6 Simple Ways For Children To Give Back

As Thanksgiving fast approaches, I’m always thinking of special ways that my kids can give back to others. They’re only 3 and 5 so they don’t fully understand what gratitude means, but they do know the basic concepts of sharing, helping and caring. There are plenty of ways that we can teach our kids how to share, help and care by doing it ourselves and having them join in.

Here are 6 simple activities that parents and kids can do together to give back:

1. Pick Up Trash

Start by taking a walk around your neighborhood and bring a bucket or bag with you to collect the litter that you see. Or, wherever you happen to be if you see some trash, show your kids it’s ok to help clean up the places you go. At a playground, ask your kids to pick up 3 pieces of trash before they start playing. This will become a habit and they’ll continue doing this without thinking about it. If you keep a box of baggies, old grocery bags, or a small bucket in your car, stroller or diaper bag, this makes it easy to do wherever you are. Gloves and trash picker uppers are helpful too.

We had just finished a bucket of popcorn from one of the museums at Balboa Park when we were walking back to our car. I noticed a lot of trash around the "Big Fig" and instinctively I picked up a large chip bag and threw it away. My kids started looking for trash and I didn't even tell them to. They made a game of it all by themselves and ran around the tree collecting all the litter they found and put it in our empty popcorn bucket.

Unfortunately, litter is all around wherever you go and there's always an opportunity to help clean up the places that you visit.