Home > Mom's Life > Work > Volunteering > Breaking the Ice on Volunteer Visits
|

Breaking the Ice on Volunteer Visits

If you and your children are planning to visit a nursing home, community center, or homeless shelter you may be feeling a little uncertain about what to do or say in the presence of strangers. Here are some suggestions to help your kids feel relaxed and comfortable.

  • Arrive bearing gifts. Having a homemade present in hand gives your child a sense of accomplishment and purpose. Whether it's cookies or a holiday mini-wreath for someone's bedroom door, children can explain how they went about making the gift and ask the other person about his or her holiday memories.

  • Bring along a favorite toy. It's a good way to strike up a conversation and it gives kids an opportunity to demonstrate how something works. "My son arrived at the local retirement home with a pair of stilts," recalls one mother. "Those long corridors were perfect! He had the residents in stitches!"

  • Don't forget the family pet. Most people living in communal settings can't keep animals and are thrilled at the unexpected appearance of a guinea pig or turtle. And who doesn't love the opportunity to stroke a well-behaved, unflappable dog? Be sure to check with the person in charge of activities before you come with your menagerie.

  • Call ahead and coordinate your visit with a scheduled mealtime. You and your child can help pass food and clear tables in the dining area, or go along on deliveries to individual rooms. It's fun for residents to observe kids in action, even if they're not interacting with them one-on-one.

More on: Volunteering

|


stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

easter fun
& crafts

Egg-cellent ideas
for tons of
Easter fun.

GO

highlights

Healthy Smile Checklist for Kids
Have better dental check-ups with this free printable checklist that helps keep your child flossing, brushing, and smiling! Brought to you by Philips Sonicare.

Kindergarten Readiness App
It's kindergarten registration time! Use this interactive kindergarten readiness checklist, complete with fun games and activities, to practice the essential skills your child needs for this next big step. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

8 Easter Egg Decorating Ideas
Need some fun ideas for decorating Easter eggs with the kids? Look no further for colorful and cool designs!

7 Ways to Curb Kids' Exposure to Violence
American children are exposed to violence more often than you might think. Learn how to limit your child's exposure to violence and manage the mental health and behavioral effects it can cause.