The third level of contact work – doing something with kids – is often done with groups of middle school kids, rather than one-on-one. Whatever you do, communicate with parents first to ask permission and share the details.
Brainstorm for ideas with your leadership team. How can you spend time with middle school kids in your community? These ideas can help you start your list:
- Play a game of capture the flag at a park near the middle school.
- Take a walk around the neighborhood.
- Play Frisbee golf. If there’s not a course nearby, create your own with mailboxes and trees.
- Help kids with their homework.
- Take kids to run errands with you – grocery store, mall, hardware store.
- Play football, tennis, volleyball, basketball or dodgeball at the school or a community center.
- Help kids paint signs or decorate for pep rallies and school dances.
- Plan a photo scavenger hunt around the neighborhood.
- Let kids teach you a new sport or video game.
- Drive kids as their “chauffeur for the day.”
- Chaperone a school trip.
- Volunteer at a soup kitchen, clothes closet or another charity in your community.
- Help coach a school sports team or a neighborhood sports team.
- Create fun videos together.
LITTLE OR NO COST
- Invite the girls over for a sleepover with their leaders.
- Host a game night. Play old-school board games, video games, charades or Bunco.
- Throw a dance party or karaoke night.
- Host a bonfire/s’mores night at your house.
- Take kids out for a $5 grocery store dinner. Each kid brings $5 to the neighborhood grocery store and buys food to share for a “potluck dinner” that the group eats together.
- Invite kids into your home to share a meal with your family.
- Go thrift store shopping.
- Teach kids how to cook something. Cook a meal together and then eat it.
- Have a craft day where you tie dye shirts or make bracelets.
- Host a cookout and let kids bring food to grill.
- Meet kids at the neighborhood coffee shop or fast-food restaurant.
- Do a “French Fry Tour” and identify the best French fries in your neighborhood.
- Go skateboarding, snowboarding, surfing or sailing.
- Host an outdoor movie night in your backyard.
- Invite kids to a “Pizza in the Park” night.
- Go to the zoo, amusement park or a local tourist attraction.
- Take kids to a minor league or major league sporting event.
- Go to a roller skating rink, bowling alley or trampoline park.
- Take kids camping, hiking or fishing.
- Go to the movies. (Know what movie you’re going to see and ask parental permission. Some of your kids may be under 13 years old.)
- Take kids to a miniature golf course.
- Go to the local fair.
- Host a pizza-eating or wings-eating contest.
- Take kids out for a meal. This can be especially good on school holidays.
- Go to a water park or community pool.
When you spend time with middle school kids, you are showing them that they matter. So find out what kids like to do and go do it with them. Find out where kids like to go and go there with them.