Family Service Ideas – Volunteering with Kids
Volunteer and helping others is likely a key part of your kids’ summer, and that’s great! Volunteering not only gives kids something to do, but they reap emotional and mental rewards too that will have a lasting impact. Make the most out of your family service this summer with these 3 tips:
1. Let them choose: Kids are naturally creative beings with wild imaginations and dreams. Help them target that creativity towards fun ways to help others. Encourage them to make a list of their top ten acts of kindness or giving. Start a conversation about what is possible (short and long-term), and schedule days to follow through.
Whether it’s baking treats for an elderly neighbor, donating proceeds from a lemonade stand to a local charity or cleaning up their closets and rooms to find gently used items for a nearby women and children’s shelter, letting them choose, schedule and follow through helps them practice discipline and responsiblity.
2. Use their skills: Kids are likely to spends hours this summer on the computer surfing the web or playing games on your iPad. Turn this tech savviness into a charity treasure hunt. Have them search local service opportunities online that fit their interests. Are there volunteer spots open at the local animal shelter to help groom and walk dogs? How about at your community foodbank or re-store? Help them with instructions to find hours of operation, volunteer opportunities, and with reaching out to friends via email or text to join in.
3. Follow through: When the volunteer work is done and the service, well, served, sit down with your kids and encourage them to share their experience. What was their favorite part? Do they understand how their contribution made a difference? Start a conversation and see where it goes. Also ask kids to journal or draw about their volunteer time to make the memory tangible.
Remember, the most important part of involving kids in service is making sure they have fun and have some grasp of what it means to give to and serve others. HAPPY VOLUNTEERING!
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