What better way to begin the New Year with your little ones than to show them how to be kind? However, instead of just leading by example allow them to get involved in the act of kindness. Studies have shown that toddlers enjoy giving gifts more than receiving them and by being kind and generous helps them cultivate respect and an open heart. This inspires children to believe in themselves and others, which will help guide them toward positive relationships.

We have comprised a list of Random Acts of Kindness for you and your child to get started. Involve them even more by letting them choose the act of kindness they want to perform.

Donate food, toys & books.

Reach out to a local charity, church, or organization to drop off new or gently used items. Let your kiddo pick a few things of their own that they want to give to another child and let them tag along when dropping it off.

Smile at everyone you come across.

Teach your child that something as simple as a smile can make a world of difference in someone else’s day.

Give out free hugs.

Make it a little less creepy to strangers by creating a homemade sign that reads “free hugs.” If you are leary of total strangers perform this act at your local park, community, or organization you are a part of.

Pick up trash.

Keep little hands clean and safe with protective gloves. Assist your younger children with trash cleanup by picking up the trash and letting them put it in the bucket or bag. This way you have more control over what they handle and where they are discarding it.

Send a handwritten letter.

If your child is too young to write let them draw a picture and write their message for them.

Put positive sticky notes on mirrors.

This is one of our favorites! Write encouraging messages on notes and post them on mirrors or even in random places. This can even be taken out of the home and posted around your town while running errands.

Send anonymous flowers.

The arrangement doesn’t have to be extravagant, but let your child pick who they want to send the flowers to.

Bring hot cocoa to a friend.

Allow your kids pick who they want to share it with or make a batch for the community and set up a free cocoa stand.

Give a secret gift to someone.

Giving gifts when unexpected has more impact on both parties than when it is a special occasion. It lets you reflect on that individual and what they mean to you while showing them that they are loved.

Call your grandparents.

We could all call our grandparents more often. Let your kids tell them how their day was and how much they love them.


Let your kids pick a charity or event that they would like to help and make arrangements to get involved. Keep volunteer tasks simple for younger children and have space where they can relax, play, or take a nap for longer volunteer hours. Oh, and snacks!

Walk a dog.

Contact your local animal shelter to walk a dog or two with your child. Let them know ahead of time the ages of your children so they can make preparations if needed.

Hold a door open.

Teach your kids the simple act of kindness of holding a door open for someone. If they are little, assist them in the act.


Offer to babysit a friends child for free. You will be doing most of the work, but let your kiddo assist in some of the duties like bottle feeding, throwing a diaper away, or just play time.

Plant a tree.

Teach your children to be kind to the environment by planting a tree. Contact your local Forestry Association to confirm what type of tree and the location you are legally allowed to plant on (if you are not planting on your property).

Pass out balloons.

This is a fun and easy way to brighten even an adults day. Make sure to let your child know that they can keep one “happiness” balloon and have to give away all of the other “happiness” balloons.