August 21 is International Youth Day—a day of awareness created by the United Nations to highlight young voices, actions, and education on global issues. As such, now is the perfect time to sit the kiddos down with resources of the same nature. Doing so will show them their potential to make an impact on the world. Additionally, raising up global citizens will ensure a more accepting, caring future. These activities to do with kids for International Youth Day are easy, fun, and are bound to instill important lessons.
So many children's books on the market today are able to breakdown high-reaching global issues like climate change, trafficking, poverty, and more to a format better understood by kids. So many, in fact, that it was hard to choose. Here are just a couple of our favorites.
I Can Change the World
Written by Jennifer Dewing and illustrated by Marie Cardouat, this storybook is all about your child's ability to create change. The book is also customizable, meaning their name will be used throughout the text and illustrations.
This is How We Do It
Matt Lamonthe showcases 7 different lives of kids across the world in this publication. In doing so, your child can identify the differences and similarities between cultures.
Same, Same But Different
Similar to Lamonthe, Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw writes about a pair of pen pals from opposite sides of the globe. The book emphasizes that, while their lives make look different, they're actually quite similar.
Contribute to Global Causes
Donations are always a wonderful way to make a direct contribution to a global issue. Be it tangible items or money raised from a drive, any form of charity tops the activities to do with kids on International Youth Day.
Make a Lemonade Stand
The ol' classic kid money-maker. Gathering ingredients for lemonade and putting a table together is a snap and also serves as a lesson on business. Check with local laws beforehand, though.*
*With COVID-19 in full swing, make sure you're following CDC guidelines. You may consider selling non-consumable goods such as artwork or friendship bracelets instead.
This is a win, win for the parents. Let your little take the lead of the sale with responsibilities like setting up, pricing, giving change, etc. All proceeds can go to a global organization of their choice.
Got gently-used shoes that don't fit anymore? Or, are you willing to purchase some for a child in need? Gather them up for donating! Spread the word throughout your community to get other kids in on the fun.
Educational Activities for International Youth Day
Beyond books or fundraising, there are a myriad of resources online to scroll through. Find a webpage with articles, courses, or readings on a particular global issue and feel free to translate that into a craft or activity after. You can also check out our blog post on human rights and stay tuned for more purpose-driven content.
EPA Pollution & Sustainability Resources
The EPA has a wonderful list of resources on pollution for kids. After spending some time on these, take the learning a step further by picking up trash around your community or testing out sustainable hacks.
NASA's Climate Kids
NASA's climate kids is a fun website that simply details weather/climate, atmosphere, water, energy, and plants and animals. The kid-friendly design makes learning about global issues like coral bleaching all the more accessible.
Review the 2020 World Youth Report
The UN releases a report on how youth social entrepreneurship is creating global change. Going through the report with your kids can show them the value of their contributions and potential.
Peruse Kids Go Global
Kids Go Global has some great blog posts on international matters. The organization also has a section to showcase the work of individuals or students. You can bounce off of their activity ideas or submit your own work. Either way, you're contributing to their cultural cognizance.
These activities to do with kids for International Youth Day are just a drop in the bucket in tackling complex issues. You can continue to educate your littles through open conversation and involvement in your community and beyond. They'll become more globally-conscious in every teachable moment.
Here's to your future change makers!