Beyond Crafts: 4 Tips to Help Serving "Stick" with Your Kids

Give & Go (Summer Edition) has arrived, and with that come several "tracks" for serving with your community, your family, and on your own! Of course, "SERVE" is also a major part of the Watermark Kids' Significant Summer. So we're excited to help you serve with your family, all summer long!

In our "Lead the Way" track, one of our most exciting new equipping resources is called "Hands & Feet: Serving with Your Children." But whether you work through the eleven great ideas in that packet or not, we wanted to offer some tips for going beyond the standard "make something and give it away" service project. Obviously, handmade crafts or other creations (to share with others) can be great service projects, especially for little children. But as we’re raising up servants, we should look for chances to give our kids as “in-depth” an experience as their age and understanding allow.

In other words, we’re discipling them – not just “doing service”! So as you're forming little hearts to serve others for a lifetime, how can you make it "stick"?

By Learning

Whatever the service project is, it’s likely you can teach your kids facts and principles about the associated topics. This includes bringing in scriptural themes, as well as helping them understand the larger issues the service project connects with. (And you just might learn some things, too!)

Through Relationships

It’s always better to put a face to the people we’re serving. So when possible, visit the people you’re serving in-person, or at least help your child “get to know them” by sharing stories, showing pictures, and providing context.

By Repetition

Variety can be great for kids, and it’s good to try different opportunities to find out what fits your child best. But at the same time, it can be valuable to go “deeper” into one particular form of service, too. Returning to the same activity, spending time with the same people, and serving the same people in a variety of ways can all help your child grow in understanding and affection for service.

By Reminder

In the Hands & Feet packet, one of the coolest items – but an easy element to overlook – is the use of “Reminder Pennants”! Kids are encouraged to color these pennants after they complete a project, and then hang them up somewhere where they can be remembered - and the service opportunities can be reviewed in the future. Whether you use pictures like these or other reminders, it’s important to spend time reviewing ways your child has been learning about service.

Other Great Resources for Serving with Your Family

If you're interested in "leading the way" with your family, be sure to check out these resources:

  • Find lots of great family-friendly service opportunities for the summer throughout the four tracks of Give & Go (Summer Edition).
  • Our ongoing Family Serve page shares specific family-friendly opportunities with our partners, as well as special events and other resources.
  • Our Straightforward Service email list often promotes the newest and most strategic service opportunities for community groups or families. Sign up here.
  • If you have really young children (2 to 5 years-old), you can embark on service projects with other Watermark families through the Hands & Feet Projects ministry. Find them at their Facebook page here (it’s closed for privacy, so just request permission to join).

Photo Credit: CraftyGoat via Compfight cc

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