You have probably landed on this article looking for some ideas for community service for kids. Often, when people think of kids doing community service, the list includes picking up trash, recycling, and perhaps helping at a soup kitchen. But there are so many wonderful ways for kids to participate in community service. Community service for kids (and adults) doesn’t have to happen just in the month of November when we typically think more about gratitude and service. Service projects with kids can and should happen all year round.
You may be wondering how to teach your kids to value community service. Just like many things in life, when you teach your children, they are more often receptive and receive the learning when they are learning from seeing others do things. So when you start looking for service projects for kids, make sure you are also going to be participating in community service with them or doing something else that they can see. This helps your child to see that you value community service and helping others as well.
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Service Projects for Kids
When you are ready to begin doing service projects with kids, the first thing you need to consider is their safety. There are lots of ways to give back to the community, but not all of them are suitable for children. Finding safe ways to encourage your child to serve others is a blessing to others but will also be a blessing to you and your child. Whether you are looking for an at home service project, a classroom service project, a family service project, or a kindness service project, these ideas should help spark some ideas that you can incorporate into your plans for community service for kids.
At Home Service Projects
If getting out to do a service project is difficult for you or your children, there are plenty of at home service projects you can do. One of the things that has become more easy to do, is to connect online with different people. There are many lonely people in your neighborhood, church, or community. Choose some names and figure out a way to connect with them on a regular basis.
Here are some simple ways to connect on a regular basis:
- Make a phone call
- Text a video greeting
- Post cards or handwritten letters
- Jacquie Lawson animated cards (These are so much fun!)
- Handmade cards
Connecting with people who are lonely or sick, doesn’t have to take a lot of time on your part, but you can rest assured that the person receiving the attention will appreciate knowing that someone is thinking of them. Even if you’re not able to go out and do a service project, you can do these at home service projects and bring some cheer to someone else.
Classroom Service Projects
- Project Linus – Make blankets for children who are in the hospital. Fleece blankets that tie around the edges are super easy for kids to make.
- Toys for Tots – Collect or purchase toys to help children who might not have much for Christmas.
- Donations for Local Kids – Toys, blankets, toiletries, and stuffed animals for kids in foster care and transitional housing. Check with your local women’s shelter, police, and fire departments to find out what the local need is and where to take donated items.
- Feeding America – This is a network of food pantries across America. There is also a need for food at food banks and local food pantries. You can find a way to help in your local area on this website.
- Become a National Park Volunteer – The National Park Service is looking for volunteers to help keep the parks clean as well as many other projects.
- Write letters to troops – Show you appreciation for their service and help them to know that they have not been forgotten.
- Blessing Bags – collect and package small toiletries, granola bars, bottle water, socks and gloves and give the bags out to the homeless people you may drive by.
- Collect pet food and blankets for an animal shelter.
Family Service Project Ideas
Family service project ideas are the best when the whole family can get involved in the project. Looking for community service for kids where the whole family can participate is a great relationship building opportunity for your child. They can see the value you place in community service and they also see the joy that comes from family service projects and helping others.
- Make goodies from your kitchen and share them with someone else.
- Make homemade bread and share a loaf with your child’s teacher or your pastor.
- Make an extra batch of cookies or Pumpkin muffins and share them with a friend.
- Dinner in a basket – make soup and cornbread or bread rolls and put it in a pretty basket for a sick or lonely friend.
- Picnic on the go – Pack a picnic and take it along and share it with a lonely friend. Be sure to stay and eat the picnic with them.
- Online grocery shopping and delivery for an elderly friend.
- Plant flowers for picking and sharing.
- Grow a garden with plenty to share.
- Rake leaves or clean up a flower bed for someone else.
- Book exchange – when you are done with your books, share them with someone who is younger who might enjoy reading your books.
- Puzzle/game exchange – Children grow so quickly and soon lose interest in some of the puzzles and games that they’ve outgrown. Box these up and take them to your school or church to share with another family.
- Clothing exchange – Be on the lookout for someone to give your “hand-me-downs” to. Or better yet, organize a clothing exchange where lots of parents can bring their outgrown clothes and swap with other families. All the kids will have something “new” and the blessing will be spread around.
- Toy exchange – Just like the puzzle and game exchange, you can share with a specific family or make an event of the exchange.
- Volunteer at the Humane Society and play with the animals.
- Raise a service dog
Kindness Service Projects
When children catch the spirit of being kind to others and doing service projects to help other people, it is fun to watch the transformation that can happen with this new focus on helping others. If you are looking for more than a specific project, why not try a kindness service project. You may have heard the phrase Random Acts of Kindness and in the context of kindness service projects, you can help your children look for ways to spread kindness to others.
When you create a family focus on being kind to others, it is fun to start watching other people and how they respond to your kindnesses. As a family, you can talk about your plans to show kindness to others, perhaps to a co-worker who is having a difficult time, a classmate who doesn’t seem to have anyone to eat lunch with, a neighbor who may be lonely, the postal carrier, the package delivery person, your child’s teacher, or your church pastor. Look for people who are not expecting your kindness and see how you can surprise them with kindness.
In the evening, when you are having family worship or talking around the supper table, talk about the kindness service projects you did that day and how the recipient responded. By focusing on serving others, your heart will be filled with gratitude as well. The Bible says: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35. When you focus on giving to others, it is much harder to be angry and upset with others. Kindness and service to others changes your mental focus from yourself to others.
RELATED: 35 Service Projects for Kids
Service Project for Kids
Write down some service projects for kids that intrigue you and might work with your family. Look for ways to incorporate a spirit of giving and blessing others in what you do as a family. Talk to you kids and ask for their ideas of what type of service project for kids they would like to participate in and then make it happen.
The more you serve, the more you will want to serve. The more you help others, the less you think of your own issues because you are receiving the blessings of focusing on others rather than focusing on yourself. Set a community service example for your child and encourage them to look for ways each day where they can serve others.
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