When thinking of volunteering as a family, it helps to focus your thoughts on community service for kids. A great way to get started is to ask your child's opinion. If they adore a family pet, try an animal shelter. If you can't keep them out of the tree house, opt for a nature center. There are oodles of volunteer opportunities for kids, and if the activity matches their interests, it's more likely they will connect with the experience.
Pair Your Child's Interests with a Mission
If your child loves the outdoors, consider community service that give back while basking in the sun.
Also, consider volunteer opportunities for kids that teach real world skills like painting or carpentry. With these types of programs, children can learn how to carry out a task from start to finish. Some families find this can be a great opportunity to learn about another way of living, too. For example, city dwellers can volunteer on a farm. Once back home, they can share their volunteer story with friends and classmates.
Your child might pick a different cause than you would, but try to keep attitudes positive on all charitable outings. If you are having fun (or at least giving it your best smile), children will mimic your enthusiasm. Then, before you know it, everyone is having fun!
An added bonus of focusing on your kids' passions is that your little ones can meet children with similar interests. Volunteer opportunities for kids can widen a child's social sphere and result in new friendships.
Whatever your child's interests, celebrate volunteer efforts with smiles, laughter, and hugs. Good grades and winning sport teams often receive all the accolades, but celebrating acts of goodwill and kindness is worthwhile, too.
Create Your Own Volunteer Experience
If your family is new to volunteering, start small. You could discuss what to donate to a food bank. From there, if your child is interested, you could organize a food drive at school. If you're book lovers, you can donate to a book drive and imagine other kids enjoying the stories.
As Martin Luther King Jr. said, "You don't have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don't have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve…you only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love." And if there's something kids have plenty of, it's love. Find out what inspires that love, and your kids will soon be pouring it out into the community!
Have you volunteered with your family? Do you have community service for kids ideas to share? Let us know on Twitter!
The views and opinions expressed in any guest post featured on our site are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of Tom's of Maine.
Why It’s Good
Volunteering helps to build stronger communities. Plus, if feels good to give back. Share this love with your children and ask what volunteer opportunities they'd be interested in. Then volunteer as a family.