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What Kids can Learn from Serving Others?
Encouraging kids to serve others is a great way to teach citizenship. Citizens understand there is a world greater than themselves. They make it a better place to live through helping others.
How Kids Benefit from Serving Others?
Kids who are involved in community service tend to be more confident because they have periods where they can forget about themselves and focus on others.
When kids are constantly thinking about themselves, they tend to focus on their flaws. This is where low self-esteem is usually developed because they constantly compare themselves to others.
Other Benefits of Community Service?
Serving others opens your eyes to those who are less fortunate than yourself. Also it boosts a child’s self esteem when they can apply their talents and skills to the benefit of others.
Children, as young as three years old, can learn about serving others. I have provided creative ways kids can help others below.
These service ideas are a collection of my personal experiences and recommendations from the book 77 Creative Ways Kids Can Serve by Sondra Clark. The author gives wonderful ideas for kids to assist people, animals, and the environment.
Let’s get started!
1. Collect Tennis Balls for Animals Shelters
Volunteers use the balls to interact with the animals
- Contact local tennis clubs and ask if they have old balls they don’t need.
- Ask tennis high school team coaches (if you have one) to announce that you are collecting balls for animals in shelters.
- Contact local parks and the recreation department for tennis balls.
- Set up a drop-off time with animal shelters in your area.
2. Prepare Birthday Bags for Children Living in Shelters
It’s difficult for parents living in shelters to provide birthday parties for their children, but you can help.
- Call a homeless shelter and tell them you would like to deliver birthday bags to the children.
- Put festive items in the bags such as markers, stickers, glitter, balloons, streamers, Birthday Signs, toys, crafts, packaged cake mix, canned frosting, and birthday candles.
- Ask the shelter about the ages of the children and plan accordingly.
3. Give Giggle Bags
Bring joy to kids in the hospital with giggle bags.
- Call the local hospital and ask for the volunteer coordinator. They will tell you if they could use the giggle bags.
- Ask the volunteer coordinator about items they restrict for their young patients.
- Ideas for the giggle bags are markers, puzzles, bubbles, handheld games, whoopee cushions, and art supplies.
- Make a card telling the patients about the items you put in the bag.
4. Help Habitat for Humanity – Even if you are too young to build
- Habitat for Humanity has a youth program for children starting at age five.
- Children can design cards and publicize the need for people to have decent housing.
- Write a letter to your mayor or governor about eliminating homelessness.
- Offer to put up decorations for the celebrations after a home is completed.
Go to the Bottom of this Post and Get Access to Service and Gift Ideas from Real Moms. These Moms Share the Service Projects they have done with their Children.
5. Build a Rock Garden for a Senior
- Select a location that can be easily viewed.
- An area of 4 feet by 4 feet is a good start. It can be bigger.
- Get assorted plants that grow well around rocks.
- After creating the rock garden, place a chair around it so people can enjoy it.
6. Recycle at Home
- Have a family meeting about ways to recycle.
- Make a list of ideas like buying in bulk, use reusable containers for lunch, recycle old batteries at the local drugstore, and donating old clothes and furniture to charity.
7. Collect Coins for Those in Need
- Provide for people who suffer from war, disease, poverty, or natural disasters a gift.
- Go to the World Hope Website and find the gift catalog to choose a category such as education.
- Have children collect coins for the need they would like to fill.
- Call World Hope at 888-466-4673 and decide on the best way to deliver the money.
8. Create Senior Emergency Kits
- Many Seniors live alone and need basic emergency items such as bottled water, a flashlight with extra batteries, first aid kit, a space blanket, and nonperishable food.
- Go to the American Red Cross website to see their emergency kit suggestions.
- Figure out a way to get the items such as doing extra chores around the house, asking local stores to donate, or asking other children in the neighborhood or school.
- Put the items in resealable bags and label “Emergency Kit.”
- Donate the bags to organizations such as Meals on Wheels or local Senior Centers.
9. Give Stuffed Animals to Offer Comfort
- Firefighters and police officers frequently deal with kids going through tough situations and stuffed animals can help comfort these children.
- Ask the police and fire stations if they would like stuffed animals.
- Get stuffed animals by looking through your old toys and asking friends and relatives.
- Ask local stores and office buildings for boxes to store animals.
- Get ribbons to put around the stuffed animals’ necks.
10. Pack Up Backpacks for Foster Kids
- Help foster children by collecting backpacks and small suitcases to help them as they move to a new home.
- Call your local Social Services or Child Protective Services Office to see if they could use backpacks.
- Write letters to big stores like Wal-Mart or Target and ask them to donate back packs.
- Ask local schools for backpacks in their lost and found boxes (that are not claimed).
- Add a stuff animal in the bag if possible and deliver them to the Social Service agencies you contacted.
There are many ways kids can serve others. Please share your ideas in the comments below!
Our books are available on Amazon, “Teach Your Toddler to Read Through Play,” “Fun Easy Ways to Teach Your Toddler to Write, and “Teach Your Child About Money Through Play.“