Many kids look forward to summer because it affords them plenty of time to do fun activities. Even before school has ended, many kids are already eager to attend summer camps and to spend long hours outdoors. If you are still contemplating on the type of activity that you want your kids to be involved in, perhaps it may be the right time to introduce them to community service.

Just like any summer activity that aims to teach kids specific lessons, volunteering also gives them the opportunity to learn very important values and skills that they may never learn anywhere else. If kids get to see other people who are in need, they may learn how to appreciate the many things that they may just take for granted. They may also learn how to cut back on other worldly pleasures, so they can instead use the extra money to help other people. When you allow your kids to see the world as it is, you are tapping on their great potential to become responsible and compassionate members of a community.

But for kids to love volunteer work, they need to believe in the cause of the organization. Use your child’s hobbies and preferences as a guide and find information on the internet, or you can contact local organizations to check whether they welcome youth volunteers. If your child loves animals, you can check with your local animal shelter or even with the zoo in your area. If the cause is something that your child feels strongly about, he will be more than happy to help. When age restrictions keep your child from helping out, you can sign up as a family. Doing things for a worthy cause is actually a great bonding activity for the family.

If traditional volunteering is not for your child, discuss on the ways on how he wants to help. Some kids are able to contribute to an organization by simply maintaining a website or by promoting awareness. Make helping fun by coming up with activities that will surely get your child involved. Invite your child’s friends for an afternoon of making cookies and other baked goods to donate to a shelter. You can also encourage them to hold a garage sale or you can tap on their entrepreneurial spirit to raise funds for a certain charity.

Many individuals may get the notion that volunteering is mostly about giving back. In reality, it actually does the opposite for most individuals. If you help others, it gives you a sense of purpose and fulfilment that you may never even get from a high-paying job. Even small kids can feel a sense of achievement after an afternoon of serving sandwiches to other people.

If you want to make this summer more meaningful for your kids, encourage them to get involved in your community. While other summer activities are aimed at developing important skills, volunteering also teaches essential life lessons regarding responsibility, dedication and compassion. It is also an exceptional way to let kids know more about the world and the people around them. Try to make the experience positive for your kids, and you are guaranteed that it will teach them lessons that can definitely last a lifetime.