Hands-on Activities for Teaching Kids about Social Responsibility
In February, I took my daughter to our local Pottery Barn Kids store to participate in a Valentine’s Day campaign they were doing in support of the Bright Horizons Foundation for Children. At the event, children were able to create two Valentine’s Day cards – one to take home to someone special and one to give away to a child in need at a local Bright Space.
I explained to my daughter that not all children will receive Valentine’s Day cards because of different circumstances, so it was important to make sure every child felt loved. I know she understood the message, because instead of brining a card home, she chose to donate them both! I was very proud of her, and this small gesture had me considering other activities we could do to give back…
Social Responsibility: Ways to Involve Kids in Giving Back
1. Make cards, blankets, bookmarks or other crafts and donate them. There are places online that accept donations. For example, the Bright Horizons Foundation’s Why Knot? Program provides comfort blankets for children in crisis or Caring Kids Cards, founded by children, sends cards to military soldiers all over the world. You can also arrange to drop them off to a local children’s hospital, nursing home or shelter. It’s a good idea to call before in case they have guidelines or specific drop-off times. Whether you are mailing or dropping off, be sure to involve your child.
2. Look for opportunities at your child’s preschool or elementary school. During the winter or holiday season, child care centers and schools often have canned food, mitten, sock or coat drives. Involve your child in shopping and dropping off.
3. Summer is the perfect time to set up a good old-fashioned lemonade stand or do some seasonal cleaning and have a yard sale! Bake cookies to sell as treats to raise extra money. Donate all proceeds to the charity of your choice. Does your child love animals? Donate to the World Wildlife Foundation. Find an organization that will be meaningful, so your child will feel good about giving.
4. Is your child’s birthday coming up? Ask guests to bring money or toys that can be donated instead of a gift.
5. Although it’s months away, consider giving back while creating a list for ‘Santa’. For each item your child asks for, have them donate one toy to a child in need. Or do some cleaning and gather a box of toys that can be donated before mailing off their wish list!
Do you have ideas for involving kids in volunteering or activities to teach social responsibility? Share with us in the comments area below.
Raising Socially Responsible Children – Upcoming Parent Webinar
Join us on May 27 at 2:30 p.m. EST for our next parent webinar Growing Givers: Raising Socially Responsible Children. We’ll discuss how empathy develops as your child grows and provide meaningful activity ideas that families can do together to make a difference in their communities and in the world.
Editor’s Note: A recording of this live event is now available: WATCH NOW