6 Ways To Teach Your Kids The Value Of Giving

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Whenever the weather changes, I have the urge to clean house – literally. I love to go through the closets, the kitchen and the kids toys to see how we can get rid of items to that we’re no longer using to make our existence a little lighter. In doing so, I always make it a point to donate the useable items.

How to teach kids the value of givingThroughout life I’ve believed in giving to others – whether it’s just extra change in my purse or a bag full of clothing. I’m a big advocate of trying to always pay it forward. As my kids get older, I want to teach them the value in giving to others and how in being altruistic you can be a better person while helping to make someone else’s day a bit brighter. Here are six ways I’m going to teach my kids the value of giving:

Donate goods or money

I decided it was time to actively start exposing my children (who are 2 and 5) to the value of giving. As I mentioned each season I go through closets throughout the house and find items that are still in good condition to be donated. Donating is one of the easiest ways you can teach children to be altruistic in life and it is also one of the easiest, especially when you have children that are constantly growing out of things.

If you don’t have goods but have some extra funds, you can always donate money too. So that this is visible to your children, write a check and take it to the organization you want to donate it to. Make sure you bring your children along so they can see what or who their money will be helping. If you’re donating to an organization you can’t visit, show your children the organization’s website and explain why you believe they should receive the gift.

Or, if your children are a little older, let them research organizations they feel passionate about and decide which organization your family donates to.

Be a good example

Children often learn by observing and modeling their parents’ behavior. From a very young age you can see this taking place as they pick up all your habits – good or bad. If you want your children to be altruistic, be a good example for them and show them how you give throughout the year.

Discuss opportunities to give or lend a helping hand and make them a part of the experience, or if they’re too young to participate in something talk to them about it afterwards and why donating time, money or goods is a positive thing to do for all people.

I believe you will be impressed by their natural ability give and help others at a really young age.

Let them help decide 

If you’re donating clothing, toys or other items, let your children help decide what goes and what stays, especially if it’s their stuff. This will help them to see that once they’ve outgrown something, others may still benefit from it.

That said, sometimes you need to coach them. Obviously if their clothing is too small it’s moving on to a new home, but when it comes to toys, bedding or even small furniture items in their room, let them pick what stays and what goes. Explain if they haven’t used it in a while that it might be time to give that item to another child who would use it more and love it just the same.

6 ways to teach kids the value of giving - The Everyday Mom life


If your children are a little bit older and might not have as much clothing or toys to give, volunteer and let them pick an organization that the family donates its time or services to. For example, let them pick among helping in a soup kitchen, helping to build a house or picking up trash along the highway.

This way they feel like they have a voice in the decision and a say in how they’re spending their time. Not only that but it gives them a chance to try multiple activities and find one they’re really passionate about.

Get their hands in it

No matter how old a child is, letting them help in the giving process is important.

We had our children help us pack the bags of clothes to donate to Goodwill. Just this simple act involves them in giving right from the start. Even if they don’t necessarily get the purpose of their actions, you’re building a foundation for future giving.

6 ways to teach kids the value of giving - The Everyday Mom life

For older kids this will let them see how they can make an impact firsthand and possibly inspire them to do more. In an article in Psychology Today, psychotherapist Sean Glover said he has seen children make sudden “leaps” in maturity due to learning to be altruistic. He states involving kids in volunteering and giving activities increases their personal happiness, fosters interconnectedness, strengthens personal identity and inspires a sense of mission.

Overall volunteering teaches even young children compassion, empathy, tolerance, gratitude and responsibility for their community.

Do it together 

Giving together as a family is important for the family unit. It allows kids and parents to spend quality time together while doing something to help others. It’s a great way for families to actually get to know one another better, especially when your children are teenagers and might not be as forthcoming around you. It also cultivates empathy and helps even young children to recognize and appreciate their lives.

For young kids, teens and really up through adulthood, volunteering or donating together can be a family bonding experience.  And, it can become a family tradition that will build positive memories for a lifetime.

6 ways to teach kids the value of giving - The Everyday Mom lifeDo it often

Consistency is often key with kids. Being able to be charitable doesn’t always have to be about giving something away or even donating your time. Being charitable can mean so many things.

Here are some ways families can make a difference together on a regular basis:

20 ways families can volunteer and donate together - The Everyday Mom Life

What are some ways you are working to teach your children the value of giving?

For more parenting tips, click here.


  1. Donating toys or clothes that haven’t been played with in a while or clothes haven’t been worn in a while is good because the kids can see that someone in need can benefit from them.

  2. I love all these ideas. We recently did a lemonade stand for charity. We made a lot more money than if we did it for personal gain, taught the kids about economics and business while raising money for two friends in need of medical assistance. Such a great post- we need more people teaching their kids about selflessness and giving!

  3. What a great message! I was lucky to have parents that fully believed in the value of giving and volunteering and taught us as much as young kids. Passing this along to all my mama friends!

  4. I usually include them in charities or the donations and things like that, it’s really important for me to teach them about giving and about having compassion towards others that need it. These are wonderful ideas!

  5. It’s so important to teach our children the power in giving. We usually donate our clothes and toys to a nearby drop off box and recently our church donated supplies to Hurricane Harvey survivors. I took the kids to the store with me to help me pick out items to donate.

