Raising kids who give back is a big priority for me as a parent! My kids are still quite young (6, 4, 3, and newborn), so the options are limited, but here are a few ways I try to get them thinking about leaving the world a better place than they found it:
- Teach by example. Donate to charities, volunteer at your child’s school, drop food off at your local food bank. Be kind to others.
- Get them involved. My kids are getting better at going through their belongings and picking out items they want to donate rather than feeling like every item I suggest is the most important item ever. They have an easy time going through clothing now; we have a lot of work to do with toys still!
- Choose accessible projects. This was the whole point of putting together a craft ebook for the Small Hands Creating Hope fundraiser. Giving back can be as simple as making something for someone who is having a rough time – or walking around your neighborhood picking up trash.
- Encourage them to reach out. I am trying to teach my children to always be kind and to always treat others with respect.
- Write thank you notes. Gratitude is the first step to giving back.
- Where possible, support inspirational dreams. Like this documentary looking at using community creative arts programs to support a peaceful post conflict community. I’m not affiliated with this project in any way, but I studied this same topic for my doctoral dissertation, so I’m excited to see a documentary on the same topic in a different part of the world.
Here are a few causes I’m exploring with my kids this month:
- Go Orange for No Kid Hungry runs September 6-9. Did you know that one in five children in the United states struggle with hunger? Learn more about it here.
- September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month, and there are several ways kids can make a difference. This photo essay can introduce you to a few pediatric cancer patients.We are also opening the Small Hands Creating Hope fundraiser back up for the month of September. Go to this link to get all the details!
- Help BGCA provide school supplies to kids in need through Bloggers Filling Backpacks.
There are even more opportunities to help if you look at global organizations. Do you have a favorite global charity? Giving back – locally or globally – is a great way to increase global awareness, since it helps children and parents look beyond their immediate needs.
I feel like Emma (6 years old) is getting to an age where she can be involved more with giving back, so I would love to hear how you are working on this with your children! Melitsa wrote a wonderful post on making service and giving easier for the under 5s at Play Activities.
Learning Laboratory is a space to share fun, creative, hands-on learning for all ages! Here are my favorite links from the last link-up (August 6th, the day before Anna was born!):
- Visiting a butterfly house from Creative Themes for learning and play
- I Went on a Safari free printable from waddlee-ah-chaa
- DIY Kids Grocery Game for Happy Shopping Trips from B-Inspired Mama.com
- Elephant Watering Can from Teach Beside Me
- Chocolate Banana Bites from School Time Snippets
- Surviving a Long Train Trip from Taming the Goblin
I’m going to change things up a little to accommodate life with four very young kids – I will be visiting all of the posts and commenting on many, but instead of commenting on all the posts, I’ll be pinning as many posts as I can to my Pinterest boards. This is easier for me to do with a small baby, and hopefully it will bring you more traffic as well! This also means that, by participating in this linky, you are giving me permission to pin your posts to my boards. I will still feature favorite posts each week. Feel free to email mamasmilesblog at gmail dot com with any concerns about the change, or other feedback.
This post was written as part of a cross-blog conversation I’m ran with Melitsa of Play Activities about ways parents can encourage global thinking and understanding. Here is my post about using maps to encourage global thinking, Melitsa’s post about using maps, my post about global games, Melitsa’s post about global games, and Melitsa’s post about charitable opportunities.