Tall Santa ornament standing and holding a long list of namesChristmas is such a good time for random acts of kindness – and of course, random acts count as good deeds for Santa to notice and earn a spot on his nice list!

As well as getting on Santa’s nice list, doing kind things for others is an important lesson for children.

What random acts of kindness can children be involved in for Christmas?

There are many things kids can do for others. It is up to your locality, family needs and interests, and your children’s ages and personalities as to what will work best for you. You may do one act a number of times or a different kindness every day, or something in between!

  1. at school, they can make the effort to sit with someone different at lunchtime or invite the quiet kids to come and play
  2. set a rule that everyone they see that day gets a smile, no matter what! A smile can make a huge difference to someone else’s mood and happiness Girl with a huge smile reading a letter outside
  3. sort through their toys, books and clothes then donate those they no longer need and want
  4. take them shopping to choose gifts to give to a wishing tree or similar
  5. get them involved in donating food to a shelter or charity giving to homeless – even a packet or pasta each into the box near the registers of many supermarkets lets them give
  6. kids can help fill and drop off a handbag of things for Sharing the Dignity (distributed to women who are homeless or escaping domestic violence)
  7. paint some kindness rocks and deliver them to neighbours’ letterboxes or in a local park, etc
  8. make and deliver Christmas cards to thanks people for their Christmas lights and decorations the kids enjoy
  9. leave bubble wands, yoyos or skipping ropes hidden at a park for kids to find
  10. pick up rubbish in your area
  11. get them to help an elderly neighbour do some chores
  12. if they have saved some money, encourage them to pay something forward or donate to an organisation they choose
  13. make homemade bon bons (include a note and may a hankie, chocolate, joke, or other small token) and donate to nursing home residents Santa and reindeer decorated bonbons
  14. pay it forward  (at the counter, pay for someone else’s coffee, lunch, groceries, petrol, haircut or whatever. You can make it random or let the kids choose someone who likes like they ned it. Someone this year paid for about 80 families’ laybys in a Bendigo toy store!)
    An alternative way is to leave some coins in a vending machine or a parking metre
  15. make gifts or cards to hand out to people in a nursing home
  16. give food/blankets to an animal shelter
  17. cook some treats for your neighbours, a nursing home or the local police or fire station
  18. volunteer at a library to read to little children to give parents a break – or play with them as many libraries have some toys or pencils out these days.
  19. tidy up some graves in a local cemetery or leave some flowers
  20. hand cards (maybe with a small gift, scratchie, or money inside) to strangers
  21. woven basket of fresh vegetables and jars of preserves or neighbours who could do with a boost
  22. deliver a food hamper to an indigenous or immigrant centre or co-op
  23. write a positive note and leave it in a library book, letterbox, car windscreen or a sheltered seat for anyone to find
  24. leave some coins at a kids ride at the shopping centre so someone else can have a ride
  25. take some chocolates or flowers to the staff in the supermarket, pharmacy, or school office
  26. offer to play with neighbour or friends children so the parents can get some tasks done (like wrapping presents maybe!) If an adult is willing, you can make it a full babysitting offer and let the parents go out
  27. leave a card or gift at the letterbox for your postie
  28. help someone carry shopping to car or unload trolley
  29. donate blood – kids can’t do this yet but watching you do it is a lesson learned and sets up blood supplies for the future! Maybe they can find a way to encourage others to donate blood or do something nice for the nurses or donors
  30. give money to a busker – maybe a positive note as well
  31. spend some time with someone – a quick chat in a shopping centre or on the street could make a huge difference to someone lonely. And most people love having kids chat to them!
  32. have a card to give people serving you in shops and cafes to say thank you – ideally with a tip or treat inside to help compensate for their lost hours from COVID lockdowns
  33. get some vouchers for local cafes and the like, and pop them in some random letterboxes with a note or Christmas card – this is a lovely surprise for the recipients but also helpful for the businesses
  34. box of chocolates with each one numbered as an advent calendardrop a box of chocolates or a Christmas grazing platter into your local police, fire or ambulance station with a thank you message
  35. give a local charity your Saturday afternoon
  36. make a food hamper for a family in need
  37. invite a single person round for dinner
  38. bring in your neighbours’ bins or pull some weeds out of their garden
  39. donate to give a sick child a Christmas Care Pack in hospital. Kids with cancer prepares these packs for $20 and you can add a personal message to the kids,
  40. support local businesses eg offer to do a letterbox drop of their flyers, give some online reviews
  41. support our defence forces by sending a care package to troops currently deployed away from home – the Defence Force stopped taking donations on 12 November this year, but the RSL is still accepting them.
  42. put a coin in a shopping trolley, or hand yours when you’re finished
  43. give a bunch of flowers to someone who looks stressed – mums with young kids come to mind!
  44. take some water or a snack to tradies working in the area, especially on a hot day
  45. hold the door open for others – let the kids stand there and do it for a number of people rather than just as you walk through. Add a smile to each person and it is a lovely, simple gift
  46. write positive messages on the footpath in chalk – I know it made me smile to see rainbows and similar on footpaths during lockdown.
  47. Pair of red chidlren's scissors on top of coloured pencils and crayonscollect some school resources for kids in need (individual kids locally or remote schools that struggle to have enough supplies) – kids can take left overs from their own pencil boxes, school left overs, ask neighbours and friends, ask stationery shops for donations, or buy new things.
  48. visit some people in a nursing home, retirement village, rehabilitation centre or hospital (restrictions allowing) – possibly take some flowers, a home made picture or some cakes to share
  49. leave some baby wipes, nappies, a toddler book, or a treat in a parents room at a shopping centre
  50. have some cards or thank you notes ready to give to people delivering things to your house
  51. ask for charitable gifts instead of more toys – maybe an Oxfam card that gives a chicken to a poor family or a UNICEF card to help schooling Indigenous children, a donation to a charity, or sponsor a child

That’s 51 ideas to get you started, and I’d love for you to share more ideas in the comments!

Santa and text "kindness is showing someone they matter"
Christmas acts of kindness