As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, I started to think about how I was going to convey to my children the concepts of “thanks” and “giving.”  When all they have known is the life they have, it can be difficult for them to understand that there are others in need all over the world. Since it is easier to convey ideas through activities, I thought up some ideas for how to be thankful and giving this holiday season.

kids volunteering

Put together a holiday dinner food basket for a family in need: Many local food banks, churches, community centers or libraries are looking for either donations of food items or baskets of food for families in need. It can be fun for the kids to help you pick out the items for a basket or decorate the basket that you will be donating. Make sure to tell them that it is for other kids to have a yummy holiday dinner just like them and they will appreciate how lucky they are to get a warm meal this holiday.

Pick out a Christmas toy for a child: This one is a bit more difficult for children sometimes because they can’t have the toy to themselves but it shows them the art of giving at an early age. Picking out the toy will be fun for your young one and they will feel good being able to give someone else a playtime.

Make a Christmas card for a soldier overseas: We often take for granted the freedom we have to celebrate holidays and this can help teach your child about the brave men and women who defend us every day. The soldiers love to get the pick-me-up during their time away from friends and family and your kids will get a chance to be creative. The best part is kids of any age can take part in this activity.

Your children can help out at a food bank to serve food on the holidays if they are old enough, but it is never too soon to teach your children about the importance of giving even if they are too young to serve. There are many other service opportunities or simple tasks that the young ones can do if you check with your local fire station, library, community center or church. Every little bit helps and it will do wonders for teaching your children about life’s blessings.