May 28, 2019

“Have you ever played ding-dong ditch?” Standing in front of a group of children on a Sunday, most hands rise. I see some nodding faces. I also raise my hand as I raise the question. Because I certainly have. Despite my parent’s best efforts to raise me as a good catholic girl.

But what if, instead of just running away, you would leave something nice on someone’s doorstep? A happy surprise? A kind note?

You can feel the giddy excitement in the room. In little less than 3 hours, we will split into small groups, come up with a street art idea or random act of kindness (RAK), do the preparations, and make it happen.

Petje af Breda‘ invited me as a guest lecturer to share a bit about my happy projects. The weekend school provides children ages 10 to 14 with new experiences, ideas, and helps them develop their talents. This month’s theme is ‘positivity’. I explain how they can make a positive difference using their talents, ideas and any materials they have on hands.

It was a good day, filled with awesome things.

Rak with Children Ideas

Guerrilla Kindness Heroes plotting evil plans to take over the world and make it awesome.

RAK with Children crafting

Careful styling considerations about what hat goes best with what eyes and mouth.

craft paper Eyes
RAK with Children craft paper envelope

Making happy hanging surprise messages for strangers.

RAK with Children craft

And crafting colourful envelopes to go with them.

craft envelope tape
craft envelope message

Clear instructions in case you don’t know what to do: “open the package and read what it says”.

RAK with Children yarn

Measuring green yarn spaghetti.

RAK with Children Flower Bouquet

Girls who are so skilled at flower arrangement they could teach a course.

RAK with Children Flowers

Calmly picking wild flowers.

RAK with Children tree

Going into the streets to bring ‘the message to the people’.

RAK with Children Googly Eyes hat

Glue that needs a little care and affection to stick (and a very patient 11-year old).

Child picking Flowers

Enough flowers to make sure you wouldn’t miss a few.

Trashbin Googly Eyes

Garbage monsters that eat your trash.

RAK with Children tree message

Green Guerrilla in action.

RAK with Children hiding car

Ringing a doorbell, and then running for your life and hide to see what happens, because you are super curious about the reaction.

RAK with Children hiding behind car

Ohh, the suspense…

RAK with Children popsicle

And the best evidence that you made someone’s day: unexpectedly receiving delicious surprise popsicles in return.

PS. If you’re interested in hiring me as a guest lecturer for your school or do a workshop RAK with children, you can email me for more information.

2 Comments

  • Reply

    Kezzie

    May 29, 2019 at 23:12

    Ah, that’s lovely!!!! I think it is really important to encourage children in this way! Well done!
    It’s really nice they were rewarded for their kindness but I’m kind of torn- I am glad because positivity is shared but in some ways, I wish they could have just had the joy of knowing they made someone happy without a tangible reward!

    • Reply

      magicaldaydream

      June 3, 2019 at 12:10

      Yes you make a very good point. I think it’s important to be kind without expecting any reward. That being said, I have experienced encouragement from such actions as well. For example, when I handed out 1000 paper cranes, a girl bought a flower for me as a thanks (when I was handing them out at the train station). With 99,9% of that action I had no idea how it was perceived, I just hoped it would make a positive difference. I can start to doubt the effect I’m having when I don’t always see the effect immediately. So I have experienced a boost in motivation when a single person showed so much gratitude (a flower) that you have reassurance that others also were positively effected by your action, even if you didn’t get to experience the abundance of their reaction.

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