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Random Acts of Kindness: The Art of Surprise and Delight


Have you ever been touched by a random act of kindness from someone? How did it make you feel to have someone do something for you spontaneously out of the kindness of their heart? What feels even better is being the person who is behind the random act of kindness. There is no denying it, doing something kind for someone else feels good - really good!


There was one year as a Pre-K teacher where my team and I decided that we wanted to zoom in on kindness in a way that we never had before. We decided that we wanted to create a culture where random acts of kindness became a regular thing in our classroom. We started by modeling what this would look like for kids with teachers surprising and delighting each other. One of us would arrive to work with coffee for the other person or we would find some way to make each other’s day a little brighter. We then extended this by doing random acts of kindness for our students and the tangible joy started to spread around the classroom - fast!

Then something amazing happened.

The children (not prompted) started sharing random acts of kindness with each other and their teachers. A group of children would clean up the block corner before clean-up time and without being asked. They would then lead a teacher over to the cleaned-up area with giant smiles on their faces saying, “surprise and delight!”

These events would always raise everyone’s mood and create a space where everyone involved felt good from giving and receiving.

“SURPRISE AND DELIGHT!” became our class anthem that holiday season.

It still makes me smile.


As time went on that school year the kindness extended outside of our classroom. We would collectively surprise and delight other classrooms by making them gifts and writing them kind letters. Visitors to our classroom or anyone who worked at the school who might be passing through might receive a note, a sticker, a drawing, a smile, or a compliment. Children started reporting about how they were surprising and delighting their family members at home. The results of our kindness project showed that the good feelings that come with both giving and receiving are contagious. We were all having so much fun planning kind gestures for anyone we might see. If you asked most children about those days, they all remember the happiness they felt. Kindness starts to spread when we take the time to think about others and treat them with care.


How can you bring more joy to your life - think about how can you surprise and delight someone today! What is a special way that you could do something that would make people feel not only good but seen?

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