As children are busy creating their Wish Lists this time of year, it’s important to point out that the holidays are about both GIVING and receiving.
Little ones can benefit by your family’s actions and examples of big concepts like charity, compassion, generosity, and goodwill. Read on for story, activity, and craft ideas to help you teach your little ones about the joy of giving this year!
Want a super-cute and clever way to teach your child about coin values AND charitable giving — at the same time? Then you’re gonna love this 2-in-1 activity that’s perfect for this time of year. Whether your family or school volunteers to be Bell Ringers for Salvation Army, or your child has simply spied a Bell Ringer at the entrance to your local grocery store, this is your chance to let your child role-play the part and learn about this charitable and spirit-sharing tradition. This holiday family project uses a plastic container covered in red paper, some ribbon (for the handle), a handful of coins, and a bell. That’s it! Learn how to make your own kettle, and get suggested math activities for this pretend-play activity from teacher and Blog Ambassador Allison McDonald (of No Time For Flash Cards) in the full post: Pretend Play — Holiday Charity.
Empower your child this year by involving them in the decision-making process of thinning out their belongings to make room for the new goodies they’ll be receiving. Kids who a month ago wouldn’t part with a thing (“Not that, Mom, it’s my FAVORITE!”), often see the logic in this month’s simple “No ROOM means no NEW TOYS” decree. For little ones, that statement might be enough to kick-start the toy-donation process. For older children, a discussion of what they’ve outgrown and who (a younger relative or friend) could love a toy as much as they did is a great way to teach empathy and talk about your family’s charitable giving plans this time of year. Get a fantastic book recommendation to use as an ice-breaker to help your child understand why you want to donate SOME of their toys — plus many more tips — in Blog Ambassador Zina Harrington’s full post: “5 Tips for Getting Kids to WILLINGLY Donate Toys.”
Let your children experience the joy of giving by “adopting a child” for the holidays. It might be a child your family knows personally who could use some extra cheer this year, or an anonymous child’s Gift Wish plucked off a Giving Tree at a shopping center. If you’ve never been a Secret Gifter for the holidays before, this post is for you. Blog Ambassador Zina Harrington (of Let’s Lasso the Moon) shares her 5 tips for helping you teach your child the joy of one-to-one giving this holiday season. Read Zina’s full post “Teaching the Joy of Giving” by clicking here.
Originally written in honor of Earth Day, this post by guest blogger Roo Ciambriello (of NEON FRESH) reminds us that RECYCLING your magazines, cookbooks, songbooks, stories, and more is a great family project you can do to teach your kids about recycling AND donating. Tie up stacks of each item with green and red (or blue and white) yarn or ribbon with a card attached that says, “Happy Reading!” It’s a heartfelt message of the new traditions your family may be passing along for others to partake in as they discover a new family recipe or snuggle up with a new-found favorite story to read together. Get a list of places who often accept donated reading materials (like women’s shelters and hospitals) and more in Roo’s full post: Donate Your Magazines.
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Check out our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide to help you find that “just right” gift to donate to a child in need this year. Or see our Story Time board on Pinterest for great recommendations on books — including those on the topics of CHRISTMAS, HANUKKAH, and GIVING.