For many families, Easter is a time to be together and celebrate tradition and shared values, but it can also be a great time to teach your kids the joys of giving back. Just as Christmas can be a wonderful way to instill the importance of family and giving, Easter can help strengthen the bond you share with your loved ones while allowing you to be creative and helpful.

There are many ways you and your children can share in the joys of Easter together. Take a look around your community to get an idea of what the needs are. Perhaps there’s no easy access to a library, or maybe there’s an after-school program for underprivileged kids that could use volunteers or donations of snacks. Use this time as a teaching moment as well as a way to do some hands-on projects in your community.

Here are some of the best ways you can make Easter a fun, productive time for your kids.

Build a free little library

If you live in an area where library resources are scarce or far away, consider building a little free library to place on your front lawn. A bit bigger than a mailbox, this “library” will hold several books at a time and will allow neighborhood kids to have access to learning materials, Bible stories, comic books, and anything else you want to include inside. You can even add a sign letting people know they can leave a book they’d like to donate. For tips on how to get started, read on here.

Plant a tree

Trees can add beauty to any area, and they’re imperative in helping to reduce global warming, so planting more trees is a great move no matter where you live. You can get your family or neighbors involved and create an event around it. Think of the best ways to get others together and pool your resources, or crowdfund the event and set up a social media page to rally everyone. Angie’s List has some great tips on planting a tree.

Set up an Easter egg hunt

It can be a big job, but it can also be a very rewarding one. Organize an Easter egg hunt for the neighborhood kids by posting signs letting them know the date, time, and location. Choose an area that has an open space, such as a public park or church lawn, and hide plastic eggs filled with candy or small toys. Paint one egg sparkly gold and have a nice prize for the child who finds it. If there will be many different age groups participating, be sure you have age-appropriate toys and prizes available.

Collect food donations

Many families don’t have the resources for a nice Easter dinner, so think about organizing a food drive for the less fortunate in your community. Collect donations of canned goods, boxed potatoes and stuffing, and other non-perishables, as well as hams and turkeys. If you don’t have a place to store the donations, consider organizing a dinner at your church or at a local shelter.

Make Easter crafts with seniors

Many seniors who live in retirement homes or assisted living facilities don’t have family nearby to celebrate holidays with, which can be very lonely. Consider taking your children to make Easter crafts with the elderly individuals in your community and bring them a little joy on an important day.

Spending time with your children while creating important change for your community and the people you care about can have a lasting impact on their lives. While being a single parent is never easy, this is one simple way to give your children a fantastic holiday.

Lots of love,

Ruguru Kimani