6 Ways to Have Fun and Give Back this Summer

6 Ways to Have Fun and Give Back this Summer

Summer vacations are the perfect time to spread some joy with your family.

By Lorraine Allen

When school is out for the summer, kids often have a lot of free time on their hands. Okay, maybe even too much free time. Sure, there are camps, playdates, cookouts, beach days, and ice cream outings. But there’s still plenty of time to fill, and what better way to do it – together – than by helping others in some fun ways like these?

1. Have a bake sale: Baking with kids with so much fun. Spread the word with some fliers in your area, and emails to friends, to raise money and awareness with a bake sale for a local organization your family cares about. People love an excuse to have a sweet treat, and they’ll be extra happy to pay for it when the funds are going to a good cause.

2. Sell lemonade: Lemonade is so easy and inexpensive to make, and it’s refreshing and delicious on a hot summer day. Just be sure to keep it cool with some ice, and set up your table in the shade. You’ll be able raise money for whatever cause your family wishes to support in just an afternoon.

3. Host a clothing drive: Summer is a great time to weed through kids’ closets and get rid of things they’ve outgrown and don’t need or wear. Solicit donations from friends, neighbors, or even your kids’ fellow campers, if they attend a summer program. A quick call to organizations like the Salvation Army, Wearable Collections, or a local organization for families in need is usually all it takes to schedule a pick-up or drop-off so the unwanted items can serve those who really need them.

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4. Adopt a tree: In many urban areas, street trees really suffer during hot months, when no one is watering them, especially newly planted or “baby” trees. You can “adopt” a tree and care for it by watering it regularly in the late afternoons, early mornings, or evenings. You can help protect the roots from burning with a fresh layer of mulch, and kids can make a sign to remind pedestrians to please curb their dogs, and not harm the tree, too.

5. Volunteer at a pet shelter: Some shelters let kids pet or read books to animals that are stuck in cages, craving love and attention. Others will let you take dogs for walks so they can stretch their legs.


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6. Help with a park or beach cleanup: Summer is all about being outside. If there’s a place your kids love to run around and explore in your area, ask how you can pitch in with a day of service to help maintain and preserve the scenery. Bring lots of water, sunscreen and bug spray, and an army of friends to help you. You could even pack a picnic in a cooler to make a whole fun day of it.

How do you fill time with your family in summer?

Lorraine is a freelance parenting and food writer, and she shares her cooking adventures and family recipes at FeedingLina.com. She lives in New York with her family and one squirrel-obsessed dog. Follow her @feedingLina.

Image ©iStock.com/Cathy Yeulet

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