25 Ways to Teach Kindness

I want my kids to grow up to be kind, thoughtful grown ups so I was excited to pull together a Kindness Jar filled with 25 simple ways we could spread some joy to strangers. Whether you decide to see how many of the activities you can complete in just one day or you choose to spread them out over several months, the ideas are sure to teach kids what a big impact one simple act of kindness can make in the world.


Kindness Jar

To help us stay on track, I grabbed a jar from our pantry and filled it with cards sharing simple ways we could spread kindness in our community.

25 Ways to Be Kind

I invited my oldest son (age 3) to reach in and grab one. He pulled out a paper that read, “Donate books to the library”. I was thrilled! Between the books I have collected during my years of teaching and the stories my boys have been given as gifts, we have gathered HUNDREDS of books.

We love our books, but our shelves are jam packed. It’s the perfect time to pick a few stories to share with other children in our community.

My son and I walked over to his bookcase and collected five board books to give away. (For this activity, I wanted to focus on the quality of stories rather than the quantity so we spent a lot of time choosing stories other children would enjoy too.)

25 Kid-Friendly Ways to Practice Kindness {Playdough to Plato}

We put them in a bag and, later that afternoon, we dropped them off at our city library.

The branch has an amazing collection of board books that come and go using an honor system. We have benefited from other people’s donations and it felt wonderful knowing that we were helping other children enjoy books that would otherwise have been sitting unused on our shelves.

Kid-Friendly Ways to Practice Kindness

With our first act of kindness officially completed, we set up a goal for the week. Each day, we picked a new card from the jar and followed through on what it said. The activities included:

  • Give care packs to the homeless. Fill paper lunch bags with shampoo, toothpaste, a toothbrush, soap and deodorant.
  • Clean up litter in a park. Put on a pair of gloves and start collecting trash.
  • Thank our police or fire department. Bring a homemade thank you note and a batch of treats to a station.
  • Collect canned food and donate it to a local food bank.
  • Earn $1 and then donate it to a charity we believe in.
  • Donate used clothing to Goodwill.
  • Bring flowers to someone.
  • Thank our mailman with a homemade note and a Starbucks gift card.
  • Pull weeds for a neighbor.
  • Clean our rooms.
  • Share vegetables from our garden with a neighbor.
  • Plant a tree.
  • Say something nice to a sibling.
  • Share a snack.
  • Paint a picture for someone.
  • Start a piggy bank for a special cause. Collect spare change and donate it to an organization we want to support.
  • Take out the trash.
  • Write a thank you note to our teachers.
  • Turn off the lights to save energy.
  • Send a card to a far away relative.
  • Visit a local nursing home.
  • Let someone cut in front of us in line.
  • Make a care package for a deployed soldier.
  • Buy a drink for someone who is behind us in the Starbucks’ line. {I always love when that happens to me! Don’t you?!}

More Ways to Be Kind

Help kids learn to be kind by reading 38 books on friendship and making a batch of hidden message bath bombs.

38 childrens books about friendship

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  1. The Iowa Farmer's Wife

    These are such beautiful ideas Malia!! I have done the buy a drink for the person behind you in line! It’s such a neat feeling to know you are making someone smile! 🙂 Thanks for sharing these!

    • Malia

      I completely agree, The Iowa Farmer’s Wife! There is nothing quite like paying it forward. 🙂

  2. Carra Riley

    Wonderful way to create humans who practice “radical acts of kindness”

  3. meredith

    this is such a lovely post. i believe that instilling the wonderful feeling of giving into our children is the greatest gift we can give them. just imagine what they will go out into the world and do for others!

    • Malia

      I agree, Meredith! Helping my boys learn to share is one of my most important goals. Thanks for saying “hello”.

  4. Brittany

    I love all of these. When my daughter gets just a bit older (she is 14 months right now), I am totally going to do this.

    • Malia

      That means so much coming from you, Brittany! I’m a big Love Play Learn fan. Thanks for saying “hello”. 🙂

  5. Jodi

    We have been doing a character development series. This is a great list that ties in well. Thank you.

  6. Rebecca

    Some great ideas to encourage kindness. I’ve shared this on the Sunday Showcase pinterest board. Thanks for linking up.

    • Malia

      Thank you, Rebecca! That’s a wonderful surprise.

  7. DeAnn @ TheSIPproject.blogspot.com

    Great post! You lot’s of great ideas here. Love the name of your blog too! Love that you kept the jar nice and simple. I am gathering ideas for my readers today. I did a post on starting a kindness routine and am excited to pin this and share it. Thanks!

    • Malia

      Thank you for your kind note, DeAnn! I’m excited to jump over and check out your site.

  8. Nathaniel

    I drop a leave a response each time I especially enjoy a article on a website or if I have something to contribute to the conversation. It’s caused by the sincerness displayed in the
    post I read. And after this article 25 Kid-Friendly Ways to Practice Kindness | Playdough To Plato.
    I was actually excited enough to post a thought 😛 I do have 2
    questions for you if you usually do not mind. Is it simply me or do a
    few of the comments come across like they are left by brain dead individuals?
    😛 And, if you are posting on other places, I’d like to keep up with you.
    Would you list the complete urls of all your social sites like your Facebook page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile?

  9. Ayu

    Thank you malia.such a great way to live and share with others.focus on little kind things that we can do that bring greatnimpact to the minds and paradigm shift

    • Kimberleigh

      Hello Ayu,
      Thank you so much for reaching out-we appreciate the kind words!
      Have a wonderful week,
      Kimberleigh // Happiness Ambassador



  1. 25 Ways to Teach Kindness – MrsAppleberry - […] 25 Ways to Teach Kindness […]

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Hi, I’m Malia.

I LOVE helping Pre-K, Kindergarten and First Grade teachers save time, stay inspired and give EVERY student bigger results. I’m so glad you’re here!