The act of giving–our time, resources, even our presence–is linked not only with sustained joy but with improving social connections and communities around us. With small and simple actions, children can make a powerful ripple through their homes, neighborhoods, and humanity.
Read on for how your child can make a big difference, no superpowers are required.
You should read: 5 Easy Activities to Boost Kindness at Home
“Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.” Of all the explanations of kindness, Maya Angelou’s might be the best. Kindness is the choice we make when we smile at others, invite the new student to play, or even greet someone by name.
To practice kindness, consider these simple ideas:
- Create and decorate “Kindness Cards”.
- Pick a few kindness activities to do like donating outgrown clothes, bringing food to a local pantry, or leaving change in a vending machine.
Perform a Daily Good Deed
One way children can make the world a better place is through a daily good deed. This could be the same action every day, like setting the table for dinner, or a menu of activities they choose from each day.
To get started:
- Create a Good Deed Calendar with your regular calendar, posterboard or small bags for each day of the month
- Make it a family affair by committing to your own daily good deed
Plant a Garden
If you’re like me, the idea of creating a garden with your children seems a bit…daunting. But the benefits are clear: gardening engages the senses, helps children plan and set goals, and teaches patience (while also combatting a serious nature deficit).
The act of planting a garden also teaches children to be stewards of the environment, gaining an appreciation for the effort of farmers and the importance of caring for the earth.
The physical benefits of gratitude are numerous and well documented: decreased anxiety and blood pressure, and improved immune function (to name a few). But experiencing gratitude is good for more than just our bodies.
Consider how gratitude connects our world: noticing the kindness of a teacher, the clean air we breathe, or the safe neighborhood we live in reveals our interconnectedness with the world around us.
Champion a Cause
In Say Something, bestselling children’s author Peter Reynolds says the world needs every child’s voice. “It doesn’t have to be perfect,” he explains, “as long as it comes from your heart.” We “say something” with our words, our actions, and our creativity.
So how do we help our children find that voice? We can start by sharing some social and environmental issues impacting our world.
Many children are naturally motivated and easily inspired–it’s helping them stay that way that’s the trick. Happily, once started, the above strategies can create a habit of making positive changes in the world.