Creative Child

Kids Activities: Kids Give Back

by Jennifer McLaughlin on Nov 10th, 2014

As parents and educators, we are constantly looking for ways to inspire children to make a difference. There are so many opportunities available to donate time or money to larger charitable organizations, especially during the holiday season, but sometimes the simplest acts of kindness are the most meaningful. Here is a list of fun and empowering ideas to get kids into volunteering and to give back to the community.

1. Get involved by holding a time-honored Charity Bake Sale or Lemonade Stand:

Organize the location, date and time to have a bake sale for cause you believe in. Make sure to promote it with flyers and bright signs. Ask parents and friends to bake or buy sweets and refreshments and donate all the of the proceeds to the charity of your choice. 

2. Donate your time and old blankets to the local Animal Shelter:

Children will get to spend time with animals in need who may not otherwise get much-needed attention and socialization. Many animal shelters also need bedding for the dogs in outdoor kennels, sick or elderly pets or for puppies and kittens to burrow in. To be sure, always check with the manager first before you bring in any items for donation.

kids activities parenting give back charity

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3. Visit the Senior Center: Children can sit and read with the residents, go for walks and play board games. You can even set up a time to put on a play or have the kids perform a talent! 

4. Rake Leaves, Pull weeds, or Shovel Snow for Elderly and Disabled Neighbors:

Who wouldn’t love a helping hand with the front yard or snow removal on blistering cold days? Create flyers to pass out in the neighborhood, or go door to door to offer assistance.

5. Have a Coat Drive or Clothing Drive:

Most children grow out of their coats yearly, and sometimes more often! Donate your gently used coats, jackets and winter accessories and help at risk or homeless children in the community. Allow the kids to collect, sort through and organize the coats by size and drop them off!

Canned Food Drive kids activities parenting give back charity
6. Organize a Canned Food Drive:

Possibly one of the most needed giving opportunities during the holidays, food drives can be set up for the Elderly who reside in assisted living communities, the homeless shelter and local food banks. Check for other places to donate and get creative!

7. Closet Clean Out - Declutter: 

Collect unused toys, books, and clothing the kids have grown out of and donate them. Local shelters often have homeless children and families who could use your gently used items, a new pair of socks or a stuffed animal to cuddle. As with all donations, check with a manager to make sure the items are accepted.

8. Volunteer with Kids with Special Needs:

Organize a play date, volunteer at the local community center or create a Field Day Event with fun sports and team-building activities. Children will learn about diversity and inclusion all while having fun with classmates and peers they may not get to interact with otherwise.

9. Clean Up the Park/Neighborhood:

All you need are a few items like gloves and trash bags and this simple, but so needed, community project is ready to go! Take the kids to your favorite park or just walk around the neighborhood and pick up litter and debris. Be sure to leave the filled bags out for the parks department to pick up or set them out on trash day. The community, neighbors and environment will all benefit from a nice sprucing up!

kids activities parenting give back charity

10. Cancer Awareness Fundraiser:

Children and adults are impacted by various types of cancer every year. Create an Awareness Campaign and put on a fundraiser for the cancer foundation of your choice. Or, find a large organization and get your group to participate as a team for their yearly event!

For more ideas and inspiration on how to get involved, check out these websites:

www.bizainy.com

www.compassionatekids.com/volunteering

www.facebook.com/KidsGivingBack

www.feedingamerica.org/find-your-local-foodbank/

kidshelpingkidssb.org

Special thank you to Kristine Waters for her contribution to this article! Kristine is a mother of two beautiful girls, Amethyst and Kairi, whom she homeschools and a new baby boy, Jonathan.

Related Article: Communicating Positively With Children

Jennifer is a former special education teacher and mentor. She obtained her bachelor's degree at Kent State University in Ohio. She enjoys dancing, reading and spending time training her dog, BrunoMars. 

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