The holiday season is here, and there is no shortage of opportunities to give. Between charitable donations, toy drives, food collections and generosity for family and friends, this is the ideal time of year to get your kids involved in giving.
Getting your kids involved in giving helps them to learn about empathy, appreciate what they have, and consider how their actions affect others. It can also teach them how to work giving into a budget, and set them up to make giving a lifelong habit.
Here are some tips for how to help them get started:
Involve Your Kids in Family Giving
One of the best ways to teach your kids about generosity is to model it yourself.
When you donate your time, clothes or food, take them along and explain what you’re doing. Your child might not understand at first, especially if they’re very young. But watching you participate in giving will help them see it as a normal occurrence.
I also encourage the whole family to participate in budget discussions, so if giving is part of your monthly budget, explain that to them, too. Keeping them in the loop will help them understand that some months you might be able to give more than other months, but a budget frees you up to donate to causes that matter to you.
Consider Your Child’s Personality
Different kinds of giving will appeal to different kids, so don’t get discouraged if your child doesn’t seem interested at all in giving up his old toys. One kid might enjoy picking out a toy for a toy drive, while another would prefer to spend time at a soup kitchen or helping out at church activities.
Whatever they do, the goal is to show them that everyone has something to offer, and that they can have a positive impact on others.
Ways for Kids to Give
Not sure how to help your child get involved this year? Here’s a list of ideas to get you started:
- Making cards – If you have a crafty kid, they might enjoy making a holiday card for a hospitalized child. Cards for Hospitalized Kids accepts cards for all major holidays year-round, so they can even continue to participate in the new year.
- Toys for Tots – Take your child shopping for a brand new toy that they will give to a child in need. The Toys for Tots website can help you find toy drives in your area.
- Fundraise – If you have family and friends who want to get your child something for the holidays, see if your child would want to fundraise instead. If there is an organization or cause they care about, they can set up a fundraising page to accept donations instead of gifts. You can set up a donation through several sites now, including GoFundMe, DonorBox and even Facebook Fundraising.
- Bake for others – Kids who love baking will have even more fun delivering their creations! This could be as simple as making treats for a friend or a neighbor, or putting together treat bags for the local police station, hospital, fire department, etc.
- Donate books, toys and clothes – Make room for holiday gifts by setting aside gently used items to donate to others.
- Get involved at school with canned food drive, coat drives, other opportunities.
Giving back is a fun way to involve the whole family during the holidays, and all year long. For more information about giving, check out my posts on charitable giving and supporting your community during the holidays.
About Your Richest Life
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