  6. This is such a great post! My son is still little but I try to set an example for him by letting him see me and his father helping others and letting him get as involved as he’s able.

  7. This is a timely and relevant post for me and my family. My oldest is four and I want to make sure he understands and appreciates his blessing and gives back to those less fortunate. Great tips!

  8. These are such awesome way to be sure kids know that there is value in giving. I try to instill this into my children because I don’t want them to be concerned with what they get but what they give as well.

  9. I continue to work on teaching my girls about the value of giving. We go through toys and clothes to give to goodwill and I hope to start volunteering since they are now older!

  10. I would love to work on these more with y kids. I have three boys and I want them to understand what it means to be a kind and loving person.

  11. We have been trying so hard to teach our kids about giving and donating. Thankfully they are learning from example and starting to be able to let go and give to others.

  12. Giving is so important and teaching our kids to give to those who have less is vital to cultivating good morals. We are trying to figure out how best to help migrants seeking better lives here in America but stuck on the other side. Children have traveled hundreds of miles and it is just so sad to think they will not even have a soft bed this Christmas.

  13. Christmas is the best time to teach kids the value of giving. My own kids are grown ups now and I am happy that they are always willing to donate their time and talent to those in need. This year, we will be volunteering our time in our village’s Christmas toy drive. We will collect old toys from around the village and donate them to our favorite orphanage. This coming New Year, my children will be going to the nursing home nearby and cook dinner for the residents.

  14. I love all of these ideas. They’re so wonderful. I think it’s great to teach kids about giving back. We give back as often as we can.

  15. I love your ideas. We just shopped for a few kids from our neighborhood in a community program. It’s really a valuable lesson for kids!

  16. These are all great ideas. We donate clothing, toys and books to those who can use them. I would like to get my family involved in volunteering as well.

  17. I love this! We let the kids help with donations, too. They fill up one big box for donation every year before Christmas, and they get to decide what stays and what is going to go onto another child to love as much as they do. It’s amazing to see their generous hearts.

  18. Ever since my kids were little we’ve always done our part in giving back to our community during the holidays. Even now that they’re older they still do that and it blesses my heart each time they do!

  19. These are all great ways to get kids thinking about and doing good for others. We try to give back as much as possible, and you are right that we should make sure this is a year-round thing.

  20. I believe it is always great to teach them young about the value of giving. These are such great ways. My son volunteered as bell ringer for Salvation Army before. So proud of him.

  21. We have done a few of the suggestions noted on your list as a family. My son and daughter have also done a few of these for school as part of their community service. It is so important for parents to share the joy of giving with their children.

  22. The value of giving is one of the life lessons that is often neglected. It is so very important to teach our children and model in our lives. Thank you for sharing such great suggestions.

  23. The value of giving is one of the life lessons that is often neglected. It is so very important to teach our children and model it in our lives. Thank you for sharing such great suggestions.

  24. I have actually seen lives of the giver changed as much or more than those that receive. I hope we all remember to teach our children what really matters in life. You have listed some great opportunities.

  25. These are great tips. I was recently around a child who didn’t like to share and I feel like these tips would help that parent teach them. Being a good example is key!

  26. I’ve been putting a lot of thought into this with my own kids. I love the suggestions you give here. Giving is such an important lesson. The earlier we teach it, the better.

  27. I think it is so important to teach your children how to be giving… especially around the holidays. Giving can be just as much fun as receiving.

  28. I think setting an example is the best way for children to pick up the habit of giving and spreading kindness. My children are always willing to do volunteer work and I am happy to see them participate in fund raising activities to help the underprivileged.

  29. I love this! It’s so great to teach kids to give back as well. Every year around the holidays we always love to donate food to the pantry. I do this all year round, but a lot more during the holidays. It feels great to be able to give back.

  30. It is so important to model what giving looks like for our children. Your tips are spot on to encourage parents with young kids today to teach them how to give, with gratitude.

  31. I couldn’t agree more. Donating or the whole idea of giving has a great psychological effect on us. It helps us find gratitude and at the same time make us see things from a different perspective. I will be getting my kids involved this Christmas in donation drives.

  32. I am totally on board with most of what you say here. I especially think your last point, about making giving to others a year-round thing vs a special “only at the holidays” afterthought, is critical. The one thing I’d add is that sometimes, for some kids or some situations (e.g. if you have a child with a learning difference or other special needs), it can be a lot easier NOT to involve them in the decision-making process, as it can be too difficult for them. One of my daughters is perfectly able to help me sort through her books and toys; the other, not so much.

  33. It is so important to teach children to give. This year my children picked a charity to donate to and they are doing little mini fundraisers. It’s so sweet to see their hearts turn towards giving.

  34. Giving is so important. Especially this time of year. So many kids don’t even eat meals during Christmas break because school doesn’t provide them when they are at home.

  35. This is a wonderful post. I’ve been thinking about how we have fallen off the donating and volunteering wagon since we’ve had kids. I definitely want to start doing it and teaching my kids to give to the less fortunate.

  36. These are really great ideas. We do our best to instill the value of giving in our daughter, and not just during the holidays. Thank you for sharing.


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