With summer now being in full swing, many homes are now full of children that are bursting with energy with the new free time they have until September rolls back around. However, being out of the classroom doesn’t mean that learning doesn’t have to stop entirely– in fact, it leaves opportunities for children to learn different things! Community service, for example, can teach children about compassion and the importance of helping other people, and is a great way to keep them engaged throughout the dog days of the year.
However, with parents being busy and some children being too young to participate in many community service events on their own, it can sometimes be difficult to find viable ways for them to participate. That doesn’t mean that it is impossible, though. Below is a list of ways that your child can give back to their community in simple ways from home.
1. Give old books to your local Little Free Library.
The school year is a period of fast growth for children. Therefore, they may have some books scattered around at home that are no longer their reading level. Something your child can do is go through their home library and pick which books they’re still interested in and plan on rereading. The books they don’t care for anymore can be donated to a myriad of places, but try dropping them off at your local Little Free Library for children who may not have easy access to literature to take. Simply search where the closest one to you is and put them inside– it’s as simple as that. If there isn’t one in your vicinity, you can always donate them to local teachers or doctor’s offices.
Want to learn more about little libraries and supporting your community? Check out Lila Lou’s Little Library by Nikki Bergstresser!
2. Donate old clothes.
Similarly, there may be clothes from the past school year that your child has grown out of or might not be something they enjoy wearing anymore. Hold yourselves a little fashion show and have your child try on all the items in their wardrobe to determine what fits, what doesn’t, and what clothing makes your child feel the best in. Everything that doesn’t make the cut can be donated to local organizations.
3. Clean your neighbors yard.
Community service doesn’t have to be on a large scale– it can start off as small as helping the people who live around you. If you’re lucky enough to have manageable heat in your area, something your child doesn’t have to go far for to contribute to their community is to clean their neighbors’ yards. This can be as simple as picking up sticks, pulling out their weeds, and watering their garden. Even the most basic yard work being completed for them is one extra thing off their plate.
Make your at-home community service projects more exciting with this FREE FAMILY TIME GAME printable!
4. Create a garden.
A garden is a great way to liven up your street and make it more pleasant to walk down. Consider suggesting to your child that they could plant flowers, trees, or even fruit and vegetable plants in your family’s yard to brighten the area. Another great added benefit of this is encouraging the local biodiversity which, opposed to a regular lawn, better encourages cleaner air and pollination. Plus, if you plant fruits and vegetables, you can create delicious homemade meals for your family and neighbors from your own garden!
5. The classic lemonade stand.
It wouldn’t be a kids’ community service opportunities list without listing the evergreen classic: the lemonade stand. Particularly in the summer months, people often need to stop and rehydrate, whether that be workers who stop on the street or people simply going for a walk. Additionally, your child can take donations in addition to providing people with refreshments, and the money earned from this can be donated to a charity of choice, whether that be a pet shelter, food pantries, or community development centers. This is a great opportunity to beat the heat and give back in a simple way.
Most importantly, it is important for children to understand the importance behind giving back to the community, and how it is rewarding to do so. It’s never too early to begin teaching about what it means to look after one another– and how it can be fun, too.
Chloe Kukuk, an upcoming junior majoring in public relations and English at Oakland University, is an editorial and marketing intern at the Cardinal Rule Press. When she’s not studying or working, she loves taking trips to the bookstore and lazing around the house with her three wonderful cats.