Here is a list of service projects for kids and opportunities for kids to volunteer within their community that will empower kids with responsibility, engage their compassion, and offer them the chance to affect the lives of others. Service projects to serve the elderly, service projects working with younger children, service projects that help the environment… locally and globally, kids can make a difference! These service projects are great for individuals who want to help out, but also work really well for groups such as Scouts, schools, church youth groups, clubs, and more!
Service Projects for Kids
1. Make Valentine’s for Senior Citizens.
2. Collect sleep-away camp items for Camp Dreamcatcher, a program for children whose lives have been affected by HIV/AIDS.
3. Donate kids’ craft kits to a local children’s hospital.
4. Organize a board game night at your local nursing home. Gather your friends and favorite classic games, and plan a fun afternoon.
5. Decorate placemats for Meals on Wheels.
6. Wrap gifts during the holidays for Barnes and Noble to raise money for a specific cause.
7. Make a no-sew fleece blanket for a child in need through Project Linus.
8. Organize a food drive in your neighborhood, church, or school.
9. Have a garage sale or lemonade stand for your favorite cause.
10. Plan an afternoon of fun: crafts, a movie and popcorn afternoon, or a kickball tournament at a children’s home or refugee center. Plan a day of fun!
11. When school supplies are very cheap at the beginning of the year, pack up a backpack and supplies for a local child in need (the YMCA frequently collects these, in addition to other organizations).
12. Bring gently used board games and decks of cards to a local homeless shelter.
13. Put on gloves and pick up litter at your local park.
14. Write a letter to your elected official about a cause you believe in.
15. Collect DVD’s and videogames you no longer use/watch and donate them to a Children’s Hospital for patients, or to KidFlicks, an organization that set up movie libraries in the children’s wards of hospitals.
16. Volunteer at an animal shelter- play with the dogs and cats, help to brush them, and clean up after them.
17. Read stories to or share your talent with younger children. Be a positive role model that kids can look up to!
18. Work with your local high school or college to place empty boxes on campus at the end of school. Collect textbooks for students who need them in Tanzania, Sierra Leone, and other African nations (and keep them out of landfills!).
19. Stuff warm socks with snacks and fruit to pass out to people who are homeless.
20. Secretly rake leaves or shovel snow for a neighbor in need.
21. Make sure your school is recycling- talk to your city hall to get recycling bins for all of the classrooms and make posters to explain what materials can be recycled.
22. Hold a “dog wash” to raise money for a local animal shelter.
23. Get a haircut and donate your hair to a foundation that makes wigs for kids who have cancer or alopecia!
24. Volunteer to read letters or the newspaper to residents in nursing homes.
25. Collect used sporting equipment and donate to communities that do not have access (such as Level the Playing Field to help kids in the US or IAYS that works with the Peace Corps to deliver worldwide).
26. Donate used baby and toddler toys to a nearby church, synagogue, mosque, or temple for their youngest members. Most places of worship have a place for little ones to be entertained during services.
27. Buy a kit from KidKnits– yarn made by widows in Rwanda or Chile, that comes with instructions to knit a hat plus cultural information. A simple craft to change the world!
28. Do you have a cool talent or hobby? Ask your local Girl Scout or Boy Scout group if they would like you to come in to be a guest speaker. You can share your collection, hobby, or talent with them, and allow them to ask questions and learn more about it.
29. Go through the books you’ve grown out of and donate them to the waiting room of a local dentist or doctor.
30. Grow extra fruit and vegetables in your garden to donate to a food bank.
31. Hold a spa day at a nearby nursing home for residents: paint their nails and do their hair and make-up.
32. Donate your gently used stuffed animals to a local firehouse or police station to give to children in emergencies.
33. Find out when the next sporting event is for your local Special Olympics teams, and go there as cheerleaders for the participants with signs, balloons, and noisemakers.
34. Work with your friends to make a “New Student” guide to your town that includes your favorite parks, a map of the neighborhood, and fun things to do.
35. Plant a garden or tree that your school or neighborhood can enjoy.
36. Promote bike-riding and carpooling at your school to reduce traffic and air pollution.
37. Host a shoe-cutting party for Sole Hope! With your old jeans, help make shoes for kids in Uganda, so they are not affected by painful jiggers!
If you’ve enjoyed these ideas, check out these tips to teach your kids empathy, these incredible kids doing community service projects and our day filled with random acts of kindness.
What did I miss? There are so many opportunities to teach our kids about volunteerism and helping others- what are your favorite service projects for kids?
Mud Hut Mama says
I love this list Becky and I love how much energy you put into raising caring children.
Another stellar list 🙂 We have just wrapped up with making Valentines Cards for a local hospital, and we love the idea to trying to make a blanket for our local Project Linus chapter.Thanks again for the inspiration!
Leanna @ Alldonemonkey says
This is terrific! I often have a hard time thinking of service projects to do with kids, especially really little ones. I will definitely be using (and sharing) this list!
Anne Marie says
What a GREAT list. Every year we grow extra vegetables and can extra jam to donate to our city’s hunger center.
