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Published January 12, 2013

10 Service Projects for Kids, Teachers, and the Classroom

Volunteer Projects from the Classroom (but NOT your same old boring “canned food drive”). It’s never to early to instill values of kindness! And there is no better way to teach your students lessons on volunteering than actually getting them engaged.

Here are 10 simple classroom projects to get you kick started on instilling these values today.



The Raleigh Rescue mission requests fun, laminated place mats for the residents at the shelter. Kids create inspiring and whimsical art to brighten up the dining area for the residents. Additional Awesome Material:- A fantastic book of photos and stories created by homeless children.



Come on. Let your kids save a puppy. We all love puppies.
Come on. Let your kids save a puppy. We all love puppies.

Kids are easily able to empathize with sad puppies and kittens, so volunteering with animal shelters are key! The Wake County SPCA is amazing because they will come visit your class and bring a cute, furry critter along. Our class is doing a donation box for animal food, treats, and toys. Plus, kids can use scrap material to make dog toys by tying knots in scrap cloth.

Kids also make signs with the names of specific animals who need a little extra love and color in their living space. I enjoy printing pictures of the animals my class is helping so they can truly connect with the impact they are making.


Terminal Illnesses in Youth

Zach’s Toy Chest requests handmade Valentine’s to deliver to children in hospitals with terminal illnesses. They also collect toys to bring to these children. Working with this group provides an excellent opportunity to let my class connect with other kids their own age and see how they can impact their own generation.


Helping Senior Citizens

Art for Hospice – School-aged children (and even younger) love to paint, and hospices and nursing homes have great need for color and beauty.

Some patients rarely receive cards and pictures; a loving painting spurred from a child’s creativity can add a lot of joy in the final months of a senior citizen’s life.



Planting a tree or flowers is always an easy and fun service project! Couple this with a reading (or viewing of the new movie) The Lorax, and kids can get a real understanding that “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to change. It’s not.” – Dr. Seuss


And remember Random Acts of Kindness… these are simple projects that combine the elements of surprise along with joy!


Smile Rocks

Kids love making these little “Smile Rocks” to hide and pass around school.

Kids love making these little “Smile Rocks” to hide and pass around school.

As a person passionate about social change, I’ve had fun playing with the idea of hiding little smiley faces and notes around town. Kids get really excited about these projects! Simply take those small, smooth pebbles used for decorating fish tanks and draw smiley faces on them. Then share them with your friends, leave them on a restaurant table, hide them in a vending machine change slot, or scatter them across your classmates desks.


Personalized Compliment Posters

Students write their own name in the center of construction paper. Then the class forms a circle and begins passing their sheets around. Each student writes an anonymous compliment on all of his or her fellow student’s poster. Laminate and take home as a reminder of the good qualities your fellow students see in you.


Thank You Cards

Allow students to write “Thank You” cards to leave for their teachers, parents, classmates, and staff. Encourage students to think of someone who could use a little extra appreciation. For example, maybe there’s a kind cafeteria worker, a hard-working custodian, or a new student who could use a little boost.

RELATED: A Lesson in Empowerment – Why Kids Should Volunteer.

Random Flowering

Buy an inexpensive bouquet of flowers, then pass them out to anyone and everyone around campus. It can be especially fun to leave a flower with a kind note on someone’s desk, then sneak away before they notice you. Kindness is extra fun when you strive to be a secret kindness ninja.


Wall of Hopes and Dreams

Create a personal space for the students to doodle and draw their dreams and goals, inspirational quotes, and art.

Let the students learn from each other and connect with each other’s personal aspirations.


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  • heather


  • I sincerely believe that through the power of storytelling, I can make social issues become more than a set of statistics. My expertise is in community leadership, non-profit work, event coordinating, networking, and storytelling. All my articles.

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