So many of us try to make giving back part of our holidays, but involving the kids and helping them gain an appreciation for it can be its own challenge. We asked you on social media to share your favorite ideas and (as per usual), we loved what you had to say...
1. Let kids shop for other kids.
"My children's favorite thing to do is pick an Angel from an Angel Tree and shop for that child themselves." — Jasmine C.
Angel Trees are a parent favorite since kids get to personalize the experience and choose something they think their giftee will enjoy and appreciate. If your school, place of worship, or community center doesn’t have an Angel Tree, consider involving the kids to get one organized!
2. Remember that service isn’t just for adults.
"Every 4th Saturday we serve meals to the homeless at the park and give away supplies like tents and clothes. My kids are usually on the dessert table. They love serving desserts to our homeless and hurting friends." — VeeMarie O.
"We have taken our kids several times to serve a meal at our local Ronald McDonald house or room near the childrens’ hospital. It’s important for them to help families grieving sick kids. And take some of the burdens off these families!" — Anna M.
Time is one of the few commodities children have in the same supply as adults. Acts of service are a great way for kids to feel involved and effective. Find a local Ronald McDonald house here, or connect with a local food bank here.
3. Make it personal.
"When my daughter was five, she ruptured her appendix and had MANY complications. We spent several weeks on the pedi floor of the hospital. Each year since she has collected money and toys to give back to their toy closet (given to pedi patients when the are admitted)". —Yvonne S.
"We do eight nights of Chanukah giving! The kids help pick charities based on their interests (books, animals, camp, etc.)." — Staci Z.
It’s easy to overthink ways to give back with the kids, but you don’t have to look further than their own experiences or interests to find a great, meaningful opportunities to pay it forward.
4. Pick a project.
"My kids pick a project to do. Last year and this year my son has gotten his entire class to make Christmas Cards for residents at our local nursing home." — Cheyenne G.
"We organize an annual neighborhood book drive with a few other families. The kids find a school within a few hours of us that could use the books". — Jaime P.
We love this idea because projects can be chosen each year based on kids’ ages, and the time and money available to make it happen.
5. Think beyond the holidays.
"For my older daughter's birthday parties, we ask friends to bring an item for a dog rescue we support instead of gifts. People hate coming to birthday parties empty handed and she learns to use her birthday to help someone and still gets to have fun and celebrate her birthday. Good for everyone!" — Kerry Anne S.
As one of our readers put it, giving back “is a muscle that needs exercise.” Utilizing opportunities throughout the year with the kids will make holiday giving a simple, seamless part of your season!
This Giving Tuesday, Primary is teaming up with Baby2Baby, donating 10,000 items of new clothing to children in need.You can learn more about Baby2Baby and their initiatives to provide children living in poverty diapers, clothing, and all the basic necessities that every child deserves here.