10 Ways Your Child Can Give Back Now

We are so thankful to partner with The Learning Experience - River Park for this informative post on how our kids can give back, no matter their ages!

Listen, sometimes this world feels heavy. There seems to be so much bad news, a growing number of people in need, and just an overall sense that society is in need of some love, you know what I mean? In my family, a HUGE part of our lives is teaching our 7 year old twins how to give back. From an early age, we tried to intentionally raise them to care about others and address their needs in a very real, hands-on way. My hope is that it makes them more socially aware and becomes second nature to them as they see folks who can use our assistance. I think most parents desire this for their children but may be unsure about WHAT exactly to do.

Well, our friends at The Learning Experience – River Park and Houston Moms Blog have come up with a curated list of ideas of how your family can give back on a regular basis, NOT just around the holidays as so many of us tend to do.  I love how passionate they are about this particular initiative. Not only is philanthropy part of the core curriculum they teach children daily, but their grand opening event THIS Saturday, March 3rd {10am – 2pm} revolves around that central theme and will support the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a volunteer and donor powered charity committed to supporting the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and give survivors long and healthy lives.  Your family is invited out to enjoy this completely free event complete with a petting zoo, train ride, arts & crafts, and more…plus Sports Clips of Greatwood/ River Park will be shaving heads on-site as a show of solidarity for these brave patients.. Contact The Learning Experience if you would like to volunteer to assist with the event or have your child jump in for the head shaving {hey, warmer weather is on the horizon, too!}

We hope you will find our list valuable and can institute some of these ideas into your daily lives. Kids are NEVER too young to give back and their contributions can definitely make big waves!

10 Ways Your Kids Can Give Back

1. Create a family kindness chain ::

Cut out strips of colored paper, much like you would do for a Christmas countdown chain. On each one, start writing down each time your child demonstrates a random act of kindness OR every time they are the recipients of kindness. See how long you can grow that chain! Then pick a specified date {every Sunday night at dinner for example} to read through all of the kindness and joy they have spread. It will be inspiring to both you and them!

2. Begin a Blessing Fund ::

Keep a jar on your countertop {bonus points if you decorate it super cute!} and place extra money each week for the fund. It could be a portion of your child’s allowance, spare change, money from extra chores, etc. When you discover a person who is need of a financial gift, you have that jar ready to go and fill the need. I love that this involves the kiddos sacrificing money as well. In our family, we split our kids’ allowances into three :: spend, save, give. At least 10% must be in the give section. It’s a great place to start!

3. Choose a Volunteer Activity ::

So many times we want to act and serve as a family but it’s hard to know where to start! Think about creating another jar with slips of paper that has names of organizations your family is passionate about. It could be a homeless shelter, an organization that provides meals, a pet rescue… anything goes! On the first of every month, draw a piece of paper from the jar and that’s where your family will serve together that month. There is nothing like working alongside your little ones to both encourage and inspire them.

4. Model the Behavior ::

Show your kids what it looks like to give back. Whether that is through your personal religious affiliation, up at your child’s school, or just out in the community, they NEED to see us doing the work, too. Likely they will ask you questions about it and it’s a fantastic opportunity to spur the conversation.

5. Decorate Lunch Bags ::

There are several organizations in our area that provide meals to underprivileged children who otherwise may go hungry on the weekend. Lunches of Love and Kid’s Meals to name a couple. I love that they encourage the kids to decorate the paper sacks that these invaluable gifts of food will be given in AND that it’s something any aged child can do. My girl LOVES adorning all.the.things with glitter and writing inspiring messages. Such a fun project for them and it’s sure to lift spirits of the recipients as well.

6. Follow Pennies of Time ::

I absolutely love the mission of this grassroots organization. They are specifically in place to show families and kids how just 15 minutes of time served giving back can make a HUGE difference in someone’s life. They have all sorts of ideas and resources to help kids learn to be kind, be empathetic, recognize those in needs, and find ways to meet those needs.

7. Get in the Kitchen ::

Don’t underestimate the value of cooking with love! Kids love to assist in the kitchen, and while messy, you are creating memories! Have a neighbor going through a difficult time? Bake them cookies or a loaf of bread and have your kids hand deliver it. Our church has a care ministry so regularly I make meals for those who have had surgery, going through cancer treatments, or had a baby recently and I always involve my kids in the process. Bonus points for having your kids write a sweet note to them, too!

8. Check out the Local Hospitals ::

So many of our wonderful medical facilities here have programs your family can be involved in, whether it’s creating and sending greeting/encouragement cards, new toy drop off and donations, or spending time serving as a volunteer. My kiddos especially love doing the cards around the holidays and it helps us get in the spirit and truly remember the reason for the season!

9. Have a Toy Closet Clean Out ::

Before birthdays and holidays, encourage your child to thoroughly clean out out the toys they no longer play with before they get a whole assortment of new toys. Then check out some local organizations that accept gently used toys and drop them off. Do make sure that all pieces are in place, that they are in workable condition, have batteries, etc.

10. Make Homeless Care Packages ::

These are so easy to do and fun to assemble even for the littles. Grab some large ziplocs and fill them with items that a homeless person may need :: toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, mini shampoos, hand sanitizer, deodorant, and non-perishables such as energy bars, trail mix, applesauce, tuna/cracker packets, instant oatmeal, etc. Here is a list for a great care package as well. Keep the bags in your car and when you are around town {and it’s safe to do so}, hand out bags if you see a person in need. I love the idea of incorporating this into a “play date with a cause” as well. Invite over a bunch of your friends, assign each person an item or 2, then assemble with all of the kids at the play date. Win, win!

Connect with The Learning Experience – River Park {Now OPEN!}

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  • The Learning Experience® is one of the nation’s fastest growing academies of early education for children ages six weeks to five years old.
  • The Learning Experience prepares children academically and socially through innovative programs such as the L.E.A.P.® curriculum, a cutting-edge proprietary approach to learning which has 9 out of 10 children reading before kindergarten.
  • The Learning Experience utilizes various enrichment programs crucial to advancing learning and overall balance, such as philanthropy, Yippee 4 Yoga™, Music 4 Me®, Movin’ N Groovin’®, manners and etiquette, and foreign language.
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Meagan Clanahan
Meagan is a Dallas native who has lived in the Katy area for over a decade. She kicked a soccer ball all the way to Louisiana to attend college at her family’s alma mater of LSU, where she promptly fell in love with a Texas Aggie in Baton Rouge for an internship. After swimming back to Texas following Hurricane Katrina, Matt and Meagan fell in love with the Houston area and now couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. Following several years of infertility, their miracle twins Ryan and Quinn were born in June of 2010. She believes there is nothing better than a chilled glass of Pinot Grigio, a large Sonic Diet Coke, sushi take-out, Girls Nights Out, and a mindless book to curl up with. Besides playing chauffeur and catering to the whims of her children, Meagan also is the Co-Owner of Houston Moms Blog. You can keep up with Meagan at The Clanahan Fam and on Instagram @meaganclanahan!


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