Our family is very passionate about raising children with grateful hearts and service is a priority on our household.
Today, we are excited to have Alexandra Beane, of Wheels for Wishes sharing ways to get kids involved and helping our on National Senior Citizens Day. The reality is, that our families can (and should) be doing these things for others year-round! ~ Amanda
5 Ways For Kids to Volunteer with Senior Citizens
Make A Senior Smile
Do Yardwork Or Chores For A Neighbor
- Mow the lawn while your children pull weeds around the house.
- Help with watering the flowers.
- Pick up sticks or large branches in the yard and haul them away.
- Clean out the gutters and have your kids read a story or go on a walk with your neighbor.
- Dust and vacuum the house.
- Clean out the kitchen cupboards and drawers.
- Clean out the closets and sort out items to donate to charity.
- Clean out the garage and dispose of any unwanted items, including any unwanted vehicles.
Visit A Retirement Home
- Bring in a collection of games to enjoy together. Ideas include Scrabble, Trivial Pursuit, Monopoly, Life, Apples to Apples, Clue, Yahtzee, Sorry, or Scattegories.
- Bring in movies that both kids and adults can enjoy. Consider movies such as Up, The Wizard of Oz, Finding Nemo, Mary Poppins, and Frozen.
- Help residents put together a family tree, scrapbook, or photo album. Interview residents and include their questions and answers in the scrapbook.
- If your children are old enough to navigate the internet, spend the day teaching residents how to use computers and the internet.
- If a resident knows how to knit or crochet, ask them to teach you.
Start A Book Club
- Start a monthly book club at a retirement home. When you visit on National Senior Citizens Day, walk around the facility and ask residents if they would like to join. Many libraries have book club programs where they will provide books to members of book clubs. Residents can each take turns reading the book at different times. Everyone involved will enjoy hearing each other’s different points of view on the stories.
- Great books for children that even adults love to read are The Giving Tree, The Saggy Baggy Elephant, Are You My Mother?, Harold and the Purple Crayon, The Poky Little Puppy, Madeline, Little Bear, and Where the Sidewalk Ends.
- Books that are great for older children and seniors include James and the Giant Peach, Charlotte’s Web, the Little House on the Prairie series, the Harry Potter series, To Kill a Mockingbird, Watership Down, Because of Winn-Dixie, Tuck Everlasting, Little Women, The Giver, and the Chronicles of Narnia series.
- Similarly, host a neighborhood book club with older neighbors and other families.
- Start a book club with a grandparent or even a grandparent and his or her friends.
Interview An Older Relative
- What is your first memory?
- How did your parents meet?
- What did you like most about your childhood home?
- How did your family celebrate holidays when you were a child? What is your favorite holiday memory?
- How did you meet your spouse? What did you like most about him or her
- Ask them about their wedding day and honeymoon. Ask to see photos of the wedding or any special items that they have saved over the years.
- Ask about their interests and hobbies.
- Have them explain their experiences as a parent.
- Ask them about their favorite school subjects, their favorite job, or the different companies they worked for.
- Ask about their role models, favorite celebrities, and how they feel about any current events.
- Ask if there are any other important memories that they would like to share.
Create Homemade Gift Baskets
- Put together gift baskets or gift bags filled with cookies, candies, baking mixes, jams, crackers, and other fun snacks. Bring them to a retirement community and have your children distribute them amongst the residents.
- Create a gift basket with fitness tools to encourage seniors to stay fit and strong. Light weights, stretch bands, a gentle exercise video, or even a yoga mat might be good ideas.
- Create a gift basket with different types of stationary, such as notepads, pens, paper, greeting cards, tape, and folders.
- Put together a game basket with puzzles, word finds, and board games.
- Make a gift bag with craft supplies, yarn, sewing materials, and patterns that can be used for knitting or crocheting.
- Put together a men’s toiletry gift bag with shaving cream, after shave, and shampoo.
However you choose to make a senior citizen feel special on National Senior Citizens Day, you will surely be making a difference. You will be so proud of your children for playing a part in helping to give back to the community and making an older adult smile.