Why not try these gives your kids can do to get them excited about giving! On July 30th, we celebrate International Day of Friendship – a day all about the special people in our lives. This is a great day to start a giving practice with gives your kids can do for their friends. Friendships are vital for our mental well-being and are a source of happiness for many of us; good friends know how to cheer us up when we need it, know how to encourage us when we need motivation. Childhood friendships are just as important – healthy friendships are key to a child’s social-emotional development, and friendship building helps kids develop their social, coping and conflict resolution skills. Giving to friends also allows kids to develop empathy and compassion, while also learning about the benefits of giving.
Read on for a list of 7 gives your kids can do for their friends today, or on any day of the year!
Encourage your child to make a handmade card or gift for their friend. Handmade presents are often the best kinds of gifts – they are personal, sentimental, and it certainly means a lot when we see a friend put in the time and effort to make us a personalized gift. A card with a few words from your child about why their friend is important to them goes a long way, and also lets your child’s friend know that their friendship is valued. A special card or gift can be given to a friend at any time (not just for birthdays or another special occasion). For example, if your child’s friend is sick, helping your child put together a care package for a friend is a meaningful give they can do for their friend.
If your child is interested in making a handmade gift for a friend, they can also get creative by using different craft ideas. Some examples might be a making a special bracelet, a drawing, or a decorated frame with a picture.
If your child has any clothing that they no longer need, consider encouraging them to pass on any old clothing items to a friend in need of some extra clothes – for example, an extra pair of shoes or a jacket.
Socializing is not always easy at school. It can be difficult to find opportunities to connect with peers, make strong friendships, and start conversations. For many kids (and speaking from personal experience), finding their place at school among their peers can be difficult. Some children might also feel isolated due to the ongoing pandemic, and might need some extra support. Encourage your child to include their friends at school when they are able to. This might look like asking a friend to join in on a group game on the playground, or making an effort to include a friend in a conversation in a group setting.
Talk to your child about recognizing when a friend might be going through a difficult time, as well as some ways they can help support them. Explaining to them what empathy is and how they can show empathy to a friend can be valuable. Also think about discussing what it means to be a good listener and show interest in a friend – this might look like asking a friend about the things they like, what they enjoy doing, or how they are feeling to show them that they are heard. Not only are empathy and listening essential for making meaningful connections with friends during childhood, but they also act as foundational skills for friendships at all ages.
Support your child in finding ways to give back to the community, and have them bring a friend along. A visit to the animal shelter with a friend, or organizing a small fundraiser (such as a bake sale) are some ways your child can give back with a friend.
Sometimes a compliment can immediately cheer us up and give us a confidence boost. Encourage your child to give their friends a compliment or point out something they love about them.
After you’ve encouraged your child to try out one or a few of these giving ideas, it will then be the time to let them come up with gives they can do for their friends on their own. Support them by providing the guidance they need to start giving, and then see what original ideas they can think of by themselves.
Use one of these giving ideas to help inspire your child to start giving back to their friends. However, International Day of Friendship is not just kids – feel free to use any of these gives to give back to the friends in your life, or come up with your own giving ideas.
Check out 365give to get more inspired to give!