Modern Parenting Seasonal

Teaching Kids to Give Back this Holiday Season

Teaching Kids to Give Back this Holiday Season

This post was created in partnership with Stonyfield. As always, all opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands we love!

Let me guess, your Holiday To-Do list is about a 100 miles long (and counting) and all you really want to do is curl up into a ball on your couch and watch The Holiday while eating homemade Spritz cookies? What…just me? Promise me you won’t give up on the holiday craziness just yet. We can totally do this together.

While this time of year often feels like it’s entirely about making trip after trip to the store to find the perfect gift for everyone on your list, we often forget that, aside from all the shopping, giving is actually is the best part. While I don’t love waiting in long lines (does anyone?), I do love searching for unique gifts. There’s something about that look on someone’s face when you’ve given them the perfect gift. You just can’t replicate that feeling. Of course, that magical feeling is magnified tenfold when you’ve given a gift to someone who truly needs it.

Let’s make the 2016 holiday season all about giving back. What better example could we set for our kids?

Teaching Kids to Give Back this Holiday Season

Here are a few fun and easy ways to teach even the littlest of littles all about Paying it Forward:

1. Donate to a Pantry: Take this opportunity to reorganize and clear out your shelves. We recently helped a friend by donating some baby food and snacks to a drive at her son’s school. Teachable Moment: I had Harper help me pack the bag of food. She may not have known what she was doing, but she knew she wasn’t going to get to eat it. Older kids can help pick out items from the pantry to donate.

2. Make a Wishlist with Meaning: When kids are old enough, it can be so fun to have them create their holiday wishlist. Until then, try using these questions as a guide when shopping. They can pick out the “thing to donate” from their own ever-growing toy stash, or even pick out something new at the store. Teachable Moment:

  • 1 Thing They Want
  • 1 Thing They Need
  • 1 Thing to Donate
  • 1 Thing to Read 

3. Support Local Charities: This year I was given the opportunity to donate $50 from Stonyfield to my favorite charity. I knew immediately that I wanted to give my donation to our local chapter of The Boys & Girls Club in order to help them fulfill some of the items on their wishlist. As a former teacher, I know the importance of this organization in high-poverty areas where this may be the only safe place for kids to play or do homework after school. Teachable Moment: If kids are old enough, find out ways your whole family can volunteer with a local charity. Even young kids can understand and appreciate the act of dropping off supplies, gifts, or food to those in need.

What ways are you and your family planning to give back this holiday season? Share below! I’d love to get some more ideas!

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  • Kiana
    December 19, 2016 at 9:01 AM

    So important to teach the idea of giving back. Love this!

    • Marla
      December 28, 2016 at 1:16 PM

      Thanks, Kiana!

  • Belle
    December 19, 2016 at 9:34 AM

    I just love this! I honestly think teaching them to give back is really important!

    Belle | One Awesome Momma

    • Marla
      December 28, 2016 at 1:15 PM

      Thanks, Belle!

  • The Domestic Musician
    December 19, 2016 at 10:25 AM

    I love this! Teaching our kids about giving is so important!

    • Marla
      December 28, 2016 at 1:15 PM


  • workingmommyabroad
    December 19, 2016 at 1:32 PM

    Love the wishlist with meaning idea, will definitely keep that in mind for when he´s old enough!

    • Marla
      December 28, 2016 at 1:15 PM

      That’s the one I’m most excited about implementing as well!

  • Kathy
    December 19, 2016 at 2:54 PM

    I love your list of ideas for teaching kids how to give back around the holiday season. It really emphasizes what the holidays are about. Thank you for sharing!

    • Marla
      December 28, 2016 at 1:14 PM

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post!

  • Bridget Riepl
    December 19, 2016 at 7:07 PM

    thanks! this is so important and so helpful too! you rock.

    • Marla
      December 28, 2016 at 1:14 PM

      I’m glad! Thanks, Bridget!

  • amy
    December 19, 2016 at 7:13 PM

    Such good ideas. Today, kids are so spoiled. Thanks!

    • Marla
      December 28, 2016 at 1:13 PM

      Thanks, Amy! 🙂

  • Steph
    December 19, 2016 at 8:25 PM

    Great list! We gathered items for the emergency shelter this week and my oldest helped sorry our their donations. It was a powerful experience for her!

    • Marla
      December 28, 2016 at 1:13 PM

      Amazing! I can’t wait until my little one is older and can really appreciate helping out others.

  • ericaaugust
    December 19, 2016 at 10:03 PM

    These are incredible ideas for the holiday season and for all children today in general. I love this.

    • Marla
      December 28, 2016 at 1:12 PM

      Thanks, Erica!

  • Jacqueline|Mama's Munchkins
    December 19, 2016 at 10:18 PM

    These are great ideas! I’m always trying to teach my kids to be more giving than receiving, I’m going to definitely be trying these tips!

    • Marla
      December 28, 2016 at 1:12 PM

      That’s great to hear, Jacqueline!

  • Vicki @ Babies to Bookworms
    December 19, 2016 at 11:16 PM

    I love this! It’s the perfect time to teach giving back!

    • Marla
      December 28, 2016 at 1:11 PM

      Thanks, Vicki!

  • daniadams111
    December 20, 2016 at 7:37 AM

    Wonderful ideas to contribute to the community and help others. We donate every year to children in need of Christmas toys and its great to know they will receive something under the tree.

    • Marla
      December 28, 2016 at 1:11 PM

      I agree! It is a wonderful feeling!

  • Elizabeth Peace
    December 20, 2016 at 8:41 AM

    I’ve been trying to make this a priority the last couple of years because I felt like I hadn’t taught my children about the hard times others go through and to care more about people than things. Slowly but surely, I think we’re getting there!

    • Marla
      December 28, 2016 at 1:10 PM

      That’s awesome! Thank you for sharing. I agree that it’s also so important to teach kids about these things – no matter when you start!