It can be difficult to get kids excited about doing service projects or community service, but participating in these types of activities is a great way to spend your time together as a family while teaching important values to your children. Service doesn’t even have to be complicated or time-consuming—it can be simple and easy. Below is a list of some easy service ideas that you can do as a family that are both practical and fun. Service doesn’t have to seem like a chore, so if you get your whole family involved these can become fun family activities that your kids will enjoy and learn from.
Make Food for a Neighbor
One way to teach your kids how to serve others is to help them recognize the importance of helping people in the community who could use help. As a family, you can choose a neighbor who you think would need a pick-me-up and then deliver homemade food or treats to them. Making food together as a family can be fun and be a good bonding experience. This may seem like a simple thing, but it is a great teaching experience that shows kids that serving neighbors and those close to your family can be rewarding.
Consider cooking something that not only tastes great, but also has high nutritional value. For example, you could make some great protein pancakes. Considering, how much protein is in a banana, they would be great to add into the pancakes, or maybe offer on the side. Plus they taste great. Throw in some strawberries and fresh orange juice, and your neighbors will be eating great.
Pick Up Litter
This is a great activity if you want to get the family out of the house and to spend the day outside. Go to a local park, beach, or neighborhood and bring gloves and plastic bags to collect garbage in. Make sure your kids know not to pick up anything dangerous or sharp. This is a great way to teach kids about the importance of taking care of nature and the importance of not littering. Picking up litter can also be something simple you do while doing another activity like a picnic or going to the beach. By teaching your kids to pick up litter you can show them that service can be simple and easy, but still makes a big difference.
Visit a Homeless Shelter or Soup Kitchen
Some parents think that it is unsafe to bring their children to a homeless shelter or a soup kitchen, but it is actually a great way for kids to be exposed to the needs of others and to experience helping people in need. Not only that, but they also get to see the benefits of helping others. A good family activity could involve gathering food from your house or buying food from the grocery store to donate to a shelter or kitchen. Call ahead or check online to see if and when your local shelter needs volunteers and then bring your family to the shelter to drop of your donations and to volunteer. Many parents find that this is a great way to explain the importance of community service to their kids and to instill selflessness early on. Additionally, it is a good way to bring perspective into your children’s lives so that they can better appreciate what they have and understand the importance of helping people less fortunate than they are.
Join a Larger Service Project
There are always larger service projects than the ones listed above that are going on around us. Try looking up charities and other local organizations that run service projects or food drives to get ideas on how your family can participate. This can mean running races for a good cause such as Race for the Cure, going on a volunteer travel programs such as Rustic Pathways, or participating in a school food drive. Whatever organization or service project you decide to join as a family, make sure that it is a project that all the members of your family can participate in and be passionate about. Getting involved in local projects such as a charity run or a food drive are easy ways to introduce the importance of service to your kids.
Whatever activity you choose to do as a family, it is important to remember that service can be fun and should be a good experience for the whole family.