Random kind gestures may be small moments in school life, but they can make a big difference in students' lives. However, as teachers, we know that implementing this concept in a busy school year can be tricky. With 180 days and countless instructions, how do you encourage your students to be generous, kind, and spread those random acts of kindness throughout the day? By the way, what are some random acts of kindness ideas for kids to use in your classroom?
If you want to celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Day on February 17th (right after).Valentine's Day) or just look for random action ideas for kids to add to theirsocioemotional lessons, the teachers on the Teach Starter team put together this teacher's guide to make this concept easier to teach and really inspiring for kids. Read about the origin of the Random Acts of Kindness concept, as well as ideas for students to use in your 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 act performed by a person to help or benefit another person, without expecting recognition or reward. These acts can be small or large and have a significant impact on the person or persons receiving them and the person doing the act.
Some of the more common examples of random favors include buying coffee in line behind you, leaving an encouraging message, or helping a neighbor with an assignment - and of course there are hundreds and hundreds of examples we see from students every day of offering a pencil to a colleague when he doesn't have one, to carrying a friend's lunch tray in the cafeteria.
What is the origin of random acts of kindness?
The concept of doing nice things for other people has been around as long as humans have existed, but the origin of the phrase Random Acts of Kindness is a little murky - there's no telling who said it first.
Majorityappreciate the popularity of the phraseto a California woman named Anne Herbert, who wrote an article in a 1985 issue of the countercultural journal Whole Earth Review titled "Practice Casual Kindness and Stupid Acts of Beauty." Herbert went on to write achildren's bookof the same name in 1993 and secured the term its place in the zeitgeist.
The book, reprinted 20 years later with a foreword by Bishop Desmond Tutu, is a good starting point for elementary school teachers who want to implement random friendly gestures in the classroom.
Alongside Herbert, the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation in Colorado played a key role in establishing Random Acts of Kindness as a worldwide phenomenon. Founded in the early 1990s, the nonprofit was the driving force behind making February 17 the official Random Acts of Kindness Day, which focuses on the mission of "making childhood the norm."
The non-profit organization offers teachers, students and others the opportunity to do so.register as a RAKtivist, short for activist Random Act of Kindness. Enroll in your course and receive free monthly quests to spread more kindness and access to the RAKtivist Facebook group!
Random acts of kindness ideas for kids
Are you looking for spontaneous ideas for kind gestures for kids to do in class? Start with small, manageable tasks that kids can do to show them that random acts of kindness apply to everyone, regardless of age.
Some ideas that are perfect for school are:
- Keep the classroom door open for classmates
- Allow a friend to come first in a halftime game
- Ask another student if they need help with their homework
- Throwing out a friend's trash at lunch
- Waving to a classmate on the school bus
- Catching another student's pencil when it drops
- Offer to help a classmate with a project
- leave AThank You Letter to a Janitor or Janitor
- Baking cookies for the bus driver
- Carrying a friend's tray at lunch when he is on crutches
- Sharing crayons, crayons and other classroom supplies
- Offer a hug to a student when they are sad
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And here are dozens of ideas for random acts of kindness for kids to do outside of school!
- Leave a message of encouragement for a friend or family member
- Make a card for a nursing home resident
- Help a neighbor with a chore, for example B. 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 grandparent and deliver a bouquet just because (use thesefun floral template to printyou can add your photos!)
- Leave a friendly note on a park bench for a stranger to find
- Help a younger brother with his homework
- Pick up trash when you find it in a parking lot or park
- Leave a friendly note in a library book for the next person who checks the book out to read
- Help an elderly person go shopping
- Leave extra coins at a laundromat
- Compliment someone at the supermarket
- Leave an encouraging message in a public restroom
- Do you offer babysitting for single parents (best for older students)
- Help a homeless person by buying him a meal
- Leave a thank you note for a fast food vendor or employee
- Offer to walk a neighbor's dog
- Have a good timedesignin a stranger's car to brighten your day
Explore our complete collection of teacher resourcesprintable card templatesYour students can write friendly notes to make someone smile!
- Donate groceries to a local charity
- Leave a small gift for the postman
- Make oneHomemade thank you card for essential workers
- Leave a friendly message for a hotel's cleaning staff
- Volunteer to help an elderly person with gardening
- Leave a small gift for a librarian
- Make onehomemade card for a soldier or veteran
- Leave a nice message for someone who works in a public place, like B. Your local community center
- 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 unable to leave the house.
- Leave a friendly message for a coach or team leader
- Donate your carefully used toys to a local domestic violence shelter
- Leave a thank you note for a ranger or lifeguard
- Offer to sit for 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 friendly message for a barber or barber
- Make cookies for your delivery driver
- Help a friend or family member move
- Leave a small gift for a hospital worker
- Offer to help a friend or family member clean their house or apartment
- Donate carefully used books they've already read to a local library
- Teach a friend or family member a new skill
- 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 encourage random acts of kindness at school
Some random acts of kindness ideas to start as a teacher:
- use ourCalendar for Random Acts of Kindnesswith your students during the month. Includes 16 different kindness tasks your students can do for others.
- Set up a “kindness board” in your classroom with sticky notes for students to write and post nice things about their classmates.
- Register your class for thisGreat Challenge of Kindnessfor a week full of challenges.
- Think of random acts of kindness and do them.kindness fortune tellerwith your class.
- A simple hello can lead to a million smiles. Let your students use ourhello card templateto write a nice eulogy for a class member.
- Create a chain of kindness in the classroom. Give students pieces of paper to jot down ideas for random acts of kindness and link them to display on your bulletin board or even in the hallway. Kindness can be contagious!
- Post a "Spread the flag of kindnessin 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!
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