Engaging Kids in Giving Back over the Holidays—with No Screen Time!

By United Way of King County Posted on December 22, 2020 In Volunteering


With so many families juggling school online and the new stress that came with 2020, two weeks of unstructured time at the end of the year can either feel daunting—or exciting. Here are some ways to engage your kids in thinking about others in the community.

Make and have care kits at the ready. Not only are we all still navigating a pandemic, but cold and wet winter weather can be a challenge for anyone spending time outside. People are often in need of items like hand sanitizer and masks, and a hot coffee can be a welcome treat on a rainy day. With your kids, create some care kits with sanitizer, masks and a $5 coffee gift card, then keep them in the car so you can have them at the ready when you’re out and about.

Volunteer to deliver food. There are lots of ways to stay safe and help people get the nutrition they need—like these volunteer opportunities in Lake City and in White Center. Engaging your children is a way to talk to them about how this economy is hitting some people harder than others—and encourage them to come up with their own ways of giving back. See the whole list of volunteer opportunities here.

Read a book together. Whether your kiddo is reading picture books or young adult, there are so many great, timely reads. Look for diversity in topics as well as authors.

  • Bear Says Thanks. The rhyming of this makes this a fun read and great for young kids (1-5). Bear’s friends come together to help him in a way that’s endearing and shows just how much they care about him.
  • Stamped. This young adult adaptation of Ibram X. Kendi’s National Book Award-winning Stamped From the Beginning gets all sorts of accolades and made the Spring 2020 Kids Indie Next List. This is not a history book—it’s a timely, crucial, and empowering exploration of racism and antiracism in America.

Engage friends and family in a supply drive. Even if we can’t be together, we can create a sense of community. Collect coats for kids or go off a list of urgently needed items, collect everything and make a delivery. Think you can’t do this one without being online? Try hand-written notes on neighbor’s doors for a set pick up time outside the front door. Don’t forget to write a short thank you message to leave when you pick up the items!

Bake a neighbor some holiday cheer. Many have been upping their baking skills since March. Put together an extra cookie plate and take it to that neighbor you’ve been meaning to introduce yourself to. If your kids aren’t bakers, ask them to make cards to include and have them go with you for a safe and friendly porch drop-off.

Have a fun way to engage your kids in community over the holidays? Let us know!


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