Random Acts of Kindness Day: 30 Activities for Elementary Students
As Bob Kerrey once said, “Unexpected kindness is the most powerful, least costly, and most underrated agent of human change.” Doing nice things for other people can make a big difference in the world. Maria Montessori passionately believed in the hope of mankind through children and it is through these small acts of kindness that they shall make these powerful changes in themselves, in others, and in the world.
National Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) Day will be celebrated on February 17, 2023. The holiday originated in 1995 in Denver, Colorado, developed by a small nonprofit organization known as the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation. The holiday is based on the idea that making kindness a normal part of one’s everyday life spreads light and makes the world a better place. The event has gained in popularity and now also includes Random Acts of Kindness Week celebrated from February 12 – 18, 2023 and World Kindness Day celebrated on November 13, 2023.
The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation encourages students to make kindness the norm. Here are 30 activities to allow Elementary students to show others they care:
- Join a classmate who is playing alone at recess or eating alone at lunch.
- Find a local Little Free Library and donate a book.
- Hold the door for someone.
- Write a kind note to give to a classmate or teacher.
- Ask someone about their day.
- Write a positive comment to someone on social media.
- Compliment a classmate or teacher.
- Give a Grace and Courtesy lesson to a younger classmate.
- Befriend a new classmate.
- Make a handmade card for someone.
- Pick up trash on or around the school campus or in a neighborhood.
- Help a classmate with a challenging work.
- Tell someone a joke.
- Donate gently used clothing or toys to a local charity.
- Return shopping carts for people at the grocery store.
- Paint a rock with a positive message and place it somewhere outside for someone else to find.
- Post inspirational sticky notes around the classroom or school.
- Allow a friend to go first in line or in a game.
- Share supplies with a classmate.
- Read to a younger student.
- Offer to help a neighbor with a chore like raking leaves or shoveling snow.
- Make a card for a nursing home resident.
- Help a younger sibling with their homework.
- Offer to walk a neighbor’s dog.
- Leave a fun drawing or a note on a stranger’s car.
- Make a handmade thank you card for a healthcare worker.
- Offer to pet sit for a friend or family member.
- Read to a younger classmate, a neighbor, or even a friend’s dog.
- Give someone a hug.
- Smile at five people.
There are also so many exciting activities schools can do to help acknowledge and encourage kindness in honor of RAK Day including implementing a kindness jar to help spark ideas of helpful acts or creating a thank you note station where students and faculty can share their appreciation for others.
Random Acts of Kindness Day may only be celebrated for one day, but children can be given small opportunities to show their love and appreciation the whole year through!
About the Author
Heather White, EdS, is a Montessori in-home teacher and nanny, a Montessori educational consultant for the Andrew’s Institute, a Montessori educator for adult learners, and a volunteer moderator for the Montessori at Home 0 – 3 Facebook page. Formerly, she was a Montessori teacher, Lower Elementary coordinator, and associate head of school. She also has experience as a School Psychologist intern. She is AMS credentialed (Early Childhood, Elementary I). Contact her at email@example.com.