The true meaning of the holidays can sometimes get away from us. While it’s fun to open gifts and attend parties, it’s also important to teach our children the gift of giving. Giving should be done whenever possible, not just around the holiday season, but this makes for a great time to get kids started and could be incorporated into a New Years resolution.
How do you go about teaching your children about giving? The best method is to lead by example, and as we all know, memories hold stronger when we are actively participating.
Check out this list of ideas to get in the giving spirit!
- Give each of your children (and your and your spouse) a bag or box. Tell each family member that it is their responsibility to fill that with items they no longer want, need or use. These could be toys, clothes, shoes, books, etc. Take everything to a shelter, Goodwill, Salvation Army, etc. to donate.
- Volunteer at a local food pantry to serve meals, at your church for an event or to read, or at an animal shelter. Make this a quarterly event and soon enough, they may be asking you to go or coming up with their own places to volunteer.
- Print out an Acts of Kindness worksheet for children to participate in. It could even become a challenge between siblings/friends. Some items may be as simple as giving a compliment or writing a thank you note to donating food, baking cookies for the local fire department to donating a toy for Toys for Tots.
- Get three jars and label one “save”, one “spend” and one “donate”. Have your children split their chore money between the three jars, which not only teaches them about donating money, but also about saving it.
- Contact your local hospitals and find out what is okay to bring by for patients. For children, it could be a small gift bag with crayons or coloring books or maybe ask if you can bring in baked cookies for your children to give out to those that can’t be at home.
Soon enough, your children will learn how rewarding it is to give rather than get.
TKD Tip: Remind children that there are many ways to give. They can give their time, money or material items such as clothes, toys, books, etc.
Parent/Child Activity: Find a list of local volunteer opportunities and sit down with your child(ren) and ask them to pick four charities or business they would like to help out and plan one out for each quarter of the year. If they are young, read them out load and explain to them what each is and the opportunities they have.