4. Use imagination, and be timely. Author and speaker Robin Samora built a list of "50 Ways To Be Thankful and Show Random Acts of Kindness" that include simple reminders, like writing thank-you notes, playing with a younger sister or brother and sharing a snack.
Other small acts she suggests include passing out homemade Christmas tree decorations to strangers on the bus, organizing a turkey giveaway at Thanksgiving, carrying extra umbrellas to lend on rainy days.
5. Count your blessings. In "The Giving Book," a workbook for children, author Ellen Sabin urges her readers to "think about someone who has helped you or given you something special." Her point is not to instill a sense of obligation but to encourage children to share in the pleasure that giving produces. "Isn't it a great feeling when someone helps you or gives you something you need?" she writes. "Well, YOU can help other people feel special, too. YOU can make them happier. YOU can make them healthier. YOU can make the world a better place."
The book is laced with object lessons, poems and fables, like the one about the boy who asks an old man why he is "wasting time" throwing stranded starfish back into the sea when there must be thousands of beaches and millions of starfish. "How can you make a difference?" the boy asks.
"The old man looked down at the starfish in his hand, and as he threw it to the safety of the ocean, he said, 'I make a difference to this one.'"
This story is part of NBCU's Share Kindness. Follow the series onFacebook, Twitter, and Instagram. #ShareKindness
— By Jeff Brown, special to CNBC.com