The concept of volunteering is difficult to explain to a small child, but they appreciate that helping others is a good thing. By the age of 4, most children understand, “I need help with dusting furniture,” and many can say, “I need a volunteer…”
Tips to Involve Children in Volunteering
Our friends at PBSparents offer the following tips to help you teach your child the value of volunteering:
- First, be a role model.
Children copy their parents; when they see you helping others, they will want to do it as well. Two-thirds of children who volunteer become active volunteers as adults.
- Choose an activity that offers immediate results.
Children get the most out of volunteering when they can see positive results. A littered park that is clean as the result of their efforts is a good example.
- Find a fun, engaging volunteer activity.
Remember to choose volunteering for children that is age-appropriate and more like fun than work. Most children love animals, so walking dogs or taking a dog to a nursing home to visit patients might be a good idea. One pre-k teacher says the formula is 2x their age + one. That means 8-year-olds’ activity focus is solid for about 20 minutes; change their tasks as often as necessary.
- Make volunteering as a family a regular activity.
Annual or more frequent volunteering as a family makes a huge impact on youngsters.
- Pick a volunteer effort they choose and include it in the family calendar.
Children will be more excited if they can “see” their activity is just as important as the rest of the family’s.
- Volunteering can be simple.
Choosing a toy from their toybox or shopping for a toy to donate is easy, especially when children physically place it among other donations.
Charity Begins at Home (Chicago)
We need volunteers to package and deliver food to those who are unable to afford sometimes-expensive foods need to worship in a traditional, Jewish manner at home. Our Passover Delivery Day is March 25th, 2018. It’s a wonderful experience for the entire family. Contact Maot Chitim of Greater Chicago to learn more.