Share the Love this Month with Random Acts of Kindness

It’s all about love this month, right? And while I enjoy dropping feelings on my husband, my kids, and my students for Valentine’s, what I totally dig is teaching my students to show love when those on the receiving end are least likely to expect it – aka, random acts of kindness.

We know that we can always use a little more kindness in our lives. And personally, I feel that doing random acts of kindness are the best way to spread the kindness love. Why do I love it so much? Three reasons:: Kindness is contagious. It makes us feel good. And kids love doing random acts of kindness.

Kindness Is Contagious

Share the Love this Month with Random Acts of Kindness

Studies have also shown that kindness IS contagious. Jamal Zaki, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Stanford Univerity, found in a study he did for Scientific American that “the positive effects of kindness are experienced in the brain of everyone who witnessed the act, improving their mood and making them significantly more likely to ‘pay it forward.’ ” {The Jelly Donut Difference, by Maria Dismondy, and Kind Ninja by Mary Njin are great books for kids to learn more about spreading kindness.}

Kindness Makes Us Feel Good

Share the Love this Month with Random Acts of Kindness

When we are kind, we increase the “love hormone” Oxytocin in those on the receiving end of kindness – and those who are on the giving end, too. Being kind also releases our “feel good” hormone, Serotonin, and our body’s own version of happy pills, Endorphins. So, when we’re kind, we lower our blood pressure, feel an energy boost, lessen stress, and are just plain happier! {For more in-depth info on the science of kindness, check out The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation’s Science of Kindness page}. 

Kids Love Random Acts of Kindness

For kids, random acts of kindness are exciting and a whole lot fun, too – especially when you turn it into a challenge! Kids often need a boost when thinking outside of their own needs, so a Random Act of Kindness challenge that also has a reward at the end helps kids move away from being egocentric and more compassionate toward others. {Students who turn in my challenge have the chance at being treated to ice cream by me}.

While you can do a Random Act of Kindness challenge nearly any time of the year, doing it during the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation’s RAK week is a great -and specific – time to do it. That’s February 16 – 22. {Go and put it on your calendar. Right. Now. With a reminder the week before. You’re welcome.} 

Here’s the thing:: this is YOUR challenge. So make it as simple or as complicated as you’d like. Do it as often or just once. Make it fit you and your family so it’s easily doable.

Ideas for Random Acts of Kindness

Share the Love this Month with Random Acts of KindnessI’ve got a 3 day + bonus challenge that focuses on showing kindness to siblings, classmates, and those kids don’t know that well or at all. It gives you a lot of different ideas for each group that you can take or leave, or even springboard off of it to come up with something even better. You can download it here.

You can also head to The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation website for a plethora of ideas from one-offs to an entire year’s worth of monthly kindness calendars.

Kids who love to write and craft can write letters to the elderly through Love for the Elderly’s Letter to the Elderly project

If you’re looking for places where you and your kiddos can volunteer, The Houston Food Bank accepts volunteers as young as 6 years old and Lunches of Love in Richmond accepts volunteers of any age.

There are SO many opportunities to be kind both right in your own home to all over the world – more than I could ever list here alone. So, if you’ve got a great way to show random acts of kindness, please let us know in the comments below!

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