7 Ways To Get the Kids Involved In Giving Back For the Holidays

Welcome December and welcome to the craziness that comes with this month. Between baking, shopping, cooking and traveling things can get very hectic. We all can very easily get caught up in the materialistic aspect of Christmas. And that’s ok. It’s nice to open a gift and see it’s what you have been wanting this whole time. Nothing beats seeing the excitement in our little ones’ faces when they see all the presents under the Christmas tree. Sharing our holiday traditions with our families and exchanging gifts it part of what makes Christmas so special.

It is also important to keep others in mind though. There are many people who don’t have the means to get or give gifts. Those who may not even have a special someone to share the holidays with. There are also those who spend the Holidays working hard while we are safe and warm at home enjoying the time with our loved ones. This is something I want my daughter to grow-up being aware of. I want her to appreciate the things she has and to be aware that there are others less fortunate who sometimes don’t even have the essentials.

While my daughter is still very little to understand, I believe that actions speak louder than words. If she grows up seeing us do things for others during the holidays it will become something natural for her. Something nice that we do for others and will be instilled in her as she becomes an adult. My hope is for her to be brought up with gratitude that’s not forced. I have put together a list of ways you can get the kids involved in giving back during this and every holiday season. Most of these you can actually even do all year round. Whether your kids are babies like mine or teenagers, everybody can join in and do their part. It’s never too early to learn the importance of giving back.

1. Cook a meal for others:

Cooking is a great activity to get kids involved in giving back. They will have a lot of fun while stirring, pouring, mixing, etc. All depends on how old they are and how much they can handle in the kitchen. You and your kids can make a warm meal for an elderly neighbor, a single mom, or someone you know who may be ill during the holiday season. Even a family who just had a baby and are exhausted from the duties that come from having a newborn. Or you can make it for your local firemen or police men who have to work very hard during the holidays all while putting their lives on the line. Make something simple like a lasagna or big taco bowl platter. My personal go to dish to make for others is my Sriracha Turkey Chili . It’s very easy to make since it’s a crockpot recipe and makes for a large batch. Perfect for a big crowd or large family. To make it an even more festive and complete meal bake some Christmas cookies and add them with your meal. Also more fun for the kids and you to have while baking these cookies.

2. Fill stockings for the homeless:

Filling stockings can be a lot of fun especially for the kids. Get some Christmas stockings at the dollar store and fill them with essentials for the homeless. You can add some lip balm, tissues, snacks, water bottles, fruit, gloves, scarves, socks or any other basic items they need. This is a great activity for kids of almost any age. Take them with you to purchase the items then have them help out to sort everything and fill the stockings. All while explaining to them how these are items we may take for granted but there are those whom go without these simple everyday things.  Which is why we should be thankful for everything we have no matter how ordinary it may seem.

3. Adopt a family:

I have participated in Adopt A Family for many years since I been lucky enough to always work for a company who sponsored this amazing program. For those of you who may not be familiar with this cause, you adopt a family who has a wish list of gifts they will like to get. Usually these families have a large number of kids and the gifts you see on these lists are truly heartbreaking. They ask for essentials like socks, gloves, and any other clothing items. It breaks my heart because a lot of these kids are very little and to think that they are going without a warm pair of socks or gloves just makes me really sad. You and your family can participate in this great cause together and go shopping for the gifts together. It can be very eye opening and rewarding at the same time.

4. Donate clothes/toys:

Have the kids go through their clothes and/or toys that they don’t use anymore. Donate them to good will for other less privilege kids to make good use of them. This is much more rewarding than just letting them sit there or throwing them away.  This will also teach kids to share and to learn from an early age that others can benefit from those toys they don’t play with anymore or clothes they don’t wear. Not to mention the fact that it will also help clear up some clutter at home.

5. Visit a nursing home:

The holidays can be very lonely for some people. Especially the elderly in nursing homes. We are very luck to have our families to share these special occasions with. Have the kids go with you to visit those who may be very lonely during this time of year. It will bring so much joy to them and probably make their day. This experience will probably make your kids have more appreciation for the elderly. Especially those in your own family.

6. Donate to a Food Bank:

This is probably the easiest activity you can do with the kids to give back. Take them to the grocery store and have them pick out some of the items on their own. If you prefer you can make a list ahead of time of canned goods you would like to donate and assign the kids their own items to pick out. It will make it fun and they’ll be excited to help out with this. Donate all the canned goods to a food bank and let the kids know what the purpose of donating this food is.

