Join in a celebration you might not have heard of before. This week marks the 22nd annual Be Kind to Humankind Week, which encourages people of all ages to show each other kindness and consideration (and carry it on throughout the rest of the year). Take the opportunity to talk to your children about the importance of caring for others through our actions and words, and come up with ways you can “pay it forward” in your family or community. Here are a few ideas to get started… 1. Say “thank you” Think of the people who have made a difference in your kids’ lives—a favorite teacher, coach or family friend. Ask your children specific questions such as “What was your favorite part of Mr. Potter’s kindergarten class?” and “How did you feel when Melissa taught you how to swim the backstroke?” and help them write thank-you cards for each of their mentors. A simple, heartfelt letter is guaranteed to make someone’s day. 2. Donate your time Spend a day during Be Kind to Humankind Week volunteering for a local nonprofit as a family. Find a volunteer opportunity that is simple enough for small children and fits well with your family’s interests and abilities. Bring books and toys to a children’s hospital, help out with a community clean-up or prepare meals at a homeless shelter. You will get to work side-by-side with your kids for a good cause, and you may enjoy it so much that it becomes a regular family activity. 3. Help out a neighbor Ask your children to be on the lookout for simple ways to be kind your neighbors—from inviting the new kids on the block over to play to helping an elderly neighbor weed her garden. The small actions can make a big difference, and you may get to know your neighbors better. 4. Create art Break out the craft supplies and spend an afternoon making beautiful drawings, paintings, sculptures or jewelry. Give the creations to grandparents, teachers or other friends as “just because” gifts. 5. Bake goodies Get in touch with your sweet side; bake a few batches of delicious brownies, cookies or pastries and deliver them to people deserve a little extra appreciation. Your mail carrier, gardener, librarian or babysitter will love the unexpected treat. How do you plan to celebrate Be Kind to Humankind Week? Post your ideas in the comments!