Christmas is over, the gifts have been given and our New Year’s resolutions are on the forefront of our minds now (or at least they were a week ago. Hopefully you haven’t given up already!) With our thoughts geared towards our new goals, it’s easy for our giving hearts to take a break, simply because our budget needs them to and the season of giving has passed. If your Christmas was anything like mine, your kids got new toys and a new sense of ownership over those toys which sparked rantings such as this…”You can’t play with that! That’s MINE!”
Oh, that word, MINE…it’s like needles-in-my-eye-irritating!
MINE, MINE, MINE!
The great thing about kids though, is that like clay, they can be molded and shaped (to a certain degree), but it’s our responsibility as parents to put in the work to shape them into humans with character. They watch us and our example! I’m not interested in raising spoiled, selfish kids and I hope you aren’t either. With just a little bit of thought and preparation, you can help your kids give back to society all year long and have some fun while doing it.
Here are 10 tips to help your kids learn to give back:
Make Treats for Your Neighbors 1 of 10This is the perfect way to help your kids meet your neighbors and show that you care about them. Kids love delivering treats they worked hard to make!
Thank You Cards 2 of 10There are so many people that help raise our children. It really does take a community! Make a list with your children of people they can thank (Teachers, Librarian, Crossing guard, Coaches, etc...) And keep them with you in the car so when they see someone they would like to "Thank" they have the cards ready. Making the cards by hand would be fun or you can order custom made cards.
Visit this website to view a large selection of custom cards you can order.
Teach Your Children to Recycle 3 of 10Young children are so teachable! Teach them the basics of recycling and watch them in action! You could take it to another level and collect cans and bottles together and donate the money from it to a local charity.
Click here for more information and tips on recycling.
Donate Toys 4 of 10Have extra toys lying around? Want to get a head start on Spring cleaning? There are always places in need of gently-used toys and would appreciate your donation. Get your kids involved and have them pick out some of their toys to give to others.
Click here for donating options.
Firefighter Appreciation 5 of 10We have been blessed by the service of our local Firefighters and Paramedics in my family on several occasions. It's important that we teach our young children about true heroes and then go thank them! Call your local fire station and find out how many Firefighters are there. Next, make a giant candybar poster or a yummy treat and drop them by to show your appreciation. It will be something your kids won't forget!
Make Bookmarks 6 of 10There are so many ways to make bookmarks and they are easy for those little hands. Donate them to a local Senior Center or have them as gifts for family and friends all year. Need some bookmark ideas?
Click here to find easy, cute ideas!
Donate Books 7 of 10If you have extra toys lying around, chances are you have extra books lying around also. Those can be donated to school libraries, classrooms and shelters. Ask your children where they would like them to go and call ahead to see if the school or shelter is accepting donations.
Make a Quilt 8 of 10Fleece blankets are easy to make and your First or Second-Graders can help tie the ends. Choose a fleece fabric that is on sale and have a quilt-making-party! Women's shelters and hospitals are usually very happy to accept your handmade donations. Call them in advance.
Click here for step-by-step instructions.
Plant a Tree 9 of 10Here's a great one for those who live in warmer climates in the winter or for those of us looking forward to Spring. Teach your kids to clean up the litter in the park and beautify the earth with trees! It's a fun thing to do together.
Teach Them to Give 10 of 10If you plant a desire to give in them while they are young, they are likely to make it a habit. Our two older children each have 3 money jars. Whenever they receive money, they give ten percent to charity (we choose our church), they give ten percent to their savings account and the rest is spending. It's a great way to get them giving early on and learning about money!
And here is the eleventh tip: “Pay it Forward!” A good way to do that is to visit “Where Much is Given” with your kids and request free cards. When you see your kids doing something kind for someone else, or even you as the parent, pass along one of the cards, inviting the recipient of your good deed to do the same!
Which one of these ideas do you think your kids would like to do the most? What would you add to the list?
Read more from Mandy at mush.
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