Easy Handmade Crafts, Treats & Inspirations to Fill the World with Kindness
Brighten the lives of family members, friends or strangers with the fun projects in Make & Share Random Acts of Kindness. With nearly 50 beginner and kid-friendly crafts, quick and easy ideas and delicious homemade sweet treats and meals, this book is a unique wealth of inspiration to help you and your family spread love all around. The book features stories about acts of kindness, inspiring quotations and tips like teaching kindness to your kids. Mique Provostthe mom behind the popular craft and cooking blog Thirty Handmade Daysincludes her one-of-a-kind designs and templates to accompany the projects. They are on easy-to-tear-out pages so you can always be ready for an act of kindness on the go.
Mique started doing random acts of kindness to celebrate the birthday of her oldest son who has autism. That magical day sparked a tradition in Mique’s family and community, and now she invites you to join in the kindness movement with these special activities.
With Make & Share Random Acts of Kindness, you and your family can make a difference in the lives of othersand have a blast while you do it!
|Publisher:||Page Street Publishing|
|Product dimensions:||7.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)|
Read an Excerpt
Make & Share Random Acts of Kindness
Simple Crafts and Recipes to Give and Spread Joy
By Mique Provost, Alyssa Bazar
Page Street Publishing Co.Copyright © 2015 Mique Provost
All rights reserved.
THE JACKET OFF HIS BACK
I was driving to work. It was really cold outside, about 14°F (-10°C). When I had almost gotten to my office, I came around a corner and saw a guy in a light jumpsuit huddled against a sign, looking cold. I drove past and pulled into the parking lot at my job half a block away. I sat in the parking lot for a few seconds with butterflies in my stomach because I knew what I was going to do, and it was a little outside my comfort zone. I pulled out and drove back over to the guy. I had taken my jacket off beforehand because I didn't want him to feel like he was taking the jacket off my back. I don't remember much about the conversation we had, but he took the jacket gratefully and put it on right away. I felt like a better person that day.
— Devin Pitcher
This story is especially personal as Devin was the first person to join in on my random-acts-of-kindness day for my son's birthday. He hadn't met my son Jonathan before, but wanted to get involved. It brought tears to my eyes that he was moved to literally give the jacket off his back for a stranger.
TRADITIONAL SMALL & SIMPLE ACTS THAT MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE
Not sure if you're ready for the big stuff? Tackle one or all of these traditional random-act-of-kindness ideas.
Usually the hardest part of doing something new and unfamiliar is taking that first conscious step. First, decide that you're going to do it. Then, take a deep breath and make the leap! Don't let your fear get the better of you. Once you've taken the leap and done your first act of kindness, it will be easier and easier every time.
1. Smile at every person you come in contact with for an hour.
2. Open the door for people wherever you go.
3. Give a compliment to someone in line at the store.
4. Pay for someone behind you in the drive-thru.
5. Give a nice tip to a server at a restaurant.
6. Deliver cans to a homeless shelter.
7. Put carts away in a parking lot.
8. Leave change in a vending machine.
9. Let someone go in front of you in line.
0. Give someone your parking spot.
1. Donate to charity at a checkout line when asked.
2. Put money in a meter that is about to expire.
3. Volunteer your time in a classroom.
4. Offer your seat on a plane, train or bus.
5. Bring in your neighbors' trash cans.
6. Help someone move.
7. Donate blood.
8. Call someone who you've lost touch with.
9. Leave extra coupons for items on a grocery store shelf.
0. Donate clothes to charity.
1. Pick up trash at a park.
2. Volunteer at a homeless shelter.
3. Support local charity organizations by purchasing items (Girl Scout cookies, magazine drives, etc.).
4. Shovel snow or rake leaves for a neighbor.
5. Donate supplies to your school.
BLETTERS for TROOPS
I've had members of my family serve in the military. They left their home and family to defend our country. There are thousands of people all over the world who are missing those they love most.
This is a small gesture to remind them that you appreciate their service. This is a great act to do with your kids to encourage gratitude.
Tear-out design (here)
Use the "Dear Service Member" tear-out design to write a note and let members of the military know you are grateful and thinking of them.
You can take this idea one step further and send care packages to service members as well. Check online at http://letterstosoldiers.org/ or http://soldiersangels.org/letter-writing-team.html. You can also visit local organizations to see what type of needs deployed military members might have.
"Wherever there is a human in need, there is an opportunity for kindness and to make a difference."
HANDMADE TOYS for AN ANIMAL SHELTER
People in the community aren't the only ones who can benefit from kindness — don't forget your furry friends! These simple-to-make toys will help animals that need a little extra attention feel loved.
Empty water bottle
Lay the empty water bottle on top of the fleece fabric. (Note: You do not want the heaviest fleece, but not the lightest either. Something in between would be ideal.)