7. Make lunches for the homeless:

This is another fun kitchen activity that kids can have a lot of fun with. Make some quick and simple lunches like PB&J or ham and cheese sandwiches or chicken Caesar wraps. Pack them in paper bags along with an apple or snack bar, a water bottle or juice box, a fruit pack, or any other snacks. Have the kids help make the sandwiches, sort out all the snacks, and pack the paper bags. Hand them out to the homeless who will be very thankful to have a bite to eat.

You can pick one or two of these ideas this holiday season and try them with the kids. You can also get the kids involved in this part. Choosing what they will like to do for others. The main idea here is to bring a little Christmas spirit to those who may not have as much as we do. And if we can do this while teaching our kids how important giving back is to our society then that makes it that much better. Have a great Holiday Season and please keep those less fortunate in mind and try to give back as much as you can.


7 Ways To Get the Kids Involved In Giving Back For the Holidays


  1. We are starting a tradition where the elf on the shelf brings us letters from Santa asking us to give back in different ways. I feel this is such an important lesson to teach our children.

    1. That’s such a great idea! I’m not too familiar with elf on the shelf because my daughter is still a baby but it sounds like a good way to get them involved too.

  2. Last year we visited a nursing home as a family. The residents not only loved seeing my kids they were also equally excited to have a chance to talk to my husband, I think seeing him warmed their hearts the most.

    1. Aww that is so sweet and heartwarming!

  3. Allie

    Ideas! I will keep these in mind when my little is older!!

    1. Thank you Allie! I can’t wait for my little one to be older too and be able to participate more in these too.

  4. Natalie

    This is something that’s so important to me to teach our children as they grow. I love the idea of adopting a family to bless!

    1. Thank you Natalie! Adopt a family is a great program!

  5. What a lovely ideas! When my son will understand more we definitely do something from that list

    1. It will be such a great experience for both of you guys!

  6. Tifanee

    These are such good ideas! My sons class is the leadership class and has set a goal to donate 500 items to our food bank. I love the cooking a meal for someone.

    1. That is such a great idea too! Hope they hit their goal. It will be so helpful!

  7. This is brilliant, my baby girl is only 6 months old so we definitely have a ways before we can do things like this but I love love LOVE it!

    1. Thank you Gabby! my daughter is almost two so she is very young to understand but I want the pictures and memories to be there so that she grows up with this tradition.

  8. Filling up stockings for the needy children can be such a great idea, indeed our kids will love filling and the needy kids will enjoy their Small surprises. We have also decided to donate some clothes to the needy kids.

    1. Yes it can be both a fun activity for the kids and a great gift for less privileged kids. Donating clothes and toys is another wonderful way to giveback.

  9. Rachel

    These are great ideas! We just recycled crayons for a children’s hospital!

    1. Thank you Rachel! love that idea too! that’s so amazing of you guys!

  10. ok, you already know I LOVE this post! Such a great way to be thinking this time of year. Our blogs should be friends!

    1. Thank you Barbara! yes they should be! send me an email and maybe we can do something awesome together.

  11. I love these ideas!! What wonderful ways to teach your children to give to others, especially during this time of year. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Thank you Natashya! It’s important for me to teach my daughter to giveback!

  12. Great list. I try to volunteer with my kids as a famy throughout the year for various causes. The understand and with the help of social media and the news they see stories of other families helping. I will probably use your list to work with too.

    1. That’s so wonderful! You’re doing such a great job showing your kids how important it is to giveback!

  13. Ericka

    These are ideas are great. This year we donated toys to the hospital for kids that can’t be home. My oldest was super excited to pick something out for someone his age. My daughter still doesn’t understand but she picked out something that she thought another little girl would love. It makes me feel happy that others kids get to celebrate Christmas because we helped out in some way.

    1. That is such a wonderful deed and so great that your kids were involved too. I’m sure those kids will have a wonderful Christmas thanks to you and your family!

  14. I love these ideas! Its so important to get kids involved with giving back early!

    1. Thank you Lyndsey! I believe that’s very important too!

  15. Love your suggestions and agree that it is so important to have children learn and see the importance of giving back. We donated toys and food this year! I want to adopt a family next year!

    1. Thank you! That’s amazing and so thoughtful of you! Toys and food are great to donate during this time of the year to help others enjoy the holiday too.

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