Want to serve others and share your faith as a family, but have young children? Many organizations don’t allow preschoolers and toddlers to participate in the service projects they may sponsor. It’s unfortunate, because starting kids serving others when they are young means it is more likely to be natural for them as they grow older.
Thankfully, there are some fun service projects that are just right for preschooler and in some cases, toddlers. Here are a few of our favorites.
- Canned food drives. Little hands can safely handle a can of food and place it in a grocery bag to be donated. Of course, the more food your family is donating, the more fun this will be.
- Growing food for others. Many who provide food to those who are food insecure don’t have access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Little hands are more than able with adult supervision to plant and water seeds and plants and pick produce to share with others.
- Making cookies. With adult supervision, preschoolers can begin measuring and adding ingredients and shaping the raw dough into cookies. Decorating them might be a bit much if you want perfection, but those who could benefit from some cookies might also appreciate that children decorated them.
- Artwork. Nothing cheers someone like the art of a child. For really young ones, you can take their scribbles or finger painting smears and cut them into the shape of a heart for the recipient.
- Goodie bags. Preschoolers can help stuff goodie bags if the items are organized to make it easier for them. Think about goodies to thank servant leaders or community helpers, diaper changing sets for people who ask ministries for help or fun activity bags for pediatric patients or foster children.
- Decorate collection bags. Sponsoring a church wide, ministry wide or neighborhood collection of food or clothing? Have little ones decorate paper grocery bags to give possible participants to serve as colorful reminders of the need for donations.
- ASL. Many babies learn a few signs before they can speak. Although their motor skills are still developing, preschoolers learn languages quickly. Start teaching them some ASL signs and even a church song or two in ASL.
- Cheering at Special Olympics. You don’t even have to sign up in advance. Check your local Special Olympics website for the time and location of their local games. Little ones love to cheer and Special Olympians love to be cheered as they compete.
Don’t wait until your kids are older to have them start serving others. Make it so much a part of their lives that they serve others naturally for their entire lives.