Trim the fabric leaving approximately 3 inches (about 7.6 cm) of excess fabric on either side. Fold the fabric in half with the pretty side inside, and stitch a straight line allowing enough room for the water bottle to slide in snugly. If you don't have a sewing machine, you can easily hand-stitch the fabric together. Turn the fabric right side out. Slide the water bottle into the tube of fabric. Cut two strips of fabric to tie around either end of the water bottle.
At this point, you should have a tightly fit water bottle with two ends tied and some excess fabric hanging over on either side. Cut slits in the fabric to make pom-pom–looking ends. Animals will love being able to play with the strings on the end and the crinkly noise that the water bottle makes.
SIMPLE ACT ALTERNATIVE
Animal shelters are always in need of blankets, sheets and towels. Set aside gently used items to donate to your local shelter.
Heartfelt HEART ATTACK
Everybody needs a little pick-me-up out of the blue. Show your family members or friends how much you love and appreciate them with this heartwarming craft project. All it takes is a little time and some heartfelt messages to complete this project. A heart attack never felt so good!
Tear-out design (here)
Glue or glue dots
Using the supplied template, trace heart shapes onto construction paper. Cut around the hearts.
Using the pen or marker, write uplifting messages on the hearts. It could be reasons why you love your friends or family members, their best qualities or sayings like, "You are the best!"
Adhere a craft stick to the back of each heart using glue or a glue dot.
Place the heart sticks in front of their home in the grass or deliver in a potted plant.
"We rise by lifting others."
— Robert Ingersoll
BLESSING BAGS for THE HOMELESS
If you are looking to help those in need with tangible items, this blessing bag project is a great place to start.
These bags are intended to help people without homes — either with a delivery to a homeless shelter or to have on hand in your car or carryall. I've listed a few good staples, but you can also include seasonal items and gifts or a handwritten note for an added touch. Contact your local homeless shelter to ask specific questions about what types of items their residents are in need of.
Toothbrushes & tooth paste
Small packs of tissues
Small bottles of hand sanitizer
Bars of soap
Brown bags or gift bags
Tear-out design (here)
Place one of each of the staple items into each zip- close bag. Place each zip-close bag inside a brown bag or a gift bag and attach a copy of the tear-out design on the outside.
CAR WASH for A NEIGHBOR
Feel like making someone's day just a little bit better? Why not wash their car and leave an inspiring note on their windshield? This idea is probably better suited for the warmer months of the year when it's comfortable to be outside.
Tear-out design (here)
Gather the car-washing supplies and get to work! Spend a few minutes making your neighbor's car shine brighter and let them know that someone is thinking of them. After you've dried it off with the towels, add the personalized tag to their windshield.
Colorful POM-POM BLOOMS
With this simple random act of kindness, you'll have the opportunity to brighten someone's day with bouquets of flowers that will last forever. Learn how to make pom-pom flowers and deliver them to a mental health treatment facility, a nursing home or any local residence for patients needing a little extra attention.
Call ahead to make sure that patients can receive gifts from visitors. When you arrive to deliver, you can drop them off at the front desk and allow them to pass them out to patients they think could use them. Or you can talk to them about delivering them yourself.
Assorted colors of yarn
Sticks, faux floral stems or pipe cleaners
Hot glue gun
Tear-out design (here)
For each pom-pom flower, you will do the following (see photos):
Using the yarn, wrap it around three fingers close together 50 or more times. This will create a smaller pom-pom. You can wrap more for a bigger pom-pom. Cut the yarn off of the spool.
The second part of this is a little bit tricky, but it gets easier the more pom-poms you make. You'll cut one strand of yarn to approximately 10 inches (about 25 cm). Thread it through the middle of your fingers.
Then pull the other side of the yarn up and over. Flip your hand over and tie the two ends of the single strand together loosely.
Slide the wrapped yarn off and pull the single strand of yarn tight. Tie a knot at the end to secure it.
Slide your scissors into the loops of the pom-pom and cut them all on both sides. Fluff your pom-pom and hide the tie within the middle. Cut the excess strings on the pom-pom to make it even.
Now, your pom-pom is ready for the stems. To secure, use a dot of hot glue around the top of the stem and push it into the middle of the pom-pom.
Make several pom-poms for a bouquet. Tie them together with another piece of yarn or ribbon. Attach the supplied tag.
MUFFINS FOR FIREMEN & POLICE OFFICERS
I've always admired those who choose a career helping others. Firefighters and police officers do that every single day. They put their lives on the line to protect and help their community members.
Make a delicious treat, attach a thank-you note and show support and appreciation for all that they do.
It is a good idea to call your local fire station or police station before delivering these treats. You can find the best nonemergency phone number to call by searching online. They will let you know if they accept food items and when is the best time to drop them off.
CINI-MINI DONUT MUFFINS
These cini-mini muffins are the perfect size. They are sugary sweet and sure to put a smile on any service officer's face!
