When Parents magazine surveyed 1,227 moms and dads in the U.S. about what they value most, the parents ranked kindness as the most important trait to cultivate in kids — more important to them than intelligence, individuality or work ethic.
Another study about parenting concerns revealed that 71% of American parents placed highest importance on their children being honest and ethical as adults, followed by 65% placing the same importance on their children growing up to be caring and compassionate.
Clearly, kind kids matter to parents. Kindness matters to God as well. It’s a fruit of the Spirit, a deep and genuine reflection of a heart in the right place — and it goes well beyond just being nice.
How Do We Create Kind Kids? How Do We Teach Children to Show Kindness?
A hands-on project or fun activity often can go further than a lecture. Great activities for teaching kindness can include service projects, crafts or even games.
To help you teach your children about kindness, we’ve compiled the following list of 21 kindness ideas and activities for any age, from preschoolers to teenagers.
Simple Ways Kids Can Show Kindness at Home
Do something considerate for another member of the family.
- Offer to do a sibling’s chore for them.
- Spend time reading books with a younger sibling.
- Clean part of the house without being asked.
- Help a parent pull weeds in the yard.
- Help a parent make breakfast in bed for the rest of the family.
- Leave kindness notes around the home for family members. Write some kind words on sticky notes or pieces of paper and place the notes somewhere family members will find them.
Show kindness to animals.
- Take a pet on a walk or spend extra time playing with a pet.
- Offer to help care for a classroom pet at school.
- Craft a pinecone and peanut butter birdfeeder to make sure God’s creatures have plenty to eat — especially during cold months.
Welcome guests to your home.
- Offer guests a drink of water, tea or coffee when they arrive.
- If pets are present, ask if the guests are comfortable with them. If not, take the pets into another room.
Have a weekly family devotional or Bible study time.
- As a family, choose a devotional book, online devotional or Bible study, and set a time to go through it together every week.
Play a cooperative game.
- Cooperative board games are growing in popularity among families wanting to teach kindness lessons. Rather than competing, all players work together to beat the game. Examples of cooperative board games for families include:
- Noah’s Animal Rescue.
- Hoot Owl Hoot.
- Forbidden Island.
- Get Raise, Save, Give — a free printable kindness game from Compassion Explorer Magazine.
Honor a family member for something they’re good at.
Kindness Activities for School and the Classroom
Celebrate World Kindness Day.
- World Kindness Day is celebrated annually on November 13.
- It began in 1998 by the World Kindness Movement, a coalition of organizations dedicated to kindness.
- Many countries around the world celebrate World Kindness Day, which promotes good deeds in the community and asks people to focus on what brings us all together rather than what divides us.
- To bring the spirit of World Kindness Day to the classroom, make a thank you or appreciation card for a teacher or bring a snack for the whole class.
Make a kindness card or craft for a good friend. This pop-up card is a great kindness craft idea!
- Invite classmates to play a game at recess.
- Look for a kid who looks lonely or left out and ask him or her to eat lunch.
Look for opportunities to help someone.
- Hold the door for someone.
- If you see another kid drop something, help them pick it up.
- If someone looks lost in the hallway, help them get where they’re going.
- If you see a student being bullied at school, take their hand and lead them away from the people saying unkind things. Tell a trusted adult about the bullying.
Activities that Teach Kids to Love Their Neighbors
Help a neighbor with yard work, such as raking leaves, pulling weeds or carrying in the groceries.
Make and deliver a treat, such as cookies, banana bread or this Peruvian hot chocolate — a kindness jar that’s a craft, gift and recipe all in one!
Tie balloons to a neighbor’s fence post to celebrate their birthday or decorate their sidewalk with birthday wishes written in chalk.
Share Christmas joy by singing carols outside people’s homes at Christmastime.
Teach empathy for children living in poverty with the help of these poverty lesson plans and learning activities — because neighbors aren’t only those who live next door to us.
More Ways Kids Can Show Kindness and Consideration of Others
Let someone know you care and are thinking about them.
Challenge yourself to perform simple acts of kindness with an acts of kindness challenge planner.
Make summer count with a printable kindness calendar of service projects, science experiments, prayers, crafts and more.
Make artwork highlighting kindness quotes and post them around the home, at school or on a bulletin board in a library or a local coffee shop as encouragement to be kind.
- “Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.” — Mother Teresa
- “A kind word is like a spring day.” — Russian proverb
- “Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.” — Princess Diana
Follow Jesus’ example.
- Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other just as in Christ God forgave you. (Ephesians 4:32, NIV)
- Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. (Hebrews 13:2, NIV)
- Do to others as you would have them do to you. (Luke 6:31, NIV)
Sponsor a child living in poverty.
Child sponsorship is one of the most effective ways to help children break free from the cycle of generational poverty and hopelessness.
Compassion works with thousands local Christian churches around the world to develop children holistically and address their physical, economic, spiritual and socio-emotional needs. Your sponsorship would give a child in poverty the opportunity to receive:
- Regular health checkups and medical assistance.
- Tutoring, mentoring and other educational and vocational support.
- Clean water, food and supplementary nutrition.
- Health and hygiene training.
- Safety and protection.
- The chance to hear the Gospel and learn about Jesus.
Show Kindness to a Child in Need. Sponsor a Child today!
Put Your Faith Into Action. Sponsor a Child Today!
Compassion International is a Christ-centered, church-driven and child focused ministry. Our mission is to release children from poverty in Jesus’ name. We partner with local churches in each country we work in so that every child in our program has the chance to hear about God’s love.