Contributing to a worthy cause gets even better when the whole family is involved. There’s power in doing charity work as a family, especially when your children are still learning about the importance of giving. In fact, journalist and parent Jason Marsh says that charitable giving can set off a positive cycle in children. If they see that their actions make other people happy, it can provide the satisfaction that makes them want to give again.
For younger children, however, Marsh adds that simply encouraging them to donate an extra pound to the less fortunate may not be the best way to instil generosity. They don’t really understand the concept of money at their age. To get them excited about giving, here are some ideas to make charity work fun.
Bake off/Cook off
Baking or cooking is a fun way to get children involved in charity, learn patience and some basic life skills – all at the same time. Making your own food is also a social activity that can connect people. Did you hear about the kids in Lancashire who organised a charity bake-off for their teacher who was diagnosed with cancer? They were able to raise more than £200 in one afternoon. The Westmorland Gazette reported that the proceeds went to Cancer Research UK.
Another idea is to hold an outdoor film night in your garden. Pick a family-friendly movie, invite your neighbours over, and ask them to pay a small entrance fee which will go to charity. You can set up picnic blankets or ask people to bring over their own cushions. You can also raise more funds by selling drinks and popcorn.
Hosting a game night is a great idea, too! You can ask your guests to buy into a game of Scrabble or Monopoly, but one game that can really liven a party is bingo. It’s easy and so much fun. If you don’t have space or the means, how about looking into online games that donate to charity? A few years ago, I wrote about bingo sites that contributed to Breast Cancer Care. Have a look on the internet as there’s always something worth checking out!
Karaoke and dance parties
If you have the set-up, you can also throw a karaoke and dance party. Alternatively, Save the Children suggest renting out nearby establishments that have a karaoke booth and have the guests buy tickets. Ask them to pay a minimal fee (e.g. 50p or £1) for every song that they sing. You can try to make a singing or dancing contest out of it and whoever wins gets a prize!
Putting up a lemonade stand is a classic way to teach children about money and about giving as well. Andre Spicer, the father of the girl who was fined £150 for not having a licence for her lemonade stand, learned something important from their ordeal. Spicer wrote on The Telegraph that his daughter’s lemonade stand gave her an opportunity to get involved in their community. It may have only been a tiny enterprise but it’s a great way to meet the people in your area and get them to volunteer or donate to charity as well.
Giving should be part of the family tradition and hopefully, these things can help instil generosity in everyone especially kids. If you have more fun ideas, share them in our comment section below!