Teaching kids about giving back

During the holiday season there are a number of opportunities to give back to those in need. This is a great time of year to teach children about the importance of giving back, which is a value they will have throughout their lives.

Here are five tips about how to get children excited about donating their time, energy and financial resources to organizations or individuals in need:

  1. Talk to your child about giving back. When you make a donation or volunteer, explain to your child what you are doing and who it helps. The more you talk about giving back, the more your child will understand its importance.
  2. It’s never too early – or too late. There are activities for children of all ages to teach them about social activism and philanthropy. Use teachable moments to have conversations about being charitable.
  3. Make it a family activity. Find a cause to support or a volunteer opportunity that the entire family can do together. This allows you to combine family time with volunteerism.
  4. Choose age-appropriate opportunities. Remember to tailor activities based on your child’s age and interests, and be patient as they grow to understand the importance of giving back.
  5. Focus on that warm fuzzy feeling. When you feel good about something, you want to do it again. The same concept applies to your kids, so reinforce the excitement your child feels when volunteering or donating.

How kids can give back

Here are a few ideas on how you and your family can give back. Be creative and add your own ideas to the list:

  1. Take care of the planet. From picking up litter to starting a community recycling program, there is a lot we can all do to keep our community beautiful.
  2. Make a donation. Give your child an allowance that they can donate to the charity of their choice in exchange for doing extra chores around the house.
  3. Get crafty. Work with your child to make hygiene kits for a local homeless shelter. Decorate the bags or include handwritten notes from your child.
  4. Clean out the closet. Go through your child’s closet for items that another child might be able to use. Let your child choose toys and books that they’ve outgrown that another kid can still enjoy.
  5. Walk for a cause. Let your child choose a cause-related walk that is important to them. Ask family and neighbors to sponsor you and your child to raise money for an organization leading up to the event.

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