Have you ever been involved in community service as a family? Maybe you’re wondering which service project ideas to try. It’s never a bad time to spend time working for a good cause. And it’s a great way to involve your kids in the lives of community members.
Service Project Ideas for Kids
Getting your kids involved in the community is a great way to teach empathy, compassion, responsibility, and care for others. Here are some wonderful service project ideas for kids and how you can get started.
What are some service project ideas?
Here are two easy service project ideas for young people to try to get more involved in the community.
Wrap gifts for children at custody exchange centers. These safe-spaces are needed for children from broken homes to be able to have supervised visitations with one of their parents. You could donate and wrap old stuffed animals that are gently used to be able to brighten the day of children who spend time here.
Pick up trash in a park. This is a very simple project idea that you can do with the whole family.
Printable Summer Service Project PDF
Download a printable summer service list and see how many you can accomplish together.
How Kids Can Serve the Community
Kids can serve the local community in many ways. First ask which ministries or causes are most important to your family? If you or friends have been involved in foster care or adoption, then community projects that serve foster families and kids will make the most sense for you. Maybe you have loved ones in a nursing home near or far away, then your whole family might want to look for ways to encourage and bless the senior citizens in a local home.
If you have no clue where to start with community projects, keep reading and we’ll give you some inspiration and practical service project ideas for kids. You can download some free community helpers printables too.
Benefits of Teaching Kids to Serve
The benefits of teaching kids to serve are many, including growing empathy and compassion for others. Lending a helping hand to improve the lives of others can not only cause a positive impact in that person’s life, but it will grow your kids’ character too.
Teaching kids to serve is one of the best ways to work against the natural selfish tendencies we all struggle with in our lives.
But here are some other benefits to consider:
- lowers blood pressure
- strengthens relationships
- reduces depression
- increases life satisfaction
- grows teamwork
- gives you the ability to work with others that are different from you
- builds leadership skills
Lessons Kids Learn While Serving Others
Kids learn many lessons while serving others. In fact, volunteer opportunities are a fun way to grow important character qualities like hard work, compassion, teamwork, and perseverance.
When parents involve their kids in community service project ideas, they’re are providing a good example for their children to follow. This mentorship will be one of the most important things your children will remember.
Here are some of the lessons kids learn while serving others:
- there is joy in putting others before yourself
- making money isn’t the most important part of life
- the importance of community
Finally, by getting involved in community service projects, your children just might find their life-calling!
Service project ideas for kids
Here are some great community service ideas to involve your older kids and younger ones alike.
Organize a 5K to benefit a charity
Choose a local charity that is close to your heart and organize a community-wide 5K to collect funds for the cause. This is a great way to meet people in your community, get some exercise, and bring attention to the work of a worthy cause.
Local Children’s Hospital
A local hospital or local children’s hospital might appreciate some new fleece blankets for children facing a hospital stay. There are many organizations already that collect and donate fleece blankets to sick children, but you could also organize your own event for a local children’s hospital in your area.
Fleece blankets are easy to make, as no sewing skills are required. Simply knot the edges of the cut fleece to create a simple design. The stark and sterile environment of a hospital can cause more stress and anxiety for children. Plus, kids facing cancer treatment can often feel cold. So a fleece blanket not only provides warmth and comfort, but the bright and cheerful colors can lift their mood!
When senior citizens are in a nursing home, their family members may not always be able to visit. They may live out of state and not even be close by. When you can give of your time to visit and encourage residents in a nursing home or in senior centers, it really does brighten their day.
Is your family musical? Consider putting on an informal concert for the residents. Your kids can make holiday cards or just any day encouragement cards with artwork included. Older people love to talk to children. Consider what you can do to bring some joy to the local residents of your community nursing home.
Foster families are already giving so much of themselves to care for children in the foster care system. These children need special care, but so do their families! You can find ways to serve them both.
To bless the foster families in your community or church, find out what is required to offer babysitting or short-term respite care for their children. Foster parents need to have time for date night too! Many times they love their calling, but they just need a break, especially if their foster kids have special needs. Find out if the foster families have wish lists of items that would make their job easier. And then find a way to make those wishes a reality – even if it’s an anonymous donation on their doorstep! They will be so encouraged that the community cares.
Then, for the small children and even teens who are in the foster care system, send birthday cards and special treats to them to show you care. Consider filling tote bags or backpacks will school supplies to take a load off the foster families and bless the kids. During the holiday season, find out what each foster child would love and then surprise them with a gift!
Finally, consider dropping off a meal or two, just like you would when a family welcomes a newborn. Foster families are busy, often in more ways than we realize. And not having to think about a meal or two would help to lighten the load on the service they’re providing by caring for children.
Bless Older People in the Community
Find an older neighbor or some senior citizens in your church and see if you can offer a free service each season to help them care for their home and property. It’s a great opportunity to be outside as a family while blessing an older person. What could you do? In the winter, offer to shovel snow for them. They could probably use someone to clean gutters in the spring. And then in the fall if you live in a place where the leaves are abundant, offer to rake their yard. Maybe your teen could offer lawn mowing services for free during the summer months.
And then there’s groceries. Could you offer to pick up and deliver their order each week? Any of these ideas would greatly bless an older member of your community. And don’t forget to learn their story! Older people can sometimes struggle with loneliness. So in addition to the physical acts of service, spend some time visiting with them and learning their story.
Women’s Shelter or Local shelters
Don’t neglect working with a local women’s shelter when you’re looking for meaningful service project ideas for kids. Women’s shelters that include women with younger children will benefit from all sorts of supplies. Sometimes children have had to leave their belongings and so find out if they would love a certain toy or stuffed animal. Giving bedding or personal care supplies will help too. Don’t neglect gift cards so that these women and mothers can purchase exactly what they need.
If you have some space, consider organizing a community garden. Talk to your local town government about where you could locate this project, or ask a nearby church to partner with you. You can make a real difference for the community by providing a place to learn gardening skills and benefit from the produce grown there. A community garden project provides a great way to various age groups to interact and work together on a common goal.
Local Food Pantry
Consider organizing a food drive to fill a local food bank. And if you can’t find a local food bank, again, consider partnering with your local church to make this happen in your community! There is always a need for this and it’s an easy way for kids of all ages to get involved in service projects.
Which of these service project ideas for kids stands out to you the most? When you make volunteer work and service a part of your family life on a regular basis, it goes a long way to growing mature and compassionate children.
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