I recently volunteered in my daughter’s preschool, organizing a Giving Kids Day. What a wonderful experience, from start to finish! Using the PGK website, we found three age-appropriate, fun projects for the kids to complete: assembling snack bags for the homeless, making cat toys for shelter animals, and decorating cards for homebound seniors.
We got started with a discussion about what it means to be a helper. The kids quickly made connections to their own lives, discussing classroom jobs and sharing ways they like to help out at home.
Each project had an adult helper, and the students rotated through each. It was amazing to see how focused they were on the projects. The cat toys were challenging for many, but they persevered, many shouting in excitement, “I finally got it!” I was impressed by how much time and care they put into their cards for seniors. Each card truly reflected their love and kindness. And to my surprise, their favorite activity was assembling snack bags. The kids liked it so much, many asked to assemble more. One sweet girl asked if she could add a second water bottle to her bag, noting one bottle was not enough to stay hydrated. Bless her little heart!
We wrapped up the morning with a debrief of the activities and discussion about ways they can continue to be helpers. Their teacher read The Giving Tree later that day, and many of the kids continued to work on cards and toys during quiet time for the remainder of the week. Inspired and impressed by the morning, the teachers have already discussed ways they can bring more service projects to the classroom.
It’s really that simple. Take a few simple projects, add the love of youngsters, stir, and make magic.
Want to arrange a Giving Kids Day at your school? The following steps will help you get started:
- Use our activity tool or the YouthGive app to find local projects or ideas—if you’re working with younger children, focus on assembly style or arts and crafts projects to keep those little ones engaged!
- Ask each of the families to donate a portion of the supplies (24 granola bars, 36 note cards, 50 Ziploc bags, etc.) Supplies should be due a few days before the event, as you may need time to fill in missing items.
- Begin the day with a discussion or book about giving.
- Talk to the kids about what they are doing and why. Ask them how it makes them feel to be helping others. These discussions will help them make stronger, lasting connections to service.
- Take time to reflect and debrief with the kids. They will be so proud to see how much they accomplished together!
- Remember to share their work with us and your community – parents, school, social media, etc. Share with us and tag #projectgivingkids on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter so we can give them a shout out, too! It’s heartwarming to see little ones giving back, and you may inspire others to follow in your footsteps!