Teaching the Joy of Giving

Melissa & Doug Blog Ambassador
These joy of giving tips are brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador Zina Harrington.

Make everyday activities an adventure! -Zina

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Holiday chaos is in full swing. Take a break from the hustle and bustle and use this opportunity to teach your child about the joy of giving. Many organizations offer programs in which you can “adopt a child for the holidays.” This is a great opportunity for experiencing the joy of one-to-one giving. This season our family adopted a set of sisters who are two and four.

Teaching the Joy of Giving | 5 Steps to making it meaningful to your childBelow you’ll find five simple tips on making the experience meaningful to your little one.

Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand. {Ancient Chinese Proverb}

1. Find a way to help locally
Finding a child to help in your own community brings the experience closer to home. Search for opportunities online, check your child’s school for an initiative or keep your eyes open at the mall for giving trees.

2. Request a child around the same age as yours
Giving to a child of the same age allows your little one to relate and connect with the experience on a deeper level.

3. Ask for a first name
Donating money to charities can be an abstract concept for young children. Sharing the name of the child you are donating to will make them “real” in your child’s mind. Generally, organizations will provide a first name if you request it.

4. Let your child shop
Involve your child at every step of the process. Many organizations will provide a list of requested items, some simply provide a suggested donation amount. Our two adopted girls requested baby dolls, blocks and kitchen pots. My girls chose the following items from the Melissa & Doug website:

Melissa & Doug Toys

1. Play Kitchen Accessory Set – Pot & Pans
2. Jenna 12″ Doll – Mine to Love
3. Unit Blocks on Wheels

5. Let your child prep the items
If your items require wrapping, as ours did, have your child prep the packages. Have your child go with you to drop the items off for donations. Something as simple as letting them carry the box to the donation site can be a very powerful experience for a child.

Teaching the Joy of Giving | 5 Steps to Making it Meaningful for Your Child

This is the third year our family has participated in this “adopt a child for the holidays” program. How are you teaching your little one about the joy of giving? Let’s chat in the comments.

PS: As a mom of two young girls myself, it felt good knowing we were providing quality toys that engage their imagination. Melissa & Doug make it very easy to shop by age: these are the categories we used with our “joy of giving” project:

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Zina from Let's Lasso the MoonZina Harrington is the author of Let’s Lasso the Moon, where she inspires parents and children to interact creatively and enjoy the beauty of everyday moments.

See all Blog Ambassador posts by Zina
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Teaching the Joy of Giving | 5 Steps to making it meaningful to your child

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  1. [...] Make a Donation With the toys that you’re willing to part with, make a donation to a local charity, family member or friend. Children can often be happily persuaded to take part [...]

  2. [...] Make a Donation With the toys that you’re willing to part with, make a donation to a local charity, family member or friend. Children can often be happily persuaded to take part [...]