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7 Random Acts of Kindness for Kids

Encourage kindness in your child's daily life with 7 inspiring and easy-to-implement random acts of kindness, promoting empathy and generosity.

Kindness is a prosocial behavior that is an outcome of an emotionally healthy child. Kids will spread kindness as they develop empathy and other important and fundamental social a fundamental social skill. How can you nurture this essential quality? 

One fun and fulfilling way is to incorporate random acts of kindness into your child’s everyday life.

In this article, we’ve collected 7 random acts of kindness activities for kids that demonstrate the joy that comes from being kind. We’ll also discuss some simple strategies to build empathy and compassion in young kids. 

Building Empathy and Compassion in Kids

Empathy in children grows slowly over time. There isn’t a set age where children do or don’t have the ability to care about other people—even infants respond to distress in others. 

Children continue to learn and hone the social-emotional skills that make up empathy all through childhood and adolescence. These skills are:

  • Understanding that other people are individuals who think and feel
  • The ability to recognize and name emotions in others and themselves
  • Being able to imagine what another person might be feeling
  • Being able to think of ways to offer comfort and be caring towards others

You can help them along this path by showing them that opportunities to be kind are all around us. Here are 7 simple yet powerful ways for parents to teach compassion and empathy to children.

#1 Small Acts of Kindness in the Community

Practicing kindness within your child’s community is a wonderful way to instill a healthy sense of connection to the larger world. Try:

  • Creating cards for nursing homes – Residents in long-term care often feel isolated and lonely. A simple card or drawing can make a big difference in the recipient’s day. 
  • Making treats for neighbors – Let your child deliver a surprise care package full of tasty goodies to a neighbor. Even very young kids can help mix up a batch of a no-bake treat like oatmeal-peanut butter balls or granola bars for this simple act. 

#2 Kindness at School

School is one of the most important settings in your child’s life, and it’s brimming with opportunities for kindness. Teach your child that spreading kindness in school benefits everyone—scientists have found that people who witness a small act of kindness get a boost in happiness, even if it isn’t directed towards them.

Kindness in school could include:

  • Initiating inclusive playtime activities – Guide your child toward initiating activities that include a broad and diverse group. Encourage them to consider different abilities, ages, and interests.
  • Eating lunch with a new classmate – Being new in school is hard. Talk about what it might feel like with your child. Suggest that they try reaching out even if the other kids aren’t. 

#3 Acts of Kindness at Home

Home is where children build their most foundational values and learn valuable life lessons. You can encourage your child to show empathy and generosity toward family members in many simple ways:

  • Assisting with household chores without prompting – Learning to help without being asked is a vital social skill. Simple tasks like dusting, setting the table, folding laundry, or watering plants let children contribute to the whole family’s well-being. 
  • Preparing a surprise breakfast for a family member – Feeding others is one of the most core human bonding experiences. Older kids with basic kitchen skills will love the good feeling of making a breakfast of fruit, juice, and toast for another family member. 

#4 Encouraging Kindness in Friendships

Early friendships are where children practice the skills they’ll use to develop meaningful, fulfilling relationships throughout their lives. Your child can show extra kindness towards a peer by:

  • Organizing a playdate for a lonely classmate – Does your child ever mention a classmate who seems lonely or left out? Help them plan a playdate, including a fun activity like going to a local park, getting ice cream, or watching a movie.
  • Sharing toys and activities with friends – Sharing can be a way to show kindness, but it can be challenging when a child feels forced. Encourage your child to practice empathy by narrating how sharing can make their friends feel happy. This can help them decide to participate in sharing with activities like cooperative board games, painting a picture together, or building with blocks. 

#5 Gratitude and Appreciation

Expressing appreciation for others is an essential aspect of kindness. And practicing gratitude isn’t just polite—it helps kids cultivate empathy, humility, and a sense of interconnectedness. 

They might try:

  • Writing thank-you notes to teachers – This activity will help your child reflect on the impact teachers have and feel appreciation for their hard work. Help them think of a specific skill they learned from that teacher or a favorite moment from their classroom and write a kind note.
  • Creating artwork or crafts to express appreciation – Putting time and thought into a homemade gift is an especially meaningful way to show appreciation. Whether it’s a card or a craft project, your child will learn the value of putting personal effort into a gift. 

#6 Small Acts of Kindness for Strangers

Acts of kindness toward strangers can be one of the most effective ways to teach your child that empathy should encompass everyone, even people they don’t know personally. 

Your child can try:

  • Leaving positive notes in public spaces – Have your child write and decorate notes or cards to leave in public places like parks, libraries, or community centers. Help them write affirmations like “You’re one of a kind,” “You are loved,” “You are strong,” etc. You can use our positive affirmation cards for more inspiration.
  • Offering to help someone in need – This is another kind act to show your child, having them notice when people need help without being asked. Help them spot opportunities to hold a door, pick up a dropped item, or carry a grocery bag. 

#7 Acts of Kindness During Holidays

Holidays are a golden opportunity to spread goodwill and build community. Here are some ways to promote generosity and compassion at special times of the year:

  • Creating handmade gifts – Talk with your child about what makes handmade gifts special. You might suggest baking cookies, creating a coupon book, or crafting an ornament as thoughtful options.
  • Donating toys or clothes – Help your child select items like outgrown clothing, games, or an old toy to donate to less fortunate families or local charities during the holidays. Discuss the importance of sharing with those who have less when we have more than enough.

Let Slumberkins Bring the Magic of Connection Into Your Child’s World

Once your child experiences the good feelings that come with performing random acts of kindness, we think you’ll find it quickly becomes a habit. After all, children are naturally wired to feel good about helping others—sometimes it just takes a little guidance to discover the opportunities for kindness that are all around us.

Slumberkins has a wealth of books and resources to help you build the kindness habit in your child. 

Let Otter teach your child all about building connections with family and community, or you can practice gratitude with Honey Bear. No matter which snuggly member of our Caring Crew you bring home, you’ll open a new door into the world of emotional growth and learning. 


American Psychiatric Association. The mental health benefits of simple acts of kindness. 

Psychology Today. How children develop empathy. 

World of Better Learning. Teaching students how a bit of kindness can go a long way.

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