Finding volunteer opportunities with kids is a great way to teach them to give back to the community. Engaging in community service with children sets them up for a lifelong appreciation for kindness and compassion. If you are struggling to volunteer with kids, we’ve got the best suggestions for you!
Getting them off of the couch and away from their screens for a while to engage in volunteering will help them appreciate the resources and material things that they have even more.
There are many places and project types to choose from that will match your child’s interest level. The list below is a great place to start your search for volunteer opportunities to do with kids.
8 Volunteer Opportunities with Kids You Are Going to Love
1. Nursing Homes
The seniors look forward to volunteer visits like young people look forward to their favorite holiday. Kids are a wonderful way to brighten up someone’s day, even if they are just reading, eating, or talking with them.
Nursing homes often offer “adopt a grandma/grandpa” programs that allow your children to spend consistent, quality time with a specific person during their visit. Whether you have an afternoon or just an hour, nursing homes are great volunteer opportunities with kids and the entire family. You can find your local facilities by visiting this website and entering your zip code and desired distance.
2. Animal Care
Helping out animals in need is a wonderful chance for children to learn to relate with and respect them. There are many ways to do this. Most families either volunteer in local shelters or foster animals until they are adopted by rescue organizations.
Some families help with Trap, Neuter, Release programs for feral cats and dogs in their area and help feed and shelter the feral cats during the cold winter months. Petfinder is a great place to find all of these volunteer opportunities to do with kids.
Volunteer opportunities with older kids are just as important as those for younger ones. As your child progresses through their education, they can volunteer with local libraries that offer tutoring services to patrons.
They can even volunteer with many branches to help organize bookshelves. You can find your local library branch easily enough and call them to find out about volunteer opportunities with kids.
4. Soup Kitchens
Soup kitchens and pantries always need help with collecting and distributing goods to those in need. Kids can help out these places by volunteering their time — a parent will need to be with them — and helping out with day to day operations.
These types of activities are most meaningful for children eight years or older in age. Your child will benefit from seeing you volunteer alongside them in this type of environment. This online directory will help you find local food banks, soup kitchens, and food pantries near you.
5. Public Parks
Public and state parks always need a little extra help. Even young children can understand the value of helping keep their parks clean. This work could be as simple as allowing your kids to help pull weeds out of a community garden. (Teach them what to pull, of course!) Or, as involved as helping preserve trails and nature areas.
Your family can also participate in cleanup efforts around your neighborhood and nearby green spaces. Be sure to call your local park to see what sort of volunteer opportunities with kids are permitted and encouraged for your child’s age group. The best times to volunteer are in the spring when plants are blooming and in the fall when leaves are turning and covering the grounds.
6. Walks for a Cause
Charity walks are a great chance for kids to get moving and learn the rewards of giving to a cause. Many of these walks now have a specific kid and family-friendly categories. Usually, these feature special activities before and after. That helps your child make connections with the experience and the act of giving back.
You can find these activities listed in your local newspaper. You can also search online for specific cause walks or runs in your state.
7. Children’s Hospitals
Children’s hospitals may not have volunteers work directly with the patients. But they always need help getting donations, planning special events, and beautifying public spaces for the children and families.
The best volunteer opportunities with kids inside of hospitals are those that involve some sort of long term projects – such as a painting or building project – that will allow your child to see their results from start to finish while learning valuable lessons about work ethic and perseverance.
Call a local children’s hospital or even your general hospital and ask for the children’s wing and see what needs they have for helpers.
8. Church Functions
Regardless of how religious your family is — or what religion you choose to practice — local churches and religious groups plan events that benefit from families of volunteers. From food drives to helping out a specific family in need. Churches are a wonderful way to start teaching your kids to give back.
Call or visit your local church or religious group about how your family can help them with upcoming events and causes.
Putting It All Together
Volunteering in your community is always a great feeling. Doing so with your kids is even more rewarding. You get to watch the next generation learn the importance of giving back to their communities. You are your child’s first role model. Participating as a family in these activities is the best way to get the most out of volunteer opportunities with kids.
Do you have a special volunteer activity that you do with your family? Let us know how you and your kids give back in the comment section below.