1. Take Cues from Your Child
If your child loves baseball, encourage him/her to donate some change from their piggy bank, and then write a check to a local Little League team or Baseball Foundation together. Once your child is a little older, try asking what they would most like to change about the world, and choose an appropriate charity to work with together.
2. Serving vs. Being Served
One of the best ways to give kids practice in real-world kindness is to serve others. Get the whole family involved to serve people in need. Find opportunities to lend a hand with a local community or philanthropic organization, like a local scout troop, food bank, animal shelter, Habitat for Humanity, nursing home, or any place of worship. Even the guidance department at your child’s school. When kids realize the impact they can make by serving and being kind to others, you begin to foster a servant’s heart in them, and that’s a beautiful thing.
3. Sharing is Caring
Have your children sort through their old toys and clothing to decide which to donate, but don't push them to say goodbye to their faves. "Taking things away when a child isn't ready will cause her to view philanthropy with a sense of loss instead of empowerment," says Carol Weisman, author of one of our favorite reads, Raising Charitable Children.
4. Active Giving
Show your kids they can do something good for themselves and for others in need! Participate in a family-friendly one-mile or 5K walk that benefits a cause important to your family. Or, enjoy beautiful spring or summer days by volunteering for a park cleanup program or a local building project.
5. New Traditions
Celebrate a holiday, anniversary, or other event as a family by giving back to those in need. Not only will your kids learn the importance of volunteering and generosity, they’ll also look forward to the event every year. For example, consider participating in an adopt-a-family holiday program or help fill boxes at a food bank. Or for Earth Day, look for volunteer opportunities in your community. These shared experiences can help teach your kids valuable lessons about the impact of giving back to the community.
These are just a few ways to get your child involved and excited about giving back. You can also continue to spread the love of giving by finding local foundations in your community to volunteer and donate. Continue learning about giving back at home with a few of our favorite books for kids.