9 Fun Ways to Give Back with Your Kids
We all know the old adage, “it’s better to give than receive.” By raising charitable children, they will be brought up with that idea being a part of who they are.
The lessons learned in the past couple of years show that life is fragile and fleeting. From helping out new moms to helping our neighbors or the greater community, being helpful can be contagious.
Our kids raising money for charity is a helpful life lesson for them. And encouraging a charitable spirit is something that benefits them as individuals as well as society.
With that in mind, this post will outline 9 Fun Ways to Give Back with Your Kids.
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9 Charitable Giving Ideas for Kids and Families
- Get Kids to Purge Toys & Clothing for Donation
- Volunteer as a Family
- Giving Jar
- Adopt a Grandparent
- Adopt a Family
- Make Kindness Bags for the Homeless
- Backpack Drive
- Tutor (Older Kids)
- Be Neighborly
1. Get Kids to Purge Toys & Clothing for Donation
Home is the perfect place to start the conversation on giving back. A little spring cleaning can serve as one of the charity projects you can do at home.
It can be hard parting kids from their beloved toys. They provide fun, entertainment and comfort for them. You might have a better chance of keeping your toy inventory in check if you involve them in purging activities.
Keep a box or basket in your child’s closet for any clothing and shoes they’ve outgrown. Make a big show of it when they move on to the next size, celebrating the next stage of their life.
When the time comes, encourage your child to put their clothes in the box. When full, close it up and bring them with you when you donate it.
Not only is this a lesson in sharing, but teaching kids charity, can also be a lesson in empathy. Pass down toys to friends/ family or kids that may be less fortunate.
If all else fails, practice a one in/ one out system. No new toys until old, unloved toys move on to other places.
They may be emotional about it at first, but in time hopefully they will look forward to their contributions and look forward to the process.
2. Volunteer as a Family
Make volunteering a family thing. Depending on your schedule, set aside a specific day each month or time of year for the family to give back together. Kids emulate what we do, so to see that you value altruism will be something that is a part of their values from the beginning.
Unsure of where to start? Start by thinking about what your family enjoys. Are you active? A fun run benefitting a good cause may be the right fit. Spend a lot of time at the playground? Consider volunteering with your local park’s department.
This is a way for kids to see the impact of helping in an environment that they enjoy.
The food bank is another great place to help out and one that can accommodate a family of helpers. There are little jobs that even the youngest kids can do. It can be hard work, but a great lesson in humanity.
3. Giving Jar
Place a family donation jar in the main living space. When the jar is full, make a decision as a family where the money will go.
This is a great opportunity to focus on something that the kids might be passionate about, like pets. Work with the local animal shelter to raise money for food or toys for the animals.
Rather than sticking to one organization, you may decide to raise money for a different group each year. The good news is, you can do whatever you want to do.
The monetary goal need not be a lofty one. Even small donations can have a big impact in the lives of those in need.
When the time comes to give the money to the organization, don’t forget to take your kids with you. When you’re raising charitable children, it’s important to allow them to see the process through to completion. They need to know that their efforts make a difference.
4. Adopt a Grandparent
We aren’t all blessed to have our grandparents in our lives. For me, some passed before I was born and the others when I was too young to know them.
Also, keep in mind that not everyone has a family to enjoy in their golden years. Some may have lost family, like I did, or may not have had any children at all.
There is so much to learn from our elders. To not have that opportunity because of proximity or circumstance is a shame. Too many seniors spend time alone as they age, and the company of the young is something to be cherished.
Reach out to a Senior Center or even an elderly neighbor. Have the kids draw pictures, make cards or read to them. Include someone new in your holiday celebrations.
Given the challenges of the pandemic and the impact on the health of our seniors, in-person connections are more challenging than they would have been in the past. But don’t let that deter you. It just means you have to be more creative.
5. Adopt a Family
It is a blessing to want for nothing. It’s sad that that such fortune is not universal but there are ways to help.
Financial challenges can overshadow the joy of the holiday season. Every parent wants to provide their children in every way, but it isn’t always possible.
