While your little ones may associate the holidays with oodles of presents, visits from Santa, and sugar cookies galore, they may not yet recognize another important aspect of the holiday season – spreading joy to others.
Although presents are awesome to unwrap on Christmas morning, the excitement of playing with new toys only lasts for a bit. However, if you give your children the opportunity to give back this holiday, that fulfilling feeling will last all year round. Try one of these holiday charity ideas with your kids to show them the joy they’ll get from spreading holiday cheer.
1. Volunteer at a food kitchen
Giving your kids the opportunity to help those who need it the most can be an invaluable experience. Spend a night volunteering at a food bank or homeless center – older kids will enjoy serving food to those visiting the center, while younger kids can contribute homemade holiday artwork, decor, or cards to bring some holiday spirit to the meal.
2. Choose a family to sponsor
If your kids believe in Santa Claus, they may think that every child gets what they want for Christmas. If you want to teach your kids to give back, explain to them that sometimes Santa can’t find little children who move around or don’t have homes.
Tell them that they can be Santa’s helper by helping him give gifts to some kids. Find a family in your community to sponsor, and have your kids pick out and wrap gifts based on the family’s wishlist. Your kids will love being one of Santa’s elves and helping out other kids.
3. Give out cards at nursing homes
Nursing homes can be lonely for some residents, especially around the holidays. Fortunately, there’s nothing like a visit from kids to spread some joy and cheer around the home. Have your little ones create handfuls of holiday cards, and bring them to your community nursing home for your kids to give out. They will not only be proud of their artwork, but they will also get a chance to meet and learn from the older generation.
4. Donate a gift
From now until Christmas, pay your child for performing chores around the house. However, instead of pocketing the money, encourage your child to put half (or all) of the cash in a piggy bank. When the holidays near, take your little ones shopping for a toy with their saved-up cash and donate it to a child less fortunate than them. They’ll love to see how the efforts of their hard work put a smile on another kid’s face.
5. Deliver holiday meals
Many organizations bring meals to people’s homes when they are alone and unable to venture out on their own. If a food shelter is a little too intimidating for your youngster, helping out with a program like Meals on Wheels is the perfect happy medium. Have your kids make cookies and cards to accompany the meals and provide a little holiday cheer with each delivery.
To truly get your kids in the holiday spirit this year, focus less on the presents and more on how they can bring cheer to others in their community. These five holiday charity ideas will teach your youngsters to appreciate the gifts they’ve been giving and the joy that comes with helping others.
Whether they need a place to prep holiday cards for people in nursing homes or wrap presents for the sponsored family, Step2 has the perfect workspaces for their crafting.