Community Garden

Read The Story

Activities and Discussions

The Community Garden: A Story About Helping Others.

The concept of volunteering is an abstract one that may be difficult for a young child to understand. But even at an early age, you can encourage children to help others. Talk to them about the importance of helping others, involve them in activities which benefit others, and model volunteerism.

Two and three year olds

Two and three year olds do not have a developed sense of responsibility toward others. At this age, they try to imitate actions or behaviors of those around them.

What you can do

Explain to children that you feel good when you help others. As situations arise in your daily life to help others, discuss these with your children. Use concrete examples from children’s everyday life where their acts help others: helping to pick up their toys, helping to sort laundry, bringing small non-breakable items to and from the kitchen table, keeping a grandparent company for a few minutes, sharing toys and belongings with others. Praise your child for helping.

Four and five year olds

Four and five year olds are beginning to grasp concepts, although they still see the world through their own needs and wants. They are, however, eager to please.

What you can do

At this age, you can begin talking to children about helping others in the community, as well as at home. If you perform “volunteer activities,” discuss them with your child, and explain why you are doing these. Some activities, such as preparing and wrapping gifts for the needy during the holidays, may lead to larger questions, such as why some people have things and others don’t. Discussing the reasons to volunteer with your children can develop empathy, respect for others, and gratitude.

Six and seven year olds

This is a great age for children to begin helping others in the community in a more organized way. Their attention span is longer than their younger siblings’ and they are able to better understand why it is important to help others. Since they’ve been in school for some time, they may have their own ideas, suggestions and experiences to add to the discussion.

What you can do

For this age group, opportunities exist at school, within the community, and at places of worship for children to participate in activities to help others.  Children typically join organizations like Boy Scouts or Brownies, which have a service component. Encourage your child to participate. Make these activities fun—involve a friend, or become involved yourself. Talk to your child about the reasons for participating: helping others, being part of a community, and feeling proud of yourself.

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