It’s never too early to teach lessons about giving and sharing. They’re lessons we all begin learning in kindergarten or as part of our religious or spiritual upbringing, but sometimes they become so elemental that we cease to be aware of their importance. Each of us is aware of our duty to share what we are given with those less fortunate, but in the hustle and bustle of living we often forget to turn belief into action. Learning about philanthropy is the first step, practicing it and incorporating it into your family’s everyday life is the second. For very young children, whose grasp of monetary value is not strong and whose attention span may be short, select an activity like collecting pennies for UNICEF on Halloween or helping to bake cakes for a community bake sale. In addition to having fun and spending time together, explain how these activities are made even more special by helping others.

Encourage slightly older children to set aside a portion of allowances and monetary gifts to be donated to charity, and at the end of the year help him or her select a cause to which the funds will be given. This process can be as formal as setting aside a separate bank account and soliciting informational packets from local nonprofits, or as informal as purchasing a divided piggy bank or rinsing out an old coffee can. Being involved in the process of giving will help your child feel invested in the causes he or she chooses.

Read the full article for these helpful tips by Sarah Trzepacz at the National Center for Family Philanthropy.