Volunteering as a family can be a great way to instill a spirit of giving at a young age and make a difference together. Use these steps to generate volunteer ideas for kids and help them learn how to help others.
Discover their interests
Animals, birds, buildings, cooking: Kids have wide-ranging and often diverse interests, and that’s the best way to capture and nurture their volunteer spirit. Find something they’re passionate about and build on it. For example, if animals spark their attention, an animal shelter or rescue and rehabilitation facility makes a natural fit. If there's a zoo near you, you could check to see if they have any volunteer work for teens. A love for cooking can be channeled into efforts for a community food pantry.
Do some research
Once children have narrowed down a topic, help them learn more about the issues. Your goal is to broaden their perspective beyond the walls of their home so they can understand other people, places, cultures and issues.
Find a local connection
Sure, you can find a national or global charity that fits your kid’s interest — but you can also look for a local environmental group that is active and visit a natural area they’ve helped to protect. That’s a good way to help your children see firsthand how volunteering directly impacts the world around them. You can donate to your local food pantry, making a difference to families in need.
Choose a commitment — short-term or ongoing
Once you’ve identified that local connection, work with your kids to figure out how they can contribute — either once or as an ongoing activity. For example, a local park may be having a clean-up day, or they may enjoy reading or playing games with retirement home residents once a week.