Talking to Kids about Service

A Magic Penny is committed to supporting parents as they engage in conversations about service. Addressing societal issues while giving back exposes children to challenging and complex topics that they need time to process. Family dialogue before and after volunteering is a valuable part of the service experience.

We encourage parents to discuss the area of community service for which they will be volunteering. When you sign up for an event, we outline each topic with key points to make, kid-friendly wording, and conversation starters. We also provide information on how to talk to your children about the specific organization they will be supporting. Children’s book recommendations are given so parents have access to a variety of ways to approach each topic.

Below are some general guidelines we suggest when talking to kids about service:

  • When discussing a heavy or complicated issue, follow your child(ren)’s lead and answer questions simply and honestly.
  • Start by finding out what they already know and what they want to know.
  • Depending on your child(ren)’s age and maturity, you can break the basic ideas down into their terms.
  • It’s also okay to say, “I don’t know, let’s find out” or “I’m not sure how to explain that, let me think about it.”

The talking points provided span all the categories of social issues A Magic Penny addresses:


Health & Well Being:

Homelessness & Poverty:

Differing Abilities:

Comfort & Safety:

When you and your child are ready to elaborate on a heavy issue (such as domestic violence or terminal illness), and your child continues to ask deeper questions, A Magic Penny staff is happy to provide your family with language to use. We will gladly work with you to construct deep and meaningful conversations about difficult topics. We encourage you to reach out with your questions!