It’s hard to believe but summer is right around the corner! The kids will be out of school and then the fun begins. Or does it…
Lily, the star of the Superheroes Club is always looking for ways to be her best self and that includes serving others.
Are you thinking of how to get your children involved in activities this summer that will both be fun and serve the purpose of teaching them to help others?
Here are 14 ideas to consider that can be done once or multiple times during the break and beyond:
1. Perform errands for an elderly neighbor
As we grow older, even the most independent ones among us may experience loneliness, a decline in mobility, or even the ability to do simple household chores. Although living longer is certainly a great outcome of the 21st century, many elderly people in our communities need assistance but would never ask for it. So if you have an elderly neighbor, ask him or her if you and your child can come over, run some errands, help with some household chores or even visit for a while.
2. Volunteer with Meals on Wheels
For the same reasons discussed above, a lot of elderly are unable to prepare their own meals. Even sadder is the fact that some may not be able to afford to buy food.
Meals on Wheels is an excellent service that gives people a chance to donate their lunch hours to deliver meals to 1 in 6 seniors in America who do not know where their next meal is coming from. Getting the kids involved in this venture is certainly a great way to serve.
Over 80% of seniors who have been served by Meals on Wheels say it has improved their health, helped them feel more safe and secure. Isn’t that reason alone a great reason to volunteer?
3. Visit a local senior facility
Do you have a local senior facility? Seniors love company, too! Adopt a local senior who resides in a senior facility and visit him or her throughout the summer. As your kids get old enough to read and write, sending letters to these adopted seniors is a great way to continue practicing those skills during the break from school.
4. Offer to do chores for a single parent
Yes single parents need help, too!
In 2016, 23% of children in America lived with a single mom. This number comes out to about 20 million children and millions of single moms who truly would appreciate the assistance. Do you know a single mom or dad who lives around you? Ask if you and the kids can do chores for them one day so they can have a day off to do something for themselves.
5. Put on a community show
How many times do parents hear “I’m bored” during the summer from kids? Raise your hand if you’ve heard this in the last 24 hours!
Collaborate with parents in your community and have the kids put together a play, a musical, a talent or variety show this summer. They will be rehearsing all summer long and it will be a chance for the community to bond.
6. Volunteer with Habitat for Humanity
Very recently, this mom built a home from scratch with her 4 children who were all under the age of 18. It was tough and daunting but they did it together and according to the mom, it brought her family together.
You don’t have to build a home from scratch but how about helping build a home for others? The children will learn lots of new skills and have the satisfaction of knowing they are contributing to helping other families have a home.
7. Volunteer at a local fundraising event
Is there a local fundraising event in your area for a cause you believe in? Call or visit their website and see how you can volunteer.
8. Serve At A Local Food Shelter
Are there opportunities at a local food shelter for families to serve? Take advantage of those opportunities.
9. Write letters/create small care packages for deployed service members
There are so many freedoms we enjoy in this country that we owe to our military and especially those who are on deployment. Writing letters and creating small care packages that bring a little bit of home to these soldiers abroad even in small ways leave a great impact.
10. Food/Clothing drive
Help your kids organize a food and clothing drive and donate them or set up “Help Yourself” Booths in and around your neighborhood or city in spots where people can help themselves to the goodies if they need them.
11. Create hygiene kits for the homeless
The homeless are always in need of hygiene items. Storm your local Walmart, Target or dollar store and pick up some items in the trial/travel section - toothpaste, soap, deodorant, toothbrushes etc. Place these in good old sandwich bags/Ziplocs and distribute them to the homeless.
12. Decorate and fill art bags for sick children at the hospital
It is always a humbling experience to remember that while some kids get to enjoy the summer playing with water guns and splashing around in wave pools, others have to spend the time in a hospital.
Fill an art bag with crayons and coloring books and other fun toys to brighten the day of a sick child in the hospital.
There are also opportunities to volunteer in hospital playrooms or even read to children. Find out how you and your children can help in this capacity as well.
13. Organize a recycling party and donate the proceeds to a charity
If you live in a state like California where you can get money for recycling used bottles and cans, get the kids to organize a recycling party to collect a whole bunch of recyclables, sell these and donate the proceeds to a charity of your choice.
14. Organize a Special Olympics-type event for people with disabilities
Make people with disabilities in your community feel included by organizing a Special Olympics-type event!
We could go on and on but these 14 should have your creative juices flowing already on fun yet helpful summer activities to get your kids involved. We’d love to hear YOUR ideas for practicing those superpowers this summer.