Youth Projects for Elementary School Students

Youth Projects for Elementary School Students

The earliest years of life are important for creating socially-conscious adults. Early efforts lay the foundation for youth empowerment. Compassion, kindness, responsibility, and empathy can all be learned at a young age.

In addition to gaining skills like compassion, we want young children to realize they can change the world and continue to do this as they get older.

The best way for young children to develop these skills is to use them, not through simply being told to be kind or care for others.

Even young, elementary-school age children can benefit from completing youth projects. This is why The Peterson League supports all ages from 5-21 years old.

Of course, we don’t expect elementary school students to have projects on par with high school students.

A project doesn’t have to be an expansive, time-consuming endeavor. It can be something simple and accessible to a young child. The key is to create an experience that is:

  • Engaging
  • Meaningful
  • Fun

With these three factors in mind, adults can help young children develop projects that interest them and make an impact on the community.

If your unsure of what types of projects are suitable for young children, here is a list of some ideas.

1. Gardening projects

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Gardening projects are great for young do-gooders because they can be as small or large as you’d like and still come with benefits.

Start a vegetable garden and donate the harvest to local food pantries, like Katie from Katie’s Krops. This gives children insight into the basic needs others are lacking.

Beyond the end product of a vegetable garden, the act of gardening in itself is therapeutic. Involving others in growing plants can benefit the community.

Young people can start a free gardening club and invite people who might not have access to a garden and fresh vegetables, like homelesss people or at-risk youth.

The possibilities for how gardening can help communities are extensive. Get creative!

2. Nursing home visits

Another simple project to inspire elementary age students is creating a nursing home visit group.

This could involve some form of entertainment, similar to the Caregirlz.

It could also mean gathering friends to provide regular visits for those without visitors. For example, youth can read to the elderly.

These visits can not only brighten someone’s day, they give elderly people who don’t have regular visitors something to look forward to.

Long term, it can increase well-being in senior citizens. It also teaches youth the importance of caring for the elderly and disabled.

3. Animal shelter volunteer group

Animal shelters are often in need of more volunteers. Why not start a regular group to interact with animals at the local shelter?

Youth can walk dogs, socialize cats, or help with daily shelter tasks like cleaning cages. This not only brightens the day of people working at the shelter, it can help make animals happier and more adoptable.

Elementary school children can also do simple fundraisers (think lemonade stand or bake sale) to raise funds for animal shelters and encourage donations.

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4. Litter pickup

Another simple project suitable for young children is litter pickup. This is a project that can be done at virtually anytime, without a ton of planning necessary.

All it takes is a trash bag and some thick gloves. Elementary school students can encourage classmates to join them.

Not only does picking up litter make the community more appealing, it keeps trash from getting into the mouths of wild critters or becoming stuck around them.

Overall, this makes the environment healthier.

5. Random acts of kindness

Finally, youth can engage in random acts of kindness. This means doing something to bring a smile to someone’s face.

Youth can write positive notes to hand out to grocery store clerks, bus drivers, homeless people, or elderly people in nursing homes. Anyone who looks like they need a lift can benefit.

Random acts of kindness don’t take a lot of time, but can make someone’s day. Try setting up a “kindness group” to create and hand out blankets for the homeless, flowers to people on the street, etc.

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Projects for elementary school age children don’t need to be elaborate. Something as simple as picking up trash, planting a garden, or walking shelter dogs can make a big difference in the community.

Of course, these projects should be supervised by adults. Adults can also help in the planning stage. The key is to let children discover a project that interests them.

Imagine if many young children in a community participated in simple service projects.

This could increase community engagement, as more and more people of all ages would want to join in. It could also increase quality of life for people in the community.

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