If you have siblings, cousins, or ever had a playdate with other kids, you’ve heard your parents say those four dreaded words: You have to share.
“Do I really have to?” you ask. You sigh. You roll your eyes. You plead to mom or dad. And, finally, you give your brother the tiniest possible piece of the last cookie in the bin.
But you’re left wondering why sharing is so important, anyway. Adults always say you’ll get it when you’re older. Can’t they just explain it now?
We can! In this article, we’ll help you understand why sharing really is important and how great it feels to divvy up that banana split with your bestie.
Why Sharing Your Own Money Is Important
Let’s imagine you’re hanging out with your buddy after school. Your dad picks both of you up and you’re gonna spend the afternoon playing video games at your house. And on the way over, dad asks if you wanna stop by the ice cream shop.
Of course you do! So dad parks the car and the three of you head over to the ice cream shop. But once you’re there, your dad only orders one ice cream scoop for you. And since your friend doesn’t have any money on them, they don’t get a treat.
Would that feel right? No! Would you offer your friend some of your ice cream? Definitely!
Of course, we know your dad would never do that! He’d probably get you each two scoops of ice cream with all the toppings.
But if you imagine this situation for just a moment, you can also imagine how your friend would feel. And we’re pretty sure that this makes you want to share – even if you only had one little ice cream scoop. We betcha $10 that you’d grab another spoon for your buddy and that sharing with them would bring a huge smile to your face.
This feeling is called empathy. It’s when you’re able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and imagine how they feel. A lot of times, empathy makes you want to share what you have with others. Whether you have a whole bucket or only one scoop, that ice cream just tastes so much better when you enjoy it with a pal.
The same thing happens with money. As you grow up, you’ll begin to realize that some people have more money and others have less. Sometimes, those who have less might not be able to afford a cozy jacket in the wintertime or a new toy on their birthday.
This doesn’t feel right, does it? It’s important to stay warm when it’s cold outside. And every kid deserves a new toy on their special day.
Thankfully, there’s a lot that you can do to make a difference! By sharing some of your own money with others, you can help them stay healthy and feel happier when it matters most.
How to Share Money As a Kid
You might be thinking, “I wanna help but I’m still a kid and I don’t know how.” Actually, we’ve got a great way system for you to help others. And it’s pretty easy!
Every time you get your allowance, you can take a little of your money and put it in a special jar. We’ll call it the “Giving Jar.” You can even decorate it and put a fancy label on it.
No allowance? No problem! Try setting up a lemonade stand or a bake sale and using some money to help a good cause.
How much money you donate is totally up to you. What works for some kids is to set a goal for their giving jar. For example, you can decide to save $25 and use that money to buy socks for the less fortunate.
Once you’ve reached that goal, you can ask your parents to take you to the store to pick out the socks you want to give. You can choose colorful socks, cool designs, or plain white ones and drop them off at a donation center. You’ll feel amazing knowing that the money you saved will help others keep their toes warm!
How to Share More Than Just Your Money
What if you don’t get an allowance, but you still want to help others? We’ve got great news. There’s more than one way to help!
Maybe you have a pair of really awesome sneakers that don’t fit you anymore. If you wish you could still wear them, there’s probably another kid out there who could get good use out of them!
Just like you get some hand-me-downs from your older siblings, you can donate shoes and clothes that no longer fit to kids who can still wear them. The same goes for toys you’re too old for or books that are too easy for you now.
No items to give away? No worries! You can also donate your time to help others. How? Easy, by volunteering.
From helping out at the library to visiting the elderly or walking dogs at the shelter, there are many ways for kids to lend a hand in their community. Here are some sites where you can find volunteering opportunities for kids:
How to Ask Your Parents to Help
If you want to share your money with charitable organizations or volunteer in different ways, remember to ask your parents’ permission first. They can help you do some research on charities that need your assistance.
If you’re especially motivated to raise more funds, your parents and family members may also be able to contribute. Once you’ve met your goal, you can make your contribution online using a credit or debit card, or send a check in the mail. Your parents can also help make sure that the money reaches your charity of choice.
If friends or family members help you with donations, don’t forget to send them a thank you note and let them know how much you appreciate their contributions.
Just like there are many ways to help, there are many words to define sharing. These are some common terms that you may hear when you talk to grown ups about giving and sharing:
- Charity: The act of helping those who need it without expecting anything in return.
- Compassion: When you see others in need and feel the desire to help.
- Donation: Something given to help those in need. This includes money, work, or items.
- Fundraising: The process of gathering money to help a good cause.
- Grantor: A person who donates money to help a charity.
- Non-Profit: An organization that’s dedicated to helping those in need.
Books to Learn About Sharing
Looking for some inspo to make a difference in the lives of others? Here are our favorite books to help you do just that. Check them out and share them with your friends, too! The more people you get on board, the bigger impact that you can create. Check out our main sharing money books for kids page for more book recommendations!
For Kids 5 to 8
The Rainbow Fish, by Marcus Pfister, is a modern classic that you’ll love to read over and over again. Who would’ve thought that such a simple message could have such a big effect on kids of all ages? Even the older ones enjoy this beloved story about sharing.
Speaking of working as a group to accomplish big things, Stone Soup is another heartwarming story about the power of community. It shows us that if we all pitch in, everyone is better off and happier, too.
Empathy and true friendship are the main themes of Maddi’s Fridge, a story that shows us that sometimes we don’t realize how good we have it. It’s a funny and sweet story that’ll leave you with a smile on your face.
What Is Given From the Heart reminds us that we can always help – even when we think we don’t have much to give! Because the most valuable gifts are those that are given from the heart.
Remember how we said you’re not too young to help? Olivia’s Birds: Saving the Gulf is a great reminder of that. If you’re passionate about a cause, you can achieve anything!
For Kids 8 and Up
Need ideas to start changing the world? The Kid’s Guide to Service Projects has over 500 of them! No project is too small or too little for those who want to make a difference in the lives of others.
If you wanna make a chance, you gotta start somewhere. That’s the lesson you’ll learn with Make a Stand, the beautiful and inspiring story about how a brief moment inspired a huge movement. You can do it, too!
Facts are powerful. That’s why How to Make a Better World is filled with practical tips and info to help you create change in yourself, your community, humanity, and the environment.
Real Kids, Real Stories, Real Change is an uplifting read that’ll make you think “if they could do it, I can too!” And you know what? You sure can!
Now that you know how important it is to share and how great it feels to help others, it’s time to get started! Whether you help with money, work, or donations the most important thing to remember is that you have the power to make a big impact. Start small, inspire others to help, and keep sharing your gifts with the world. And make sure your parents read our guide on how to teach your kids about sharing money so you can learn together!