• leahwacek

Activities that spark generosity in kids

A couple years ago, our oldest asked to do her birthday party at FEED MY STARVING CHILDREN. If you don't know about this organization, check it out - they take groups of volunteers to pack food for hungry kids in poverty-stricken areas of the world. They are highly organized and all packing sessions that I've been a part of are extremely well-run.

  • They teach you what is in the food, how to pack it and where it is going.

  • They play music.

  • We sing.

  • We ring bells when we've achieved a goal.

  • It is a total blast!

The birthday party we did for Norah there was her favorite by a mile. We asked all the girls to bring a donation for the organization instead of a gift.

We grabbed supper at a local pizza joint on the way home. When it was all over I asked myself why I hadn't thought of this years ago. Now, we try to encourage all our kids to think of a service project for their birthday parties.

It is BRILLIANT for so many reasons:

  • It's not at my house so there is no "cleaning to get ready" and "cleaning when it's all over" nonsense to deal with

  • I don't have to decorate with a bunch of stuff made in China that will end up in a landfill later on

  • There are no kids amped up on sugary desserts, jumping on my couch and otherwise destroying my home

  • I don't have to come up with games or activities

  • There are not dozens of trinkets and baubles to find homes for afterwards

  • We support a local business by treating the kids to ice cream or pizza on the way home

  • Parents love the idea donating to a cause instead of buying more "stuff"

  • Saves the parents time as they don't have to make a trip to the store to pick out a gift

Doing service-related birthday parties is my number one suggestion for parents trying to find activities to spark generosity in their kids, but here's a list of other ideas that can be done at other times of year:

  • baking for neighbors

  • picking up trash

  • shoveling the neighbor's driveway before they get home

  • mowing a lawn

  • handing out freezies at the next sweltering-hot little league game

  • offering to help a teacher set up their classroom in the fall

  • reading a story to nursing home residents

  • organizing a book drive for a local elementary school

  • serving a meal at a church, youth center or homeless shelter

  • making a meal and delivering it to a family that needs some help

  • walk someone's dog

  • offer to take care of someone's kids and put your own children in charge of an activity, game or craft to do with them

The possibilities are endless! Do you have an idea to spark generosity in your kids that I haven't listed? Share it in the comments!

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