Kindness. It’s something we value as a society but sometimes find ourselves struggling to engage in and initiate, but is actually quite important for children’s physical and mental health, as well as their emotional awareness. According to the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation, there are scientifically proven reasons why you and your children should be engaging in random acts of kindness, as seen in their video! Based on numerous studies, the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation explains that the benefits of performing random acts of kindness include:

Oxytocin production – Otherwise known as the “love hormone”, performing random acts of kindness increases oxytocin production, resulting in lower blood pressure, increased heart health, and boosted self-esteem and confidence.

Energy – According to the book Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents written by Christine Carter, Ph.D., About half of participants in one study reported that they feel stronger and more energetic after helping others; many also reported feeling calmer and less depressed, with increased feelings of self-worth.

Happiness – In 2010, Harvard Business School surveyed people in 136 countries and found that those who were more financially generous and made charitable donations, were the happiest.

Lifespan – According to Dr. Carter, Giving help to others protects overall health twice as much as aspirin protects against heart disease. People 55 and older who volunteer for two or more organizations have an impressive 44% lower likelihood of dying early, and that’s after sifting out every other contributing factor, including physical health, exercise, gender, habits like smoking, marital status, and many more. This is a stronger effect than exercising four times a week or going to church. 

Pleasure – In a phenomenon coined “the helper’s high“, when a person is nice or does something kind for another person, both persons pleasure and rewards center in the brain is engaged.

Serotonin – According to hormone.org, serotonin is the key hormone that stabilizes our mood, feelings of well-being, and happiness as well as assisting with sleeping, eating, and digestion. Performing acts of kindness stimulates the production of serotonin.

100 Acts of Kindness

Everyone wants to be nice and do kind things, but every once in a while we need some ideas to get us going. Luckily, we’ve come up with some random acts of kindness to try out with your kids!? If you need some more ideas, check out the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation ideas page, or check out Pinterest. Remember to take into consideration your child’s age, maturity level, and to take safety precautions for the health of you and your family before engaging in an activity.

  1. Leave money on the vending machine or in a parking meter for the next person
  2. Bake cookies for the local nursing home
  3. Volunteer at a homeless shelter
  4. Sign up for a 5k for a good cause
Picking up litter can help teach emotional awareness.
  1. Pick up litter in your neighborhood
  2. Let someone go in front of you inline
  3. Give a compliment to a stranger
  4. Make dinner for a neighbor or family friend
  5. Buy flowers and hand them out on the street
  6. Leave positive, inspiring notes on cars
  7. Pay for the person behind you in the drive-thru
  8. Write letters to soldiers?
  9. Gather old clothes and toys to donate
  10. Donate time or money (or both!) to a fundraiser?
  11. Hold the door open for someone
  12. Help someone carry their groceries to their car or their home
  13. Volunteer to walk your neighbor’s dogs
  14. Send a teacher a gift
  15. Plant a tree or start a garden with your neighborhood
  16. Help your grandparents water their garden or mow their lawn
  17. Pay for a strangers library fees
  18. Send a happy picture to a friend or family member
  19. Bring a special treat into school for the whole class
  20. Have a free car wash for the neighborhood
  21. Sing or dance for the local nursing home
  22. Save soda tabs, bottle caps, or BoxTops for a charity or cause
  23. Host a bake sale for a foundation or charity
  24. Hand out water bottles on a hot day
  25. Leave your server a nice note with your tip
  26. Make someone breakfast in bed
  27. Help out with chores (without being asked)?
  28. Offer to put someone’s cart back at the grocery store
  29. Let someone else pick the movie or TV show to watch
  30. Write a list of everything you love about a friend or family member and then give it to them
  31. Give up your seat on the bus for someone else
  32. Lend someone a toy, book, or movie
  33. Offer someone a pen
Feeding animals can help teach emotional awareness.
  1. Feed the birds or ducks at the park
  2. Donate your hair after a haircut
  3. Make someone a card
  4. Write a happy comment on someone’s post online
  5. Make bookmarks and give them to friends or family
  6. Volunteer at an animal shelter
  7. Help a friend or classmate with a subject they need help with
  8. Gather old blankets to donate
  9. Paint or draw something for a friend or family member
  10. Give someone a random high-five
  11. Eat at a local restaurant
  12. Make hot chocolate for the family on a cold day
  13. Send coloring books and crayons to kids in need
  14. Ask your grandparents or an elderly person to share a story?
  15. Pack a lunch for someone in your family
  16. Draw a smiley face next to your name
  17. Make a lemonade stand for a good cause
  18. Ride your bike or walk to a friends house instead of driving
  19. Wheel out or take back your neighbor’s trash bins
  20. Help someone with their homework
  21. Make a birdhouse and fill it with seeds for the outside critters
  22. Foster an animal?
  23. Host a teddy bear drive for kids in need
  24. Donate old books to a library
  25. Pay for someone else’s lunch
  26. Gather supplies for and send out a care package to a loved one
  27. Make a fleece blanket for someone
  28. Bring reusable bags to the grocery store
  29. Take a walk with your family and say hello to everyone you pass
Donating goods can help teach emotional awareness.
  1. Donate old towels to an animal shelter
  2. Leave a present or thank you note in the mailbox for your mail carrier
  3. Leave a nice thought for someone on a sticky note in a library book
  4. Share something without being asked
  5. Bake someone a cake…just because
  6. Make a scrapbook for a loved ones
  7. Help someone up when they fall down
  8. Say “thank you” to frontline and essential workers
  9. Tape a video message to send to someone you haven’t seen in a while
  10. Bury treasure at the playground
  11. Read a book to someone
  12. Make kindness stones and leave them in random places
  13. Help someone make dinner
  14. Give the custodian and/or lunch lady at school a treat
  15. Smile and wave at someone new
  16. Leave a happy message in chalk on the sidewalk or driveway
  17. Pick flowers for someone
  18. Shovel your neighbor’s sidewalk or driveway
  19. Give someone that needs it a hug?
  20. Go one whole day without complaining
  21. Offer someone a snack
  22. Decorate tissue boxes and hand sanitizers to give to healthcare workers
  23. Give the bus driver a candy bar
  24. Give someone a stick of gum
  25. Write thank-you notes to police officers
  26. Collect toiletries for those in need
  27. Weed your neighbors garden
  28. Send a postcard
  29. Buy a souvenir for a friend when you go on a trip
  30. Dry the slides at the park with a towel after it rains
  31. Adopt an animal online
  32. Tell someone how special they are to you
  33. Hand out stickers
  34. Make someone else’s bed

Mission I’m Possible

At HAPPÉ Life, we strive to help children and their families build relationships, develop emotional awareness, and work on social and mental health skills through performing acts of kindness with our fun, free, online program Mission I’m Possible! Every week, HAPPÉ sends parents or caretakers “top secret missions” in the form of 1-2 minute videos to their email that are designed to encourage kids to train their brains and interact with others. The missions might be something like saying thank you to 3 people who sometimes go unnoticed, like a new kid in school, a neighbor, or a parent. These challenges dare kids to try out new experiences, reflect on and manage hard to express emotions and make sure they are equipped with the skills to shape relationships in a positive and healthy way.
If you have any questions, contact HAPPÉ here. Share your random acts of kindness on HAPPÉs Facebook and Instagram for a chance to be featured!