Liev Schreiber and Naomi Watts are teaching their sons to be charitable.

The couple, who are parents to Sasha, six, and Kai, four, make sure their children realise how fortunate they are by taking them to homeless shelters to play with other children.

The 'Salt' star told the New York Post's Page Six: ''This time of year -- now that I have two small kids -- [we're] finding ways to teach them about generosity and compassion.''

The 46-year-old actor said he and his long-term girlfriend Naomi recently ''took the boys up to the [homeless charity] Association to Benefit Children in Harlem, and they basically got to play with the kids for two hours and it was amazing. To do things like this, particularly when they're related to kids, as we say in the Jewish faith is a 'mitzvah.' ''

Liev admitted his children were upset about giving away some of their toys at first.

He said: ''I told [them], 'We're going to get our stuff together . . . we're going to give [homeless children] some clothes. And going to give some of our toys,' and they immediately flipped out, [exclaiming], 'Our toys!' ''

But once they got there, they enjoyed themselves.

He added: ''They had [such] a great time playing, [they] wanted to go back every week.''

The couple are planning to spend a few days with his family in Virginia over Christmas before flying to Australia to spend time with Naomi's family.