Whether your child is a football player, a ballerina or a head of the debate team (do they still have those?), one of the greatest gifts you can give your child is the gift of giving back! We talk about this a lot during the holidays, but I think it’s an important message to talk about giving all year round.
Spring is a great time to teach your kids to give! At my home, we clean out our toy boxes this time of year and talk about what we want to do with them. The toys and books in good shape will usually go to our favorite charities. The kids actually enjoy going through their toys and deciding what they can give to someone in need. We also encourage our kids to take part in food drives or planting new trees. You not only teach kids about the environment, but if you help your community plant trees, your kids can watch their work blossom into a beautiful garden.
The Boys & Girls Club of America is a great organization known for giving back. Here’s some of their advice for teaching your kids to give back.
–Talk about giving. It’s always important to talk to your kids about those in need and how they can help. And if you allow them to pick the charity, they will really feel like they are helping out.
–Read books about giving. Some suggestions of the Boys & Girls Club include “The Mitten Tree” by Candace Christiansen, “I Can Make a Difference” by Julie and Amanda Sexson or a selection from “Learning to Give’s Annotated Bibliography of Children’s Literature.”
–Volunteer together. Pick an organization you want to help and volunteer together. For example, serving a meal or lending a helping hand at an animal shelter.
–Encourage routine volunteering. When you do this regularly you can really make a difference and it works as great family time.
–Do something fun, like cooking or an art project. Encourage kids to make cards for senior center residents or bake a treat for a neighbor.
Visit the Boys & Girls Club website to read more on how you can encourage your kids to give back!