I am a firm believer in teaching my kids the importance of serving others…giving back and thinking about something bigger than themselves. So here are 6 easy service project ideas to do with your kids!
1. Decorate Cards for a Local Nursing Home
Spread some cheer to a local nursing home, hospital, or assisted living care home…have your kiddos make cards or pictures with stickers, glitter, crayons…wherever your kid’s creativity takes them. It can be “just because,” or themed toward the next holiday on the calendar.
Then, have your kids come with you to deliver them. And watch the smiles spread…
2. Send Letters to Our Troops
While you are decorating cards, how about making some for our troops? There is a service called, “A Million Thanks,” that is designed to show our appreciation for our U.S. military men and women.
Have your kids create pictures, color cards, write notes of thanks…whatever you want…as a thank you to our troops. Make them generic…”A Million Thanks” actually delivers your cards and letters to our military for you – active, reserve, and veterans!
This is a great way to continue to teach your kids about the importance of freedom, and respecting and appreciating the men and women who protect it everyday.
Click here to learn more…and find the nearest letter drop-off site for your cards.
3. Set up a Hot Chocolate and Cookie Stand
Summer may be over, but it’s not too late to set up a hot chocolate stand. Make a batch of hot chocolate or warm apple cider (yum!), bake something delicious (I love cookies because they’re simple and easy to bake in bulk), and collect your tips.
Once the goodies are gone…or your kids poop out…count out the money together and let your kids decide who to give it to. It can be a charity, a cause you believe in, your school, your church…whatever is important to you and your family.
4. Donate Old Clothes, Toys and Shoes
This is one of my favorites. As moms, we are constantly on the lookout for too small clothing, toys that aren’t played with, and honestly, how to get rid of so much kid clutter, right? Instead of being stealthy and waiting until your kids go to school, or go to sleep to bag up items, ask your kids to pick five things each they would like to give to another little boy or girl who needs it.
The key here is to let them pick. I explain to my kids that we are choosing clothes and toys to share with other children that need them. My son can fill his bag in three seconds, easily parting with five toys or trinkets. My daughter goes to her room and quietly assesses everything she owns, and it may take her up to an hour to pick her five things.
But they both take ownership in the process. I have them help me bag everything up to go to whatever toy/clothing drive or donation drop-off location we are giving to. So they can see where it’s actually going and how they are helping others.
5. Collect Canned Foods for a Local Food Bank
This is a simple way to give back…by collecting canned foods at the grocery store or in your own pantry. You can make this as elaborate (organizing a larger canned food drive among your school class, activity group, club, neighborhood street, etc.), or simply keeping it to you and your kids.
Once you decide your canned drive is complete, pick a charity or food pantry to give your cans to. Have the kids come with you for drop off. Simple and effective. Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County is a great organization helping to feed those that are hungry, right in our own backyard.
6. Gather Old, Worn Out Blankets and Towels
Animal shelters and vets are constantly looking for old towel and blanket donations for their furry friends. This is a super easy project to do with your kids. Gather up your blanket/towel donations, bag them, and take your kids with you to deliver them. Explain that they are helping keep animals warm and cozy!
- Check out OneOC.org for local family service project ideas to do with your kids and youth volunteering options.
Do you have a favorite service project or idea that you like to do with your kids? If so, please share below!