A program of the Bright Horizons Foundation for Children®

Pay It Forward Ideas

Pay It Forward Ideas for Children, Families, and Individuals

By paying a good deed forward, children learn that they can make a positive difference to other people’s lives. The ripple effect is visible, motivating and energizing. Everyone can make a difference!

Paying It Forward is a great opportunity to allow children to think about making someone else a little happier by doing some small thoughtful deed.

“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then just feed one.” Mother Teresa


 Ideas For Children:

  • Open the door for the person behind you
  • Be friendly to someone you normally ignore
  • Do chores at home to help other family members
  • Make cards to cheer up people like your teacher, friends, or your brother or sister
  • Surprise your dad or mom with a glass of homemade lemonade
  • Give 1/3 of your allowance away to an organization that helps others

 Ideas For Families:

  • Bake cookies and take to the local fire hall
  • Send an elderly friend or family member flowers and call them
  • Write and illustrate a picture book for children at the local hospital
  • Give a homeless person a gift card
  • Donate needed school supplies to a local school
  • Donate food to the food bank
  • On a rainy day, buy a few umbrellas and give them to those who don’t have one and are getting wet

Ideas For Individuals:

  • Return someone else’s shopping cart
  • Mow the neighbor’s lawn
  • Sort through your old books and give to others
  • Give up your seat on the bus or train
  • Buy someone lunch
  • Buy the person behind you in line a cup of coffee
  • Buying the train or bus ticket for the person behind you

(Adapted from Pay It Forward Day)