The Joy of Giving
We used this book to talk about what it FEELS like to GIVE.
Is Giving Happy or Sad?
Warm or Cold?
How does it make you feel?
Then we used this printable from Tatertots & Jello to add to care packages we made for our friends. We attach them to neighbor's doors, ring the doorbell, and run away! The kids are so incredibly happy and giddy when we do this. We have done it several times throughout the year (not just snowballing!) they like it so much! And I like to help them focus on making other people smile every now and then!
Writing Practice : List Making
I used this book to inspire list-making. But not the traditional "What I Want" List. We sit down to think of all the special people in our lives and try to think of what THEY would like most. Empathy can be a difficult concept! Start by brainstorming a list of people they want on their list. Then ask questions like :
What does so and so like to do in his/her free time
What does he/she do at work?
What does he/she like to play?
What do you and so and so end up playing/doing together the most?
Does your friend have any Needs? (a great conversation about needs/wants)
What would make your friend smile?
You can print this Christmas Writing Paper at Activity Village
More Ways to Share the Joy of Giving
- After we read this book we cleaned out our toy closet in search of gently used toys we could donate to other little ones in our community for Christmas. We also took a trip to the Toy Store where they each got $20 (in single $1 bills) to spend on gifts for a family in our neighborhood. I used $1 bills as a way to build a Math lesson into our shopping for our younger shoppers.
- We also keep this Christmas Kindness Calendar from Coffee Cups and Crayons hanging up on our fridge to find inspiration for little ways to be kind throughout our days together. We don't do ALL the acts of kindness but we fit in as many as we can....I like having a visual reminder focused on doing kind things for others and these are fun ways to incorporate some spontaneous holly jolly spirit while out and about (even running to the grocery store!)
- Find a charity your little ones seem interested in. Research how you can help and build a plan to follow through. This year, Layla has decided she wants to donate food to Philabundance. We have done Toys for Tots before. And helping local families with Wish Lists but this idea just kind of happened in our home today and I encourage her to run with it. And she did.
As I was thinking about the Season ahead. The chaos. The busyness. The "My Christmas List" attitude. Trying hard to think of ways to fill the Season with the Attitude of Gratitude, love, and giving. Our Book A Day Christmas Countdown is a great start - connecting through play with our little ones (especially today's theme, focused on the Joy of Giving!)- sharing our presence above presents.
As I was thinking about ways to incorporate more kindness into our countdown - ways to teach friendship and love and mindfulness - during a trip through our local grocery store, my 7 year old told me she wanted to give food to people in our neighborhood who may need some this Holiday. When we got home we logged onto Philabundance to find out what KINDS of food are really needed right now. She wrote down the list. Then she decided she wanted to ask our friends, neighbors, Daddy's coworkers, and community to help collect food donations. My little Brave Writer wrote a letter to our friends asking for help. We sent some to work with Daddy. We are going to put one in each preschool cubby. I am so inspired by her willingness to take on a project and get the ball rolling on this and ... I am blown away by the care and compassion she expressed today.
As we head into the month of December I am so grateful to pause and breathe this in. Fully. And truly. So grateful for these moments of presence ... As she shares the real gifts of the Season.