our collection of teacher resources filled withprintable card templatesyour students can use to write kind notes to make someone smile!
- Donate food to a local food bank.
- Leave a small gift for the postman.
- Make ahomemade thank you card for essential workers
- Leave a kind note for a hotel's cleaning staff.
- Volunteer to help an elderly person with their garden
- Leave a little gift for a librarian
- Make ahomemade card for a soldier or veteran
- Leave a kind note for someone who works in a public space
- Volunteer to walk dogs at a local animal shelter
- Leave a note for a museum guide.
- Offer to help a friend or family member with a task they are struggling with.
- Offer to run an errand for someone who is sick or can't go home.
- Leave a kind note for a trainer
- Donate your gently used toys to a local domestic violence shelter.
- Leave a thank you note for a ranger or lifeguard
- Offer to babysit a friend or family member
- Leave a small gift for a nurse or doctor.
- Offer to help a friend or family member with a personal goal.
- Leave a kind note for a hairstylist or stylist
- Make cookies for your delivery guy
- Help a friend or family member move house
- Leave a small gift for a hospital worker.
- Offer to help a friend or family member clean their house or apartment
- Donate gently used books that you've already read to a local library.
- Teach a new skill to a friend or family member
- Read to a neighbor's or friend's dog (this is also a great way for young readers to practice their skills!)
More ways to promote random acts of kindness at school
Some random acts of kindness ideas you can start as a teacher:
- use ourRandom acts of kindness calendarwith your students throughout the month. Includes 16 different kindness tasks for your students to do for others.
- Set up a "kindness" board in your classroom with sticky notes where students can write kind things about their classmates and post them.
- Register your class onGreat Challenge of Kindnessfor a week of challenges.
- Think of random acts of kindness and askchatterboxes of kindnesswith your class
- A simple hello can bring a million smiles. Get your students to use ourhello card templateto write a nice eulogy inside a class member.
- Create a current of kindness for the classroom. Give students slips of paper to jot down ideas for random acts of kindness and put them together to display on your bulletin board or even in the hallway. Kindness can be contagious!
- Post a "sprinkle kindness flagin the classroom as a visual reminder to do random acts of kindness.
Looking for more ways to encourage kindness? try this oneresources for kindness teachers!
Header image via Shutterstock/Darrin Henry