When the need arises, businesses, churches, schools and social organizations are there to help support families. Reach out to one in your area if you are in a position to help. They will provide you with a list of needs/ wants to be fulfilled for each family member.
For any children on your list, ask your kids what you should get for them. Let them help with the shopping. They will be thrilled to know they helped another kid have a happy holiday.
6. Make Kindness Bags for the Homeless
Given the increased numbers of homeless people in some cities, this one may be controversial. But, if you are so inclined, spend a little time creating kindness bags for those less fortunate. What you put in them is up to you.
Gather your supplies and spend an evening or weekend afternoon putting them together with the kids. Make an assembly line to streamline the process and add a little fun.
To control the amount of money invested, items may be purchased from discount stores or clearance racks. Or, if you’re resourceful and want to do this on a larger scale, donations may be solicited from local businesses.
Some items to consider: toiletries, shelf stable snacks, bottled water, first-aid items, hand sanitizer, masks, a kind note, list of local support resources.
Keep a small inventory of bags in the car and hand them out when the opportunity arises. Disenfranchised people are often ostracized and overlooked. A little kindness and a smile just might make their day.
7. Backpack Drive
Having what you need to ensure success at school is important. Every year, in more school districts than there should be, school supplies are in short supply. Schools are underfunded, and families even more so.
Is your PTA ready to take on backpacks for kids charity? This one might take a little advanced planning and organization, but a backpack drive can be something to help give kids a leg up to start the year out right.
The school district can provide a list of necessary supplies by grade. Helping kids with their education is just the kind of thing that small businesses like to be a part of.
Once you know what is needed, send out a call for help to your community and work with the district for distribution.
This is something that should be done with care and sensitivity to ensure that each child is excited and does not feel singled out.
8. Tutor (for older kids)
Most kids have a love/ hate relationship with learning. If you have an older child who excels in a particular subject, tutoring might be something to consider.
Some schools have peer tutoring programs in place. The same is true for after school care organizations. Working through these groups or even the school counselor, your child may find an opportunity to share their knowledge with another kid.
Outside of tutoring subjects in the school curriculum, your child may want to assist with literacy groups. Helping someone gain literacy will empower and enrich their lives in so many amazing ways.
Either option could be an ideal choice for kids that hope to be teachers themselves one day.
9. Be Neighborly
“Charity begins at home.” This proverb is a reminder that you don’t have to go far to find ways to help out. Keep your eyes and ears open. You may learn of a need right outside your front door.
Look to the people in your neighborhood. Remember, life can bring so many unexpected situations that offer an opportunity to tap into your charitable spirit. Aging, ailing health, injury, or simple kindness, there are many ways that little hands can help their neighbors.
There are so many activities to teach giving. Kids can help with everyday things, like bringing in the mail or putting out the trash. They can also help with bigger projects like weeding the garden and watering the plants.
Working together to help out your neighbors can only strengthen your community and ensure a nice place to live.
Final Thoughts of Raising Charitable Children
There are endless ways to introduce creative ways to give back to the community with your family. Raising charitable children is one way to bring back the heart and empathy into society. This list of 9 Fun Ways to Give Back with Your Kids is just a jumping off point.
Start small and increase participation as your kids age.
Seek opportunities through your community; work with social agencies, schools, churches and the like. Make sure that you dress for the job and use the right tools. Don’t forget to keep your eyes on the little ones to make sure everyone is safe.
Giving back is one of those things that not only helps to build character, it can also be a way to enforce what kids are learning every day. They may go from sorting items into like piles, to counting and organizing; there are lessons to be learned all along the way.
Nourishing our kids minds and hearts is one of the most important things we can do to influence the kind of people they will become. Teaching empathy, gratitude and kindness should be among the top of the list.
By keeping communication open with your children and ensuring they know what you value, giving back will be second nature to them. Raising a generation of people who’s first instinct is to help is of benefit to us all.
Related Article: Daily Affirmations for Kids
Is charitable giving a part of your family? If so, I’d love to hear what kinds of things you do with your kids in the comments below.