FOR THE MUFFINS
1 cup (240 ml) whole milk
2/3 cup (160 g) unsalted butter, melted
3 cups (360 g) all-purpose flour
1 cup (200 g) sugar
3 tsp (15 g) baking powder
¼ tsp salt
FOR THE TOPPING
1 cup (200 g) sugar
2 tsp (5 g) cinnamon
1 cup (240 g) unsalted butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease your mini muffin tin with cooking spray or butter and flour.
Combine the first three ingredients and set aside. Mix the dry ingredients together.
Gradually add the wet mix to the dry mix until combined.
Fill the muffin cups two-thirds of the way full. I like to use an ice cream or cookie scoop for even distribution.
Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool.
While cooling, combine the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl. Dip the cooled muffins one at a time into the melted butter and then into the cinnamon-sugar mix until coated.
Package these muffins up and add a cute tag to say thank you!
You can use the thank-you tag here.
"I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder."
— G.K. Chesterton
WE WILL NEVER FORGET
We lived in Washington, D.C., during 9/11 and experienced all the raw emotion that came with that period in our nation's history. When we moved to California we felt disconnected, and I wanted to do something on what is now Patriot's Day to aid in our healing and honor the memory of those who were lost. Each year we write letters and bake something sweet and special, then take them to our local fire department. Some years we even bring handmade blankets, which firefighters can give to those in need. I feel it is important for our family to keep a connection to 9/11, so we never forget.
— Amanda Niederhauser
TIPS for TEACHING KIDS TO BE KIND
Seeing children light up because they feel good from helping someone is the most wonderful experience. Doing random acts of kindness can help teach kids to think outside of themselves and give them the opportunity to have fun in the process. In addition to showing them how to create specific projects, teaching kids to be kind people is important.
WHY IS KINDNESS IMPORTANT?
Take the time to have conversations with your children on why kindness matters. Why is kindness important to you? What does being kind mean? Discuss how being kind or unkind can impact a situation.
The ultimate goal is to raise kind people who go and do good in the world. Not every act needs to be noted, but kids will be more apt to be kind and seek out ways to help if they are recognized for it.
KINDNESS BEGINS WITH YOU.
The old saying, "Do as I say, not as I do," does not apply. Kids definitely learn from the people who surround them most, especially their parents. If their parents are kind, they have a much higher likelihood of being kind as well. By making sure to use kind words and doing kind deeds, you are modeling for your child(ren) the way to be kind. Though other people who surround them can influence them, it's your job as a parent to teach your kids to be thoughtful, empathetic and kind.
IT'S NEVER TOO LATE.
Whether you have a six-month-old child or a 16-year- old, it's never too early or too late to teach kindness and service. Start now!
"I actually think that the most efficacious way of making a difference is to lead by example, and doing random acts of kindness is setting a very good example of how to behave in the world."
— Misha Collins
Family KINDNESS JAR
Set aside some time as a family to create a simple random acts of kindness jar. With this jar, you will not only make lasting memories but also do good in the community, too.
Tear-out design (here)
Markers and crayons
All different kinds of jars could be used for this activity. The idea is simply to instill kindness in your home. It will also encourage family members to look outside of themselves and to serve others.
For a family night, gather together and create a list of random acts of kindness that you want to do together. This could be once a month, once a week, to celebrate someone's birthday or whatever works best for your family situation. Use the tear-out design here as a guide for this activity.
Have each family member write down what they'd like to do (either individually or as a family) and add it to the kindness jar.
You can decorate the jar using markers, crayons and paper. Get creative!
"A kind and compassionate act is often its own reward."
— William John Bennett
BEARS for ORPHANAGES
Make these super simple stuffed bears to donate to orphanages around the world or to local kids' organizations. Kids can help making these adorable bears and enjoy knowing that their creations will be going to a good home.
Before starting this project, search for national organizations online who accept donations of this kind. There are many sites that include lists of charities looking for handmade toys. Handcrafting with Love is a great place to start: http://www.handcraftingwithlove.net/charity/hcharity.html.
Hot-glue gun or embroidery thread
Batting for stuffing
There are several ways to put together these bears. You can use a sewing machine or hand-stitch them-whatever you have on hand and are comfortable with! Use photos as a guide.
First, fold over the hand towel. Using your hand as a guide, cut out two body parts. Then, using the excess from the hand towel, cut out four semi circles for a set of two ears. Next, cut out a triangle shape from the black felt. This will be the bear's nose. Cut out black felt inner ear shapes and shape for mouth as shown in photos.
On the bear's face (the fuzzy towel side), you can either glue or sew buttons on for eyes. Then, either glue or sew on the felt nose, inner ears and mouth.
Excerpted from Make & Share Random Acts of Kindness by Mique Provost, Alyssa Bazar. Copyright © 2015 Mique Provost. Excerpted by permission of Page Street Publishing Co..
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