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Random Acts of Kindness: 5 Simple Acts of Kindness Ideas For Families

Random Acts of Kindness Beach MamaNYC

Random Acts of Kindness:

5 Simple Acts of Kindness Ideas For Families

It’s sad to say, but trying to think of selfless and random acts of kindness that we can perform on a daily basis can be a daunting task! Sure, I can think of something from time to time, but every single day? It’s a challenge and there’s nothing wrong with admitting you can’t come up with any ideas. That’s why I have compiled a list of a few family-friendly random acts of kindness!

These acts of kindness are easy enough that you can make a day activity this weekend. However, I also thought of the best ideas and made sure they had the ability to take things a little further if you think the act is a great match for your family to continue doing more.

COOL FACT: Kindness Week is celebrated every year from February 11th – 17th. Mark your calendars for 2014 and don’t miss out next year!

"No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted." – Aesop 

IDEA #1: Donate Used Books To Your Local Library

Donate Books Library

Have all family members browse their bookshelves and pull out the books they’ve finished reading and feel comfortable donating. Bring the kids along when you deliver them to the library so that they can see how it feels to give – even if it’s something as simple as a box of used books! Find a local public library in your community and browse other resources with your family on to help plan your trip!

Explain to your family that there are many children living right in your community that don’t have access to books. Their families may not have the financial resources or value education like your family has through books and other learning resources/materials. Libraries allow anyone in the community to sign up for a card, but also allow access to anyone that wants to come in and enjoy their collections for free. Maintaining a library isn’t easy since your community does it for free, so they rely largely on donations to help maintain and grow their collections.

TAKE IT FURTHER: Continue the kindness by diving into a bigger issue with your family. We all can’t solve childhood illiteracy on our own, but together we can combine efforts to achieve success. Check out Books For Kids and find out how you can become involved in the ongoing effort to ensure all children have access to books. This organization works to ensure children from low-income and at-risk families have access to books.  

IDEA #2: Clean Your Friends House… for FREE!

Sit back and think about which one of your friends could REALLY use a break. Did someone recently fall on some bad luck, such as loss of employment? Is one of your girlfriends pregnant, or recently became a new mom? Were you upset to hear of a friend receiving bad news from a doctor and didn’t know WHAT to say or do? One of the best things you can do for a friend, especially when she’s down on her luck, is a free top-to-bottom house cleaning!

This idea might be too difficult to plan as a surprise, but it’s an idea! If you have the ability to surprise a friend by showing up unexpectedly or cleaning her house while she is out for the day with NO idea you’ve cleaned the dishes (which has been bugging her all day; she’s TOO tired to think about doing them after work!) – do it! However, I would think carefully about a surprise. Your help might not be the best thing she needs as a surprise without warning. 

Bring the kids along (depending on ages) and have them help with the dishes, vacuuming, laundry, or cleaning the bathrooms.

TAKE IT FURTHER: In addition to cleaning supplies, prepare dinner for your friend(s) and place it in the refrigerator or freezer. What more could someone want than a great friend like you to clean her house AND give her one less meal to worry about that week!?  

IDEA #3: Design & Deliver Care Packs for the Homeless

 Donate Homeless Backpack Care

Imagine how you would feel if you didn’t have access to these small things. Well, many people in your community can’t afford these things. By donating even the smallest items to those who don’t have them, you’ll be providing someone with a greater sense of self-worth. Simple accessories you may take for granted could be greatly appreciated by those who are less fortunate. Maybe your support will open a door that will give that person a change to get a job or give them a fresh start to a new life.

Things to incude: Toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, soap, body wash, hand sanitizer, toenail clipper, tweezers, socks, gloves, and a few snacks.

ACTIVITY: We take a lot of our toiletries and luxuries for granted — without even noticing most of the day. Devise a plan with your family to make it a mission to think of a few items you would never think to include. Two items that I thought of are toenail clippers and tweezer. These two items are small, but very important and necessary tools when it comes to personal grooming.  Have each family member try to think of at least one item that is unusual, necessary,and normally forgotten.

Prepare your backpack(s) filled with toiletries, snacks, and other living necessities and deliver them to the homeless in your community. Take a look at the Homeless Shelter Directory to find a homeless shelter in your area.   

TAKE IT FURTHER: Discover more ways for your family to distribute backpacks as often as time and financial resources will allow. Try to spread the word, too! Consider organizing a backpack drive for the homeless in your community . 

