When I was young, I always looked forward to the summer for a number of reasons. It was great to have time off from school, of course, but I also looked forward to volunteering with my family through my church.
We would all pile into the church bus once a week and head to a retirement community or nursing home, and we'd just spend time with the men and women there. I had a lot of fun listening to the elderly folks' stories. They, too, were delighted to have someone to talk to.
A great way to spend time with the kids this summer is to volunteer together. There are so many different ways to do this that there's certain to be an activity for every family to enjoy. Here are a few ideas:
• Some organizations host races or walks for a good cause--for example, a 5k run to raise awareness of Alzheimer's, or a 3-mile walk to support breast cancer research. Kids can volunteer to hand out water to the runners or walkers, or they can help clean up trash on the route with the aid of a parent.
• Volunteer at an animal shelter. This is something else that I did with my parents when I was young, and it was so much fun to play with the cats and dogs and help take care of them.
• For kids with a green thumb, it can be enjoyable to assist with a community garden. Children can learn about the science of plants while removing weeds and planting seeds.
• Certain volunteer groups donate blankets to kids in need. Kids can help by learning to make a no-sew fleece blanket to donate, or they can assist the organization with distribution and sorting of the blankets.
For more volunteering opportunities for kids, I recommend searching All for Good.