A fun way your kids can give back these holidays

With school holidays around the corner, it's always a good idea to have some ideas up your sleeve to keep the kids busy. Here's an activity that was a great success for our family: a mobile bake sale. There were lots of fun actions required by us at every step that kept the kids busy and very engaged.

Bake sale

The Charity

My daughter had chosen to donate to the Royal Children's Hospital (RCH) for her batmitzvah. After raising a nice tidy sum, I contacted the RCH Foundation to arrange a family tour. One morning in the holidays we visited the Hospital, seeing the amazing foyer, the aquarium, the meerkats, the free Hoyts Cinema, the Starlight Express Room and all the other cool things the hospital has to keep kids distracted and engaged while they are visiting or staying at the hospital. While we were there, we saw many kids with illnesses or disabilities or in wheelchairs. It reminded us how lucky our family is to have healthy kids that can lead full, active lives. On the way home, while trying to talk my kids out of making yet another batch of slime, I suggested baking. This idea quickly evolved into a bake sale. Inspired by our visit, we decided we'd raise money for the RCH.

The Baking

Still in the car, we chose three simple recipes (online research), then went straight to the supermarket to buy our supplies. For my twelve year old, this included calculating quantities (as we were double and triple batching the recipes) and creating a shopping list. We then came home and split up into pairs to bake our goods, keeping us busy in the kitchen for some time. We then packaged them up, using cardboard disposable trays (from Astoria).

The Sell

Before we left, the girls practised what they'd say when door knocking (making a pitch). We went door to door around our neighbourhood (giving us plenty of fresh air and exercise) for one hour door and selling our delicious treats. The kids and their friends (doubling as a playdate) introduced themselves to several dozen strangers (building confidence, meeting our neighbours), and explaining who we were raising money for (advocating for a charity). With the help of many generous strangers, we raised $140 for the Hospital, filling an afternoon in a fun, fulfilling way.

A Double Dose of Goodness

With some merch left over, we decided to visit our local police station to donate the leftovers. The lovely policeman who we spoke with was incredibly chuffed that we weren't selling the treats but passing them on to the team at the station to say thank you for their service. It truly was a win win!

The down and dirty Be prepared for some mess in the kitchen, but don't stress about it.

Keep the recipes simple - we baked choc chip cookies and brownies which were a hit. We also made white chocolate and raspberry muffins which were less popular.

Let your kids identify and choose a cause that they connect with.

Houses under construction are brilliant - they're full of builders who love treats!

Help them identify what needs to happen next at each step of the way.

And lastly, give your kids lots of praise your kids for their efforts and the contribution they are making- every little bit counts!

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