The holiday season is a wonderful time to spend with friends and family, and it’s also a perfect opportunity to teach children about the importance of generosity and thankfulness. Here’s how to show kids the power of giving back during the holidays!
1. Donate old toys and clothes. Although most of us associate the holidays with gifts and festivities, there are unfortunately many families who do not have access to these resources. Talk to your kids about less fortunate children, and ask them to imagine themselves in their shoes. Many charities gladly accept used toys and clothing, and your kids will feel good knowing they’ve made another child’s holiday season a little bit brighter.
2. Donate food. Another painful reality is that food insecurity is an ongoing issue with many families. Last year, more than 10% of Americans (nearly 14 million people) experienced food insecurity. Food drives are very popular during the holidays, and canned goods are especially popular due to their long shelf life. Encourage your kids to help dig through the pantry to find unwanted items you can donate!
3. Participate in a toy drive. Toy drives help children in need and make their holiday season one to remember! Generally, with toy drives, new (unused) toys are donated. If you have the means to do it, have your child pick out a gift at the store with the intent of donating it to a toy drive.
4. Volunteer work. Volunteer work is available year-round, but more opportunities are often available during the holidays. Parents can research local volunteer organizations and charities to find out how you can help. A common example of volunteer work during the holidays is creating “care packages” for families who do not have adequate access to food, toiletries, and essentials. Volunteer work is incredibly rewarding for everyone involved, and also provides valuable life experience for students. To learn more about why kids should consider volunteer work, click here!
5. Gift-wrap drives. The toys donated in drives all need to be wrapped, and that’s precisely what a gift-wrap drive is for! Many charities and organizations host special events during the holidays where volunteers can wrap donated toys before they are given out to children.
6. Family presents. Kids are used to getting their own presents during the holiday season, but the experience of picking out a gift for someone else is also very rewarding. When choosing a gift for a friend or family member, encourage your kids to think about that person’s interests and personality traits. This is a great way to teach kids about the importance of gratitude, and how thanking our loved ones is a joyous experience.
With the holidays right around the corner and kids having time off school, volunteer work and holiday giving are excellent activities to keep young minds occupied. For more great ideas to help your kids avoid a holiday break of staring at their phone’s screen, click here!