You asked what ideas you missed. Here’s another great list we refer to:
40 Ways Kids Can Volunteer, Toddler to Teen lauragraceweldon.com/2013/06/27/40-ways-kids-can-volunteer-toddler-to-teen/
Tank you so much for sharing!!! I hadn’t seen the list, and they have additional great ideas!! Check it out everyone:). The more we can get our kids volunteering, the more we are encouraging compassion and service for others.
Kids can make the world different!
Siafiafilelei Pati Vaeao says
um ah dah the kids of America Samoa can change the whole world by picking up trashes and make clean up
Love this list! My kids have grown up volunteering and do random acts of kindness…actually for my daughters 16th birthday, we are going to do 16 Random Acts of kindness in our community.
My Life Group (small church group) always needs some fresh ideas for service projects and I’m sure we can do a few of these together.
I LOVE that idea!!!! I am saving it away for when my kids are 16 (though might use it sooner for a different birthday!:)
Pennies of Time says
Great list! Young kids can make a difference despite their age. One of our favorite acts of service is to make chemo care packages.
Excellent!! I would love to learn more- what items do you place in the chemo care packages? Do you deliver them to the hospitals?
Pennies of Time says
Here is a link to what we put in them and then we deliver them to those going through chemo and to local oncology centers. One of the items we have added since the post is VERY comfy socks or a soft pashmina wrap. http://penniesoftime.blogspot.com/2013/03/penny-of-time-adventure-making-chemo.html
Oh you have so inspired me!
So many great and more importantly ‘doable’ ideas… which means my kids and I are much more likely to do them! Thank you!
I am so glad you stopped by and liked the post!! 🙂 I agree- the easier and more accessible the idea, the more likely we will complete the task!
Cheryl Friedenberg says
Also go to http://www.themitzvahbowl.com for tween and teen service project ideas
Ooh, thanks for the resource!! I will go check them out!
we got an idea from this. thank you!
Great list! I’m always looking for service project ideas for my boys and for our Cub Scouts.
There are only 34 ideas here…there is no #27. Just being anal, but if you’re going to name something “35 Ideas,” then maybe there should be 35 ideas. All good ideas, by the way.
DeborahSantiagoDeWitt Ha!:) My smart readers are better editors than I am:). Thanks for the heads up- I just added one in to make it a clean 35!
Susan Lafosse says
I love this…thank you for some great ideas….We are running a new VBS this year on Acts of Kindness. Once a week club and then a Weekend WindUp. We will definitely be using some of your project ideas! Thanks again!
Oh, I am so glad!!! Let us know how it goes!:)
I am a teacher for the Junior Youth Spiritual empowerment programme. and was looking for suitable service projects to teach the youth as an act of service. Your list helps me a lot and request you to add few more of them…Thjank you…
Great ideas . very much useful
This is one of the most useful lists ever!! Thank you so much!!
Thank you so much!
emma afif-watt says
Becky this is beautiful! and great time….We lost our Scottish referendum Independence campaign on Friday and have been going through a real process of grief….I have just been reflecting and said it is now essential to give our children political voices and make sure they are heard….SOme of these ideas and activities really tie in …..Thanks! xxx
Amy B says
Last spring (May 2014), my department at Creighton University teamed up with a local Girl Scout troop to learn about occupational therapy, adaptive gardening, and disabilities. The girls participated in a “visual impairment” scavenger hunt where they donned glasses that simulate different visual impairments and had to locate items in the dirt with help of a tactile grid and friends instructions.
That is so cool!!! I am also a Girl Scout leader for 2 troops and they would love something like that!!!
Carrie Ware says
What a wonderful resource! Myself, along with my three children, have started up a Kindness Club at our school and focus on developing compassion and random acts of kindness. Our first activity was a HUGE success…50 Christmas cards for soldiers. And this is only the beginning. Thanks for all your great ideas! We can’t wait to incorporate these into our club!
That is AWESOME!!! 🙂 What a cool idea to have a kindness club!!!
shaihla khan says
Excellent ideas,only by helping others we can help ourselves
sarah b says
that is so true girl
sarah b says
these are very good ideas 🙂
aimee sherrell says
it was very helpful
Please check out The Lunch Project, http://www.thelunchproject.org and specifically the Summer of Service (SOS) program. 9 cents feeds a kid in Tanzania school lunch and every kid can relate to the need for lunch at school!
More With Less Mom (@MoreWithLessMom) says
This is a great list. We have made care packages for the homeless multiple times.
This is great..
stewart hill says
very nice….i love the list
Great ideas, thanks for sharing!
Cathy S says
Great ideas! Our 4-H club also collects and smashes aluminum cans for humane society, donates items for wolf sanctuary, and makes pillow case dresses for Dress a Girl around the World see http://www.h4wi.org/ministry/dress-girl-around-world,
Those are fantastic ideas!! What is the wolf sanctuary? I would love to learn more!!! I love the Dress a Girl Around the World too!!!
Sujan Pariyar says
This is great information. here are some most shared community service ideas http://inxchan.com/community-service-ideas/
Thanks for sharing! 🙂
Maybe build a house for strays in your neighborhood
Wendy Wahman says
Great list. This has been so helpful, thank you!
its is a good way to help out
thanks a lot this is a lot of good things. 🙂