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Volunteering with your children is a fantastic way, not only to solidify our relationship but it’s also a great way to introduce some important life lessons to your children in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. If chosen correctly, the right volunteering activity can encourage and excite children (acting more as a fun day out, than “work”). You’ll get the chance to meet other adults in your community, but your child will also get to expand their social circle to include children that may not go to their school (which is great for confidence).
So where should you start looking for these volunteering opportunities? Here, we’ll run through some of the most popular volunteering options and how you can go about arranging them.
Many councils run “tidy up” days throughout the year, where local residents get together and neaten up the common areas of a neighbourhood or a public park. It’s probably going to involve some light gardening, some sweeping, some re-painting or some litter picking – so be prepared for this. It’s a very fun day for the children though as they can get excited about helping out the local community in such a great way. This kind of excursion offer instant results – so fantastic for moral too.
If you live in an area with a larger OAP community, a great way to start off volunteering with your children is to ask if anyone needs any odd jobs doing. Some might want you to go shopping for them, some might want a sofa moving, some might need a shelf putting up. It’s a very personable job option, this one – so you and your children can enjoy the great feeling that comes from helping someone directly.
Hold a “food then cook” gathering
Hosting a “food then cook” gathering in your house is a great, fun and different way to introduce your children to volunteering. The idea is to invite lots of other local families in the area round and ask them to bring some simple ingredients with them. You then cook together all day to create various meals for a homeless shelter. It’s very rewarding to watch your food being enjoyed and it’s great for the kids to see the direct result of all their hard work.
Donate your old clothes to charity
Have a day where you and your children sort through your wardrobes and toy cupboards and find all the things you no longer use or wear. It’s a fun process, and once you’ve sorted them out you can donate the clothes to a charity shop (or homeless shelter if you have warm coats to give away) and you can volunteer the toys and games to a children’s hospital. It’s a great feeling to give something over to someone else selflessly, and it’s definitely a trait you’ll want to encourage in your children.
Walk for charity
Volunteer to take part in a cross-country sponsored walk with your children to raise money for a charity or organisation that they feel strongly for. They’ll enjoy collecting sponsors and it’ll be a really bonding experience for you to complete the sponsored activity together – as you’ll feel a great sense of achievement after it’s done. You could even encourage your children to start a blog or scrapbook leading up to the event, with how much money they’re raising, etc.
Visit a nursing home
A lot of people in nursing homes don’t have anyone who visits them regularly, so it’s nice to be matched up with someone like this who’s in care – and make their day by popping in and paying them a visit. It’s a lovely gesture and cultivates lovely relationships too.