Service Ideas for Kids

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Sharing a printable checklist of service ideas for kids ranging from big and small, at home or outside of the home.

Family Service Projects

What do you think of when you think of the word service? I’m constantly thinking of different service ideas for my kids, but I need to make sure they understand what the word “service” means. In a nutshell, it is helping someone. Being Kind. Loving, aware of others. Ideally, we should teach our kids early to learn to recognize needs in others, to share, and to serve. If our goal is to teach kindness and compassion, starting them early to be mindful of others is the best way. It is a great opportunity to look outside themselves.

Service Ideas for Teens

We all know that teens get the brunt of stress and often feel insecure for various reasons. Consequently, helping them to look outside of themselves, service helps reduce that stress as they turn outward.  They will start to feel more comfortable and confident and will be more likely to continue serving in the future.  A lot of the ideas listed in the printable are catered towards service ideas for teens, but many can be done by much smaller hands.  In our family, I designated a day each week to do a big service outside of the home. I have asked my teens to take off a weekday morning so that we can all serve together. 

Family Service Ideas: Who to serve?

Helping your kids brainstorm about all of the people in their life will help them get started being service minded. Make a list of everyone in your family circumference, it can be amazing how many people they kids think of, write down everyone and anyone that could benefit from lending your family service.

  • Siblings
  • Mom and Dad
  • Grandparents
  • Cousins
  • Aunts/Uncles
  • School teachers
  • Church Teachers
  • Friends
  • Family with new baby
  • Elderly
  • Someone who lost a loved one

Family service: How to serve at home

Just for you, I’ve made this list of ideas for daily service in the home, but talk through these ideas with your kids, and let them decide how to execute this daily. Have it a part of a daily checklist so it stays at the forefront of their mind.

  1. Make a bed for someone
  2. Do someone else’s chores
  3. Write a letter or thank you note
  4. Call someone who lives far away
  5. Ask to help make dinner
  6. Play with a younger sibling
  7. Scratch a family members back

How to serve outside of the home

Each week on our designated day, we discuss what our service will be that day. Doing the “small ideas” are great for anytime, anywhere.

Small service ideas: These are fun to challenge each other in the family when you go on an outing. See how many times someone smiles or waves back, simply because you smiled at them, held the door, or said hello.

  • Hold the door open for someone
  • Wave/smile to someone
  • Pick up trash at the park
  • Pull neighbors trashcans up from the road
  • Tell a manager about excellent service from a worker
  • Offer to let someone go ahead of you in line

Additionally, the big ideas are meant as a collaboration for the family, maybe rotate between kids each week as to what you will do. Most of these are outside of the home, but a few can be done at home, but take more time.

Big Service Ideas:

  • Deliver baked goods to friends. Two fold activity…fun to bake and fun to deliver!
  • Invite a family over for dinner
  • Offer to babysit for a family (maybe that just had a baby)
  • Write a kind note with sidewalk chalk on someones driveway
  • Heart attack someone
  • Donate coloring books to an emergency room
  • Adopt a grandparents: play card games, visit, listen to stories
  • Make blessing bags (snacks) to deliver to the homeless (see below image)
  • Introduce yourselves to the new family that just moved in. Bring them a pineapple.
  • Pull weeds at a neighbors home
  • Deliver treats and meet the firemen near your home.
  • Visit a retirement home: play piano, sing, activity day, paint nails
  • Volunteer at local food pantry
  • Organize a food drive for local food pantry
  • Run a lemonade stand for a cause
  • Visit a children’s hospital
  • Buy the food for the person behind you in drive through
  • Tape coins to a vending machine
  • Walk dogs at an animal shelter
  • Paint “kindness stones” and leave around town
  • Wash someone’s car
  • Paint fire hydrants in your neighborhood (get permission first)

Download and print the checklist here and discuss with your family:

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