Kindness Matters: Why Kindness Became a Priority in our House

As a new parent I had countless conversations with other new parents who would fondly remember their childhood as one where kids roamed the neighbourhood. Where kids went out after dinner to play and headed home when the street lights came on. Where kids knew all the adults in the neighbourhood, and therefore could ask at nearly every house if they needed help. Where kids did not have extra-curricular activities planned for every waking moment, which require driving to various locations around the city. They spent their free time in backyards or at the park, where they had to create their own games and they were allowed to get bored.

At the end of these conversations, the new parent would sigh and resign themselves to the fact that their children’s childhood could not possibly have these great features of their own childhood.

But I always replied with, “why not?” We have the power to create the type of childhood we want our children to have. And I think that it starts with getting to know our neighbours and building a strong community. And you get to know your neighbours by being out in your community.  

So I decided to write down 75 Acts of Kindness for Children in order to help families get started building their friendly community. Then I started working through them with my own kids.  Here are a few ideas of the things that we did that you can try with your kids. Simple, easy, and so gratifying, and great way to build community spirit!

Clean Your Park

Pick a day to go out and clean up your neighbourhood park or school playground. Bring rubber gloves for you and your adults to use when picking up garbage.

Make a Card for your Waste Collection Operator

Draw a thank you card for the Waste Collection Operator who collects your garbage each week. You can tape it to the outside of your garbage bin. This is the driver of the garbage truck in our neighbourhood, his name is Douglas.

Leaf Jumping Party

Pick a nice, sunny fall day and have a leaf-jumping party in your yard. Ask your adults to rake all the leaves into a big pile and then invite a few neighbourhood friends over to play.

Skating Rink

Use your community skating rink at least once each winter. Bring some extra kid-size hockey sticks to share with the other kids skating there. Ask your adults to help you organize a game of tag.

And the best part about doing Acts of Kindness is that it makes you feel good too! By doing Acts of Kindness with your children, they will see that you value kindness, empathy and compassion. And because I believe that all children start out wanting to make the adults in their lives proud of them, your kids will start to look for more ways to be kind and helpful. As they keep receiving positive reinforcement for completing Acts of Kindness, they will start to internalize the fact that they feel happier too. And then completing Acts of Kindness will start to become a habit.  

If we raise a generation of happy kids who regularly complete Acts of Kindness and who are constantly looking for ways to help other people, imagine what they will be able to do when they are the decision makers. Imagine how they will be able to make the world a better place.

The acts of kindness were so successful and popular. Friends and neighbours kept talking about how they would love to have something to help them do the same with their families. So I put together a book of 75 different ideas.  It’s called, Plant a Garden of Kindness, A Child's Guide to Filling a Year with Weekly Acts of Kindness. If you’re looking to try this with your family, check out the book – it’s written in journal format so you can track all the amazing things you’re doing in your community and have a record of it to boot. 


Lindsey Barr is the founder of World-Changing Kids (WCK), a community of friends where everyone is invited to create, inspire, teach, learn and support one another. A community where everyone feels loved, included and safe. 

WCK's mission is to bring people together to work on amazing projects that will make the world a better place. The ultimate goal is to raise as many children as possible within this beautiful community and then set them loose to see what they can do, to see how they will change the world.

For more information on Plant a Garden of Kindness, A Child's Guide to Filling a Year with Weekly Acts of Kindness check out WCK’s website and visit WCK on Facebook  and on Instagram.