IDEA #4: Write 7 Letters of Appreciation & Thanks

… One Every Day This Week!

Keep this one really simple, but deliver your true emotions from the heart. You can use a computer, but this type of Act really requires pen and paper (or a greeting card). Start this Act by writing down the names of seven people that have changed your life for the better in the last few weeks or year(s).

Maybe they’ve done something as simple as teach you how to check emails on your cellphone? Maybe you needed someone to give you a ride to work when your car broke down last month. Special friends and family members aren’t that easy to find, so a letter of appreciation can really show them that you do notice what they’ve done in your life and you couldn’t do it without them!

Let your letters come straight from the heart. Don’t hold back or try to sound like a professional! Be yourself and let your list of people know that you care for them just as much as they do for you. Make sure they all know you will be there to do whatever you can should there ever come a time when they need help – no task too big or small; they were there for you — and you’ll be there for them. Always remember that showing appreciation generally means a lot more to people than anything else!

"There is overwhelming evidence that the higher the level of self-esteem, the more likely one will be to treat others with respect, kindness, and generosity."

— Nathaniel Branden [Canadian Psychotherapist And Writer]

IDEA #5: Make a List & Plan For More Random Acts of Kindness!Random Acts of Kindness To DO List

Let these simple and few ideas that I have mapped out for you become the start of something spectacular — and a regular habit in your family. Add onto my list and see how many random acts of kindness you can think of doing this month. 

Random cts of kindness can be performed on your family, friends, acquaintances, teachers, sports coaches, neighbors, and even strangers. The smallest gestures can make a big difference and change our entire mood from sad to confident. Consider a few small gestures that strangers have done in the past, such as holding the door open or handing over an extra dime when you run short at the vending machine. Doing something when it isn’t necessary or required can make the recipient feel extra special.

There are lots of things you can do once you’ve compiled a list of Acts to complete. Plan them out on a weekly calendar by agreeing to complete at least one per week. Keep the ideas in the back of your mind at all times and remember to do them when an opportunity approaches.

TAKE IT FURTHER: Organize weekly meetings with your family or a group of friends where everyone can share how they performed an Act of kindess that week. Discuss ideas on how you can all work as a team to improve the quality of life in your community by completing one random Act of kindness every day, week, or month.

Your actions do not need to be practiced on a strict daily schedule. Making someone smile, holding a door, or giving a helping hand are simple gestures that count.Remember that random Acts of kindness are supposed to be small and simple gestures, but largely heartwarming and giving to someone in need.

   World peace may be an impossible wish. . .

but random acts of kindness will help us get one step closer! 


Additional Acts of Kindness Ideas For Your Family 

The possibilities are endless when it comes to doing something nice for your neighbor, community, family member, or friends. Here’s a list of MANY more ways for you and your children to spread kindness around – it is contagious, after all! 

*NOTE FOR PARENTS: Each of these tasks requires a different level of abilities, parental supervision, and maybe an investment of a few bucks to gather supplies to aid you in the mission. Parents should discuss and decide which Act of kindness is most suitable for the age range(s) of their child(ren) and supervise. Discuss the Acts limitations and rules if it involves talking and/or interacting with strangers. Explain to the child that their goodness will go a long way, but they need to remain thoughtful of strangers.

  1. Help elderly and disabled shoppers place bags in their car.^
  2. Make and deliver a homemade treat to your neighbor or o-workers. (cookies, brownies, lasagna?)
  3. Go out of your way to be kind to your neighbor.
  4. Send a care package to a friend or family member away from home.
  5. Give a stranger a compliment.
  6. Reach out to someone you haven’t talked to in a while.
  7. Collect coats to donate.
  8. Offer a bottle of cold water to someone that works hard in order to keep you safe on a daily basis, such as a bus driver, fireman, crossing guard, or policeman. 
  9.  Buy something for the person in line behind you.
  10. Send a note of appreciation to someone that has made a difference in your life.
  11. Learn about a new holiday.
  12. Organize and host a local toy drive.
  13. Make (and deliver) dinner for your local firefighters.
  14. Rake your neighbors yard.
  15. Pay a toll for the car behind you (I love this idea!)
  16. Lend yourself out for free tutoring with a struggling student.
  17. Start a lemonade stand and donate all profits to a local organization in your community.
  18. Visit a local nursing home and bring a special treat/activity (music for dancing, karaoke machine for singing, family dog for companionship, books for reading to the seniors, and so on..)
  19. Thank your mailman on a day that isn’t a holiday. Design your own card and let him know your mail would be lost without him!
  20. Give a phone card to someone who desperately needs one. 


