Daylight Savings’ is drawing close. What will you do with an
extra hour? Make the best of falling back by helping out others and making a
li’l difference in the lives of those around you. And hey, why not start now?
It only takes an hour!
Homework helper: Be
the kind big sis that you are deep down inside and help a younger sibling out
with his/her homework, just this once.
Flapjack queen: Wake
up early to flip some pancakes and make your parents breakfast in bed to show
how you appreciate all that they do for you.
Be a kid: Pretend
you are a 5-year-old again who could make a box into a castle and volunteer to
babysit a neighbor kid, allowing the mother a much-needed hour of freedom.
PB and J fest: Grab
a friend and a few loaves of bread and make some sandwiches to drop off at a
Teacher’s pet: Who
cares if you seem like a brown-noser? Help a teacher out at school by grading
quizzes and organizing the zillions of files sitting on his/her desk.
Fall clean-out: Bag
up all of those old Beanie Babies and stuffed animals that you played with when
you were 8. Donate them to a shelter so a new little girl can have just as much
fun playing Tea Party with them as you did.
Plan a fundraiser with a friend to start at school. Collect T shirts, jackets
or old books from your house to donate to a fave charity. Don’t forget a catchy
Soaps and suds:
Start a free car wash in your neighborhood and let others join in. Who knows,
you could make a new BFF who lives right down the street!
Board game frenzy:
Spend an hour playing games at the senior center. Let them tell you stories
about their childhood and the kids that they raised. You’ll get some pretty
good laughs and stories to share with friends and family, and you may even
learn a life lesson or two.
Round ‘em up: Grab a
few friends and some trash bags and clean up a park in your area. Afterwards,
invite some more friends and have a picnic in your newly cleaned space.
Swap for the good of it: Invite a few of your BFFs over and tell them to bring their fall
clothes that they’re just not loving anymore. Have a clothing swap and nab a
few new pieces for your own fall wardrobe. What no one wants, bag up and drop
off at a Goodwill store.
Charity video: Snag
a camera and a BFF or two and create a music video to a song that advertises
for a charity, one that is near and dear to your hearts. It’s a blast to make
and will encourage others to donate some money to a good cause.
Feel the music: Find
some friends who can belt it out or can pick up an instrument and host an open
mic night in your backyard. Pass around baskets for donations and tell everyone
to bring one snack or dessert and pitch in.
Black out: For one
hour live without electricity. Go Green and see what it would be like to live
with no lights. Read a book by candlelight, or play a board game with your
Beauty party: Invite
all of the little girls in your neighborhood over and a few of your own BFFs
and have a mini Salon Day. Paint each other’s nails, have makeovers and style
their hair, but make sure no scissors are close by. Make an impression on the
younger girls and make them feel like they are as old as you for one day.
Be a kind soul: Help
out an elderly neighbor by doing chores around their house. You’ll feel great,
and maybe they will even sneak you some cookies!
Flashback: Join a
grandparent and help clean out their attic. From all of those old pictures and
memorabilia you are bound to find something to embarrass your parents about
some day, and it is a great bonding experience to learn about their past.
Sports star: Dig out
your old basketballs or lacrosse sticks and share your skills with a neighbor
or relative. Teach them your special tricks that will make them the star on the
Jammin’: Gather up
some friends, their moms and your families’ special jam recipes and have a Jam
Party! Decorate the jars to look super cute and give them out as presents or to
donate to a food bank.
Book bash: Clean out
your room and basement and collect all of your old books from when you were a
little youngster. Bring a sibling along and reread some of your favorites from
years ago. Then drop them off at your old preschool and let your childhood
faves be shared with those who have yet to hear the true art of Dr. Seuss.
Refurbish: Find a
few old pillows from around your house and buy a cute new fabric to spice ‘em
up a little. Give them to a friend or your li’l sis to help make her room a
little more fun.
Remember the days:
Make a playlist for you and your BFFs of the great songs you used to list to
way back when you were just a kid. The CD will remind you all about the times
you had together and the terrible songs that went along with it. But hey,
everybody loves to listen to a little ‘NSYNC now and then.
American pride: Take
a few pals, a table and some coffee urns filled with delicious hot cocoa to a
busy, (but safe!), street corner to set up a Hot Cocoa stand. Advertise that
all proceeds will go to aid US troops fighting for our country and have a
donation bin for those feeling extra patriotic.
Bake sale: Gather
all your girls up and on throw on some aprons. Bring out your delicious cookie,
cake and brownie recipes and bake till you can’t anymore. Take all of your
goods into school the next day, make sure you get permission first, and sell
them to raise money for your school’s athletic department or your fave club.
I scream, you scream:
Take your best gal and treat her to an ice cream. But, you both have to get
a cone instead of a cup, so that way you eat your silverware instead of tossing
a cup in the trash. A sweet treat with no waste!
Be social: Help
improve a non-profit’s FB page via sparked.com (you’d already be logged in
Cook up a storm:
Give the ’rents a night off and whip up a yummy dinner for the whole fam. Turn
to page TK for good ideas.
Get rakish: Gram and
Gramps will surely appreciate your help raking up the leaves in their yard
(after you jump in them, natch).
