A couple of weeks ago we went out for tacos and the girls spotted a mini arcade on the other side of the taco shop. After our meal we headed over to check it out before going home. We found a claw machine and a pinball machine. I love pinball machines. The girls beelined for the claw machine where this very talented guy was grabbing stuffed animal after stuffed animal. How do people do that? I’m lucky to get one out of those things!
The girls stood and watched him play while I tried to interest them in the really cool game of pinball.
Do kids say cool anymore? Because, I’m sorry, pinball is cool.
Nick played pinball, and the girls watched, for at least two minutes, then back to awesome claw machine guy. Claw machine guy finally finished and rewarded the girls for their cheering with a couple of stuffed animals, then he sat down to visit with his friend.
Happy with their new found stuffed playmates the girls returned their attention to Nick playing pinball. Eventually awesome claw machine guy came back to win some more treasures for his friend. Much to Lena’s approval awesome claw machine guy snagged a purple unicorn. “A unicorn! I want a unicorn.” She danced with glee, and sadly I had to remind her that the other animals were gifts from a very nice person, but she shouldn’t expect anymore and enjoy what she was given. He wanted some of those animals for himself and his friend.
Finally we finished with our games and headed out to the car. We were buckling the girls in the car when awesome claw machine guy’s awesome girlfriend stopped by and gave the girls the purple unicorn. She said “my boyfriend wanted your girls to have this.” She smiled, we waved at them, everyone smiled again and we praised them amongst ourselves both for being awesome people and driving a Jeep (we drive a Jeep too.) Conclusion: Awesome people drive Jeeps.
Ok, there are better conclusions than that, but I can’t deny it. Awesome people do drive Jeeps. They may drive other things too, but our anecdotal experience solidified that fact in our minds.
This entire experience has led me to remind the girls on multiple occasions to always be responsible for committing random acts of kindness. Not just holding doors and doling out the compliments (which both girls are excellent at) but also making it a point to go out and be creative with some intentional random acts of kindness.
To give you some ideas, here is a list of random acts of kindness you can do with the kids.
- Create bookmarks with motivational quotes and leave them in random books at the library.
- Write random complimentary or motivational messages to people and leave them lying around intentionally for people (making sure not to litter).
- Help a neighbor paint a fence.
- Volunteer at a pet rescue.
- Take a first aid/CPR class together.
- Collect food in your neighborhood for the local food bank.
- Let your kids get a prize from the coin machine at a local store, then have them leave a quarter in the machine for the next kid.
- Visit people in nursing homes and listen to their stories. Have the kids make homemade cards for them or play some games with them.
- Take some cookies or brownies in to the regular employees at a gas station you visit regularly.
- Smile and say hello to people you pass while out and about.
- Write a letter to someone who has inspired you.
- Call a friend or family member and thank them for something they have done for you.
- Buy some flowers and hand them out to random people.
- Shovel the neighbors driveway/sidewalk in the winter.
- Do a litter pick up in your neighborhood, park or other designated area.
- Donate used books to libraries or other donation sites.
- Stop at lemonade stands and buy lemonade (also a great chance for the kids to meet other kids they may not know yet.)
- Invite friends to make some artwork then get everyone together to display and enjoy it.
- Create some homemade gifts and give them out to people. Just because.
- Get a pen pal (actual letter writing) in another country, and learn about their culture.
- Invite someone over for dinner and cook something special for them.
- Send a care package to a soldier.
- Give loved ones hugs. Hugs are awesome.
- Plant a tree.
- Make a bird feeder.
- Plant a garden then share the harvest with neighbors.
- Leave water out for the backyard animals during the summer.
- Ask someone what you can do for them, then follow through.
- Go on a picnic with a friend or family member.
- Let your sibling have the last piece of something.
- Invent a delicious new dessert recipe, then share it with friends (both the dessert and the recipe)
- Take some color books and crayons to a Children’s museum and ask the nurses to hand them out.
- Make friends with someone who is lonely, left out or bullied (this one isn’t random…always do this one.)
- Create a positivity scrapbook and create pages dedicated to random acts of kindness you do, random acts of kindness you receive and just things in general that make you happy.
- Don’t participate in gossip.
- Write a letter to a business to let them know about the fantastic service you received.
- Let your friend or sibling play with your favorite toy.
- Sit and listen to someone who needs to talk.
- Cheer someone who is trying to accomplish something difficult on.
- Take interest in someone’s hobby, ask questions and sincerely pay attention.
- Teach someone about a hobby of your own.
- Present someone with an icy cold lemonade or iced tea on a hot summer day.
- Put on a talent show with/for your family and compliment everyone.
- Play with your pet using their favorite toy.
- Send a birthday card to someone who might not expect you to remember it.
- Leave coins and a note taped to a vending machine to buy someone their next snack.
- Leave pennies on the ground for kids to find.
- Welcome new neighbors to the neighborhood.
What was the last random act of kindness someone did for you? Tell me in the comments.