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lets discuss talk blog

Are you up for the challenge?

Tell me if you’ll try to complete a random act of kindness this week.

Have any more ideas? Tell me below!




My name is Nicole Napolitano and I am a full-time professional parenting blogger and work-at-home mom of two adorable and vivacious children (boy - 6 & girl - 2.5). I decided to develop MamaNYC in 2010 shortly (1-month) after transitioning from work-a-holic Internet marketing pro to the shoes of a stay-at-home mom (bored!). As a dedicated business manager for over 9-years, I was determined and positive that I would once again be a successful business woman -- whether or not I had a diaper bag tagging along! I am a New York City native, but relocated with my husband and our two kids to sunny Los Angeles in the summer of 2014. Leaving everything behind was scary, but it's time to make new memories. My interests include web design, Internet marketing, product development and research, SEO, movies, friends, and spending time with my family.

14 thoughts on “Random Acts of Kindness: 5 Simple Acts of Kindness Ideas For Families

  1. My daughter told us tonight that homeless have been kicked out of where they had settled and are now camping…in single digit weather (Wisconsin) tent camps near her apartment. The packs would be a great idea. Food, snacks, bottled water and flashlights or lanterns. batteries. books. The list is endless in the smaller items they could use that we take for granted. it could easily be any of us someday.

    The one thing that stood out to me on your list was the compliment. A heartfelt compliment, especially to someone who needs it…a child especially could change someone’s whole day and outlook! And it doesnt cost a thing!

    1. That’s hard to think about… I always try to consider what else is going on for other people around the world at *THIS* very moment…. Just a few moments ago I complained to my husband “…it is WAY too hot in this bedroom. I can’t stand the heat in this house”. Then I saw your comment and realized I need to remember that heat isn’t a given for everyone…

      Compliments definitely go a VERY long way! They make your day better (sometimes your WEEK!) and it’s something you’ll always remember. Having a stranger hold a door open is of course VERY kind, but a compliment from a stranger (or, anyone else for that matter) is something you always remember. I try to teach my son the importance and how to tell people something good about themselves. Compliments seem to be an old faded out idea… like they’ve become a “1 in a million” occurrence since they are SO rare to find. How sad!

  2. Of course as a book lover I like your first suggestion of donating books! I find that a good place to donate books are school libraries. A lot of schools are losing funding and sadly one of the areas to suffer is the school library. Thanks for the amazing ideas!

  3. great ideas ! we did a christmas bag drive for our local homeless shelter 2 years ago . i each bag we put gloves, socks,a hat and a blanket. we did 48 bags !

  4. All great ideas – what we do is – everytime we go food shopping we buy food for the food pantry. Yes, we do buy the items on sale but it’s still food they need. Then we bring to our church who collects for the pantry

  5. I gave a stranger a compliment. The toll ideais good if t=it is a one toll place without any type of EasyPass.

  6. i love all of these ideas. especially cleaning a friends house and making dinner. i would love it if someone did that for me. i have a pregnant friend who is getting a surprise this week!!!

  7. I don’t have the time to do a lot of these with 3 kids ages 3 and under but we look for the quick easy ways to show kindness. I like to pay for the coffee of the car behind me in the drive through. We always shovel our neighbours sidewalk when we are doing ours or mow their lawn if they haven’t gotten around to it in a while. Easy things that make someone else’s day a little bit better.

  8. What great ideas! My daughter is only 1 but I’d love to raise her with just that attitude of kindness. It has to start with me!

  9. Acts of kindness is a daily thing in this household. I have a 9 yr old son, Evan, and integrity/honesty/charity are values my husband and I try to install in him. The trend of ‘ENTITLEMENT’ generation has to be altered and the phrase “I Want” needs to be erased from his vocabulary. Ironic how something small can make a huge difference . Annual clean up of his toys was a success. Donated them to the Salvation Army and he was as pleased as punch – biggest smile I ever saw. Then he said “Mommy, I am going to have a big life…” A fine young man in the making……

  10. What fantastic ideas… after Christmas this year we have made it a point t think less of ourselves, and more of those around us…. and it’s great seeing the kids come up with new ideas of things we can do as a family… I’ve printed these out for a few more ways to go 🙂 Thank you!!!!!!!!!!

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