Thanksgiving is an excellent time of year to teach children about giving back. One of the most valuable things you can show your kids as they get older is that there are numerous ways you can do your part to make the world a better place and have fun while you’re at it! From donating goods and services to small acts of kindness, here are 5 fun and empowering ways to teach kids to give back this Thanksgiving.
1. Donate to a local food bank
The holidays are difficult for the many people facing hunger, and one great way to get your kids in the giving spirit is to donate food to a local food bank! You can find your nearest food bank through Feeding America’s network, which includes over 200 shelters throughout the United States. Once you’ve found a food bank near you, find out their operation hours, drop-off rules, and which items are needed most this holiday season.
2. Give gifts to your local essential and rescue workers
Acts of kindness don’t have to be grand to be impactful. Sometimes a simple gesture is all that’s needed to put a smile on someone’s face. Having your kids deliver a small homemade treat or gift to their neighborhood postal worker or bus driver is a great way to teach them little gestures to show appreciation for people in their community.
3. Send a homemade card to lonely senior citizens
Sending homemade cards to others is an excellent way for crafty kids to spread joy and remind someone in need that they’re not alone. For example, Sending Sunshine (@sendingsunshineca) is an organization dedicated to reducing isolation among seniors by providing them with handwritten cards such as this holiday assortment. Cards for Hospitalized Kids is another wonderful organization that provides cards with uplifting messages to sick children.
4. Read to animals at local shelters
If your child is an animal-loving bookworm, a trip to the local shelter for some doggie storytime is a rewarding approach to volunteering. Reading to shelter animals is not only an excellent way for kids to practice their reading skills, but it also helps four-legged friends in need of socialization receive some special one-on-one time.
5. Paint “Kindness Rocks” to place around your community
Kindness Rocks is a fun volunteer project for children of all ages. All you have to do is gather some interesting rocks, clean them, and get creative painting them. Smaller kids can practice color recognition while bigger kids can draw cute, smiling figures or write positive sentiments. Once the rocks are dry and ready, place them around parks and communal spaces for a fun surprise that will make whoever encounters them smile.
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