When you volunteer with your children, everyone benefits, especially the children themselves. In fact, studies show that children who volunteer are far less likely to engage in risky behavior, such as drinking or skipping school, than their peers. Volunteering together is also a wonderful family bonding experience.
Photo by TawnyNina
How to Volunteer with your Children
Work with your child’s schedule: Many family-friendly opportunities can last most of the day. For younger children, several hours of gardening or beach cleanup in the sun might be too much. You know your children best, so keep your volunteer schedule flexible to accommodate them if they get tired, bored or hungry. Even if you have to leave early, everyone will understand.
Incorporate some fun: All children, especially young children, love to play, and will be much more enthusiastic about volunteering if they get to have some fun too. Why not do something silly, like dress up as superheroes, when you go volunteer?
Use volunteering as a learning experience: Volunteering is a positive, structured and active experience, making it the perfect hands-on learning activity for children. While volunteering with your children, take the opportunity to incorporate some learning. Planting flowers, for example, is a great time to teach your child about basic botany.
Talk with your child before and after: Volunteering helps children develop empathy, social skills, a sense of community and so much more. Help them develop a broader understanding of their volunteer work by discussing what they did and why, and how their actions made a difference.