There seems to be a day of observance for just about anything these days.
They can range from fun excuses to eat your guilty pleasure, to bringing awareness to causes, or recognizing loved ones and friends in your life.
There is always a reason to celebrate right around the corner.
This month though, there’s one we can share with our kids that could be a tradition for years to come and one of the building blocks for a socially responsible generation. In October we celebrate National Do Something Nice Day!
Here are few ways you could observe the day and participate beyond this month:
Ages 1-3: You can start teaching kindness early and our youngest children mimic what we do most. This is the time to imprint being nice as part of who they should be as they grow. The attention span at this age is the toughie so stick to something quick or impactful you can return to after this day, like petting the household pets a little longer, planting a seed and watering, feeding the birds, or sharing a special toy with a friend or family member.
Ages 3-5: I love this age! They still need you, think you’re cool, and you can negotiate. Let’s hope you don’t have to negotiate niceties like burying treasure at the playground for someone to find, or helping set the table for dinner. Mine always loved to do this one and pick out where everyone sat for the night. You can keep it simple too and reinforce that nice comes in all sizes like giving high fives to a friend or cleaning up toys without being asked or my favorite, turn off the water while brushing your teeth. Conservation is kind to the earth after all.
Ages 5-7: At this age you could go big or stay home with nice. Model to your kids that holding the door open for someone, including you, is a nice gesture and can be done every day. Finding something they are grateful for and having them write a thank you note to whoever makes that possible is nice and demonstrates gratitude. This is also a good age to get them volunteering in their local community with a variety of family focused events happening all over Austin regularly. Check out Generation Serve, Austin Pets Alive, Meals on Wheels, or Keep Austin Beautiful for a “field trip” to show it’s nice to do something beyond our bubble.
Ages 8-12: Just tell them “it’s cool to be kind” and see if you can get them to do a chore together for another member of the family without them knowing. Those little pop up surprises within the family usually reverberate for a WHOLE night of blissful family merriment. Just be sure the doer doesn’t expect anything in return. Or you can tap into their slime obsession and have them make play dough for a pre-school or Sunday school class. If those are totally boring, know at this age your child is starting to have their own identity more and more, so ask your child what they would want to do to observe the day. You could learn a lot about how they see need and how they want to demonstrate what nice means to them.
Ages 13+: Let’s get active for this age! Who can resist sweet dogs at an animal shelter? Walking dogs at the animal shelter is not only nice for them but it FEELS nice to you. You can sponsor the ride and take their friends too. Kindness is contagious! You can also get them cooking and help take the load off in the kitchen. It’s ok to ask for what you want sometimes, your kids should still be nice to you. Just be sure you appreciate their kind gesture and don’t micromanage perfection. Animals and cooking not their thing? How about doing something nice for the community around them by checking in on an elderly neighbor with magazines or candy (or both) or taking a thank you basket to your local police or fire station.
Have any other suggestions or want to share how you and your family celebrate National Do Something Nice Day?
Comment below and let us know.
We think this could be one of those observances that can happen all year round!