Come clean: Grab
your crew, some rubber gloves and a few trash bags and pick up any litter
around your ’hood. You’ll feel better knowing that the world is just a teeny
bit cleaner, thanks to you.
Raise some dough:
Organize your own 5K for breast cancer awareness. Round up your crew and their
mamas, ask for a $20 entry fee and hit the trail. Afterwards, pink berry
smoothies at your place! Donate the pot online to your fave cancer foundation.
Study a new skill:
Now’s the time to get Mom’s help perfecting her amazing brownie recipe or have
Dad show ya the proper way to use a drill.
Practice a foreign language: Gather some kids from your Spanish class for a coffee and convo sesh.
Meet at a local café and make an effort to only speak in Spanish for the whole
Animal lover: Head
to your local ASPCA and sign up to volunteer to walk the dogs or play with the
kitties at the shelter. Who knows? You might meet a best friend.
Craft Sesh: Invite
your girls over for arts and crafts. Paint, make jewelry, whatever you want!
Save what you make to give as gifts for your friends and fam.
Get Active: Head
outside and play kickball or tag with the neighborhood kids. They’ll be excited
to have a “big kid” play with them and you’ll feel great too!
Peer Edit: Got a big
paper coming up in school? Invite your friends from class over and edit each
other’s papers. Or have a brainstorm session to get some great ideas.
Scrapbook your summer:
You probably took a ton of pics this summer. Don’t let them sit around! Get
creative and make pages for each of your friends for memories that will last
Strengthen your vocab:
If you’ve seen any unfamiliar words lately, look them up in the dictionary to
learn what they mean. Then try using some of your new words to impress the
Dig for change:
Chances are you have coins hidden all over your house. Look under couch
cushions, in a junk drawer, and on the floor for loose change and donate it to
a charity coin collection box.
start a small garden with the seeds of your favorite flower. It may be too late
in the year to grow vegetables, but you can pretty up your yard!
Libraries love volunteers! Stop by and help put books away or clean up at the
end of the day.
Change your bulbs:
Switch all the regular light bulbs in your house for energy efficient bulbs.
They are better for the Earth and last longer than normal ones.
Help your feathered friends: Make a birdhouse to hang in your back yard. Many craft stores sell
plain wooden ones, so get artistic and make it unique. Then fill it with bird
food and see who stops by!
Do some extra chores:
Take out the trash, dust, fold laundry: Do something around the house you don’t
normally do. You’ll give Mom and Dad a bit of relief!
Grocery Girl: See
someone in your neighborhood carrying in groceries? Be a good neighbor and
bring the rest inside for them. Be extra sweet and volunteer to put them away,
Skip the Ride:
Instead of having your mom drop you off at your BFF’s house, ride your bike (as
long as the roads are safe!). You’ll get some exercise and do some good for the
Ms. Desserts: Bake a
batch of cookies or brownies and bring them to your local police department to
say thank you. They’ll think you (and the cookies) are awfully sweet!
Trick or Treat?: Gather
any leftover pumpkins from Halloween and cook the seeds by salting and baking
them in the oven for a few minutes. Put them in baggies and bring them to
school the next day for the rest of your class.
Knit something great:
It’s getting colder out, so start knitting a scarf for someone in need. If you
don’t know how to knit, now is the perfect time to learn!
Can it: Go through
your pantry with Mom to find non-perishable foods your fam doesn’t need. Drop
off the canned goods at a local food bank.
Promote your cause:
Already support a charity you love? Take some time to make t-shirts with puff
paint and wear them around town. That way, you’ll get your cause out there and
maybe get more people to join!
Shop for others:
Holiday season is just around the corner and plenty of kids go without toys.
Hit up a discount store and bundle up a bunch of cheap, classic toys, like
crayons and yoyos, and donate them to a local homeless shelter.
Get some fresh air:
Go on a walk in a woodsy area and bring a nature book with you (try checking
one out from the library). Use it to identify the plants and trees around you
and get more in tune with nature.
If a new family just moved to your neighborhood or you’ve noticed a new girl in
school, reach out to them and make them feel welcome. Offer to show them around
or just be there to hang out.
Soup Kitchen: Get
your whole family together and volunteer for an hour at a soup kitchen or
homeless shelter. It feels really good to help those in need.
Write a letter: Do
you feel passionate about something in your community? Write a letter to your
county or state legislature about a change you want to see.
Words for Rice:
Freerice.com gives 10 rice grains to those in need for every vocabulary
question you get right on the site. Sharpen your skills and help those in need!
Spa day with mom:
Treat your mom to a much-deserved break and give her a shoulder massage. Then
make some DIY facial masks. Grab ideas here
and get beautiful together!
Play with your dog:
Some hospitals and nursing homes allow pets to come in and cheer up the
residents. See if any around you do--your dog will make a lot of people smile!
Take pics: If you
love to take pics, volunteer to be a photog for an event happening near you.
Lots of organizations need photos for their websites, so offer up your
What great thing can YOU do in 60 minutes?
BY ANA D’AMBROGI, DEVIN ALESSIO AND RACHEL NUGENT ON 10/2/2011 12:00:00 AM
POSTED IN weekend fun, boredom buster, get outside, charity, lifestyle, fall