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Good deeds ideas for kids

karen-bantuveris-volunteerspot-ceo_custom.jpgWhy involve the whole family?
Volunteering together as a family helps kids learn that they can make a positive difference in the lives of others – and that feels downright inspiring and good. Family service also cultivates empathy and helps children learn to recognize their personal good fortune and blessings. Volunteering together fosters positive communication and strengthens bonds in ways no other activity can. As an added holiday bonus, family memories and traditions made while volunteering together will last long after their shiny new toys have passed into recycle bins.

10 Simple service activities for kids of all ages:

Younger Kids

  • Stuff new, warm socks with water bottles and granola bars to give to homeless men and women you pass on street corners.
  • Box up their gently used clothing to donate to your local family shelter, refugee center or charity thrift store.

Older Kids

  • Donate their gently used books and DVDs to a local children’s hospital.
  • Make holiday decorations and cards and then sing carols for nursing home residents. Call ahead to schedule a visit.
  • Engage a team of secret friends to clandestinely rake leaves or shovel snow for an elderly neighbor for a whole month.
  • Collect used towels and pet toys for the local animal shelter.
  • Host a hot chocolate or cider stand and donate the proceeds to a charity of their choosing.
  • Adopt a family for the Holidays through a local business or faith group, and have your kids help shop for that family.

Making it a Habit

Volunteering as a family while kids are young develops a positive service habit that sticks long into adulthood. Use the following four tips to help ensure your kids understand the impact of their good deeds.

  • Celebrate your service!
  • If donating goods or money to a local charity, deliver the items with your kids in person so they can better internalize how they helped make a difference.
  • Be sure to talk about your family’s service experience. Discuss what you did, why you did it, how it felt, and what you learned.
  • Build on your kids’ enthusiasm and right then choose your next service project together.

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