February is officially the shortest month of the year with only 28 days, but it’s packed full of holidays! From Groundhog's Day to Valentine's Day, Black History Month to Presidents' Day, this tiny month is big on celebrations. February is also host to National Random Acts of Kindness Day on February 17. In fact, the entire week of February 12‒18 is considered RAK Week (Random Acts of Kindness Week).
Performing a random act of kindness is exactly what it sounds like: deliberately attempting to brighten someone else’s day by doing something kind for no specific reason. The intention behind it is to practice selflessness and altruism, but research has shown that there are, in fact, many benefits to practicing kindness. For children in particular, showing kindness toward their family, friends, and community boosts social-emotional growth, and strengthens skills such as respect, responsibility, empathy, and compassion.
There are so many simple ways for children to join in and participate with random acts of kindness this week. Below is a list of 10 examples for young children. You can focus on just one, or even try a different one each day. Some are for school and some are for home, or you can make up your own RAKs and practice them together as a family.
1. Leave kind notes under your neighbors' windshield wipers.
2. Give praise to friends who make good choices.
3. Sit with a new friend at lunch time.
4. Help friends clean up their toys.
5. Call a grandparent and ask how their day was.
6. Offer to help make dinner with mom or dad.
7. Collect and donate cans for a local charity.
8. Hold the door for the person behind you.
9. Pass out stickers to everyone in class.
10. Feed the birds at the park.
Share with us on Facebook how your family will practice random acts of kindness this week.