Editor’s Note: Bringing back some tips for celebrating goodness as winter melts into spring in the coming weeks! Got any other great ideas for practicing kindness with the kids? Please share in the comments.
This spring, help your children think of fun and simple ways to give back to the community. We’ve put together a few ideas to help you get started!
By A. Noelle
1. Help clean up a local park or beach.
Encourage your kids to beautify their surroundings. Help them organize a community spring cleaning event with their friends or classmates to pick up trash at a nearby park or beach. Bonus: Turn the event into a game or contest, and treat the kids to a healthy meal (or ice cream) for their hard work.
2. Plant a tree or a garden.
Talk to your kids about the many important roles that trees play, such as filtering the air we breathe and offering protection from the weather. With permission from the local community or school, give back to the environment and plant a tree or a garden. Bonus: If you’re planting herbs or vegetables in your home garden, make a plan to share some of your harvest with your neighbors. You can host a dinner party or just have a small gathering at your place to share a meal of your freshly grown produce.
3. Leave change at a parking meter or a vending machine.
If you’re out with the kids for the afternoon and you notice a car parked at a meter that is about to expire, let your kids help you count some change to leave in the meter. If you have extra quarters for the vending machine, teach your kids a small lesson in generosity and leave the change for the next person. Bonus: If you stop for a treat somewhere like at a cafe or outdoor vendor, pay for the person standing in line behind you. Or you could have your kids add some change to the tip jar.
4. Bake cookies or muffins to share with your neighbors.
Bake a surprise batch of homemade cookies or muffins, and have your kids help you share them around the neighborhood. If you don’t have time to bake, make a quick stop at the grocery store’s baked goods aisle. Bonus: If you’re doing this in the morning, pass out some hot cocoa (with marshmallows!) in disposable coffee cups to complement the treat. (Tip: You can use a large thermos—or a few of them—to keep the cocoa warm while you’re on the go, and then just pour the drinks when it’s time to serve.)
5. Write uplifting notes and leave them in your favorite library books.
Before you and the kids return borrowed books to the library, help your kids write friendly and uplifting notes to leave in between the pages for the next readers. (Remind the kids not to write directly in the books!) Bonus: Let your kids choose a few of their old children’s books to donate to the library or local bookstore.
6. Make a thank you card and give it to the school bus driver.
Help your kids design a thank you card for their school bus driver, reminding them to always show appreciation for the workers they interact with on a daily basis. You might consider making a thank you card for the mail carrier, too. Bonus: Remind your kids the importance of expressing gratitude every day. In the morning, as you help them prepare for school, help them list off 3 – 5 things that they’re grateful for having in their lives. While cultivating a greater appreciation and awareness for their possessions, talents, etc., this simple and mindful activity can serve as an added boost of positivity to the start of the day.
7. Give away free water bottles or lemonade.
As the weather starts to heat up, give away free lemonade or water to neighbors or members of the local community. Bonus: Set up a stand to sell lemonade for a good cause. Donate the funds you raise to a local charity or shelter of their choice.