This post was written by Daily Mom through an activation with HireInfluence on behalf of 4-H. Although Daily Mom received compensation for participating in the campaign, all thoughts and opinions are Daily Mom.
The world is a playground. Or at least we, as parents, can make it one for our kids. The best thing we can do for our kids is to show them that there is more to the world than their classrooms or their home. Learning can be done outside the traditional landscape of a child’s classroom experience, and it is often done with more fervor and excitement when they are doing hands-on learning versus sitting at a desk. Sometimes life gets the best of us though, and it can be hard to come up with engaging, fun, and new activities that continue to inspire our kids to get out there and be active in their community.
Fall is a great time to get out and explore the community around you. The weather is finally starting to cool down, and it is a great season to teach community service and selfless acts of giving to your child. That’s why 4-H is kicking off their year-long project to Inspire Kids to Do (IDT) this month with a list of activities you can do with your kids for 30 Days of Doing. These activities are hands-on learning experiences in agriculture, STEM, community service, and healthy living, and can be done by kids from all different walks of life.
The 30 Days of Doing list gives a bunch of great ideas to get kids out there and “doing”. From planting a home-garden in mason jars, to helping a local shelter by walking dogs, these activities can be done with kids of all ages to help inspire them to do, learn, and serve. Each activity focuses on different skillset, helping to build a child’s confidence in lifelong skills they will need as they grow older.
Here are 5 activities from the Inspire to Do list that we loved so much we just had to try them ourselves. We picked activities that we knew would interest our children and modified when necessary for their ages:
1. Build a Bird Feeder and Monitor the Birds.
If you have older children, you can build a bird feeder like this one and add bird seed to attract different types of birds. You can even let the little ones in on the action by allowing them to paint and decorate the bird feeder after it is built.
2. Pick Wildflowers and Press them in a Book to Preserve Them.
In an effort to get outside and explore nature, suggest to your child that he or she go collect wildflowers in a local field. Then, press them in a book to preserve them and search the internet to find out what kind of flowers they are, learning more about them. You can also laminate the flowers to make them into bookmarks for friends and family!
3. Host a Canned Food Drive.
Help those in need by hosting a canned food drive in your neighborhood. It is a great way to support those in your community who need a little extra help, and to show your kids that we all need to work together to support each other in times of need. It will also give them valuable skills in planning (how will they collect the cans, which organization will receive the canned food) and marketing (how they will get people to donate canned foods, making flyers, etc).
4. Learn about a New Veggie and Use it in a Recipe.
Trying new things is fun! Find out what vegetables are in season and before you visit a local farmer’s market to pick up a new ingredient for your meal, visit your local library to learn about how the veggie grows. You might even find some recipe ideas to try! This is a great way to learn about where your food comes from, and to support your local farmers and producers.
5. Volunteer as a Dog Walker at a Local Shelter.
If your children are old enough to volunteer, have them visit a local shelter to see how they can help. If they are still young, you can have them ask a neighbor if they could walk their dog around the block (with your supervision) to help reinforce the idea of community service.
This Fall 4-H is committing to a month-long service project to help kids get out there and be inspired to do – build, explore, learn about, and serve the community around them. They want to help create future leaders and do-ers through skill-building knowledge and experience, ready to navigate all that life throws at them as they grow. In order to get kids motivated during this project 4-H’s 30 Days of Doing calendar gives parents ideas of things to do in their community and at home to inspire doing.
Parents around the country are invited to join in with 4-H and other families who are inspired to do with a photo contest throughout the month of September. Each day you are inspiring your kids to do, snap a picture and submit it to 4-H.org/InspireKidstoDo to be entered to win a $10,000 scholarship for your child. In addition, the winner’s state 4H program may also get a $10,000 scholarship to help facilitate projects and services to help #InspireKidstoDo throughout the community.
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Starts 9/1/18; ends 9/30/18. Official Rules available 9/1/18 at 4-H.org/InspireKidstoDo
To learn more about 4-H and their Inspire Kids to Do campaign, check them out online and on social media.
Looking for more service project ideas as we get closer to the holidays? Check out Kid-Friendly Service Projects for the Holidays .