November is a month of giving thanks and giving back. We want to instill the habit of volunteering within our kids, but sometimes it can be hard because many non-profits require kids to be older to volunteer, and frankly, it’s just hard to be productive with little ones. Here are some simple ways you can give back with kids at any age (and before or after naptime).

Rake a neighbor’s leaves

We love the colorful trees of fall but no one loves picking them up. Whether it’s an elderly neighbor who can’t do it themselves or a pleasant surprise for a neighbor who could – grab the rakes, gloves and paper bags to start packing up leaves for the curb.

Pack up and donate old toys

Make clean-up time a bit more meaningful and have your kids collect toys and books they no longer play with and donate them to a local women’s shelter, foster care closet or the Salvation Army.

Bake a treat for seniors

Spend some family time in the kitchen and make a sweet treat for your local senior recreation center or VFW Hall. It’s a great way for your kids to learn to talk to new people and bring a smile to someone’s face.

Make wellness kits for the homeless

Go on a little shopping trip or a big shopping trip at Costco to buy tissue, peanut butter crackers, juice boxes, chocolates and other non-perishable goods that you can package together in paper bags to handout to the homeless. You can also reach out to churches in struggling communities to see if you can leave the packages for parishioners.

Send thanks to soldiers

Write a letter or color a card for an activity duty military person and let them know that there are families thinking about them at home. Visit A Million Thanks to see how you can send a letter.

Photo credit: Ashley Cox Photos – Facebook