The holiday season is the perfect time to teach children of any age about giving back and being thankful for what they have. This year since the kids are getting older, we wanted to kickstart the holiday season by reflecting on some things they’re grateful for, spreading joy to those around us and starting some new traditions.
It can be hard to find service options for young children. One good idea is to have your children go through their old toys and pick out some they no longer want or play with to donate to a shelter or someone in need. It’s a bonus that this helps to de-clutter your house as well! Children can also donate old coats, snow boots and snow pants to a coat drive or shelter as well.
We love to read books in our home so it’s only natural that we get some that are holiday themed. For Thanksgiving we get books about the history of the holiday and also about giving back to others and reflecting on the blessings we have in our family. Each night throughout the week before Thanksgiving we read through these books.Berenstain Bears Give Thanks
There are so many small acts of kindness that you can do with your children whether it’s for someone you know or a stranger. Baking cookies for a neighbor, making a care package for a friend in need or bringing some baked goods to the local fire house. You can also do this secretly and drop something off anonymously! Another cool idea is paying for someones movie night snacks by sticking a couple of extra dollars in the Redbox case next time you return your movie.
In our home we have a Thankful Pumpkin where we each write down one thing we are grateful for each day. This is fun because it’s something we can all participate in including my husband. We do this the entire month of November until Thanksgiving. We’ve been working toward filling up the entire pumpkin and at the end of the season we can reflect back on all of our blessings we have recorded.
Sit down with your children and make thank you cards for men and women serving overseas in the military. You can also sign up to send a care package for soldiers as well. Teach your children about the importance of soldiers and how they help keep our country safe. Some examples of where to go if you’d like to participate in a letter writing/care package program for soldiers are Operation Gratitude and A Million Thanks
The most important thing is to have fun with these activities this season and keep teaching your children to always help those less fortunate!
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