The holiday season is fast approaching which means you may be finding yourself looking for ways to teach the concepts of kindness, gratitude, and giving back to your young children. If you’re looking for some big and small ideas to help your children learn about giving back, this blog includes five ways that you can spread the kindness and abundance this holiday season.
Volunteer as a Family
One of the most meaningful ways to teach your children about the importance of giving back is by volunteering as a family! Find local organizations, such as food banks, homeless shelters, or nursing homes, that welcome volunteers during the holiday season. Getting involved as a family not only sets a great example for your children but also allows you to bond while making a positive impact on the community. If you’re able, continue your volunteer efforts throughout the year. Most organizations see a sharp rise in volunteers around the holidays and while this is great, volunteers are needed all year long!
Create Thanksgiving Care Packages
Get your children involved in assembling care packages filled with non-perishable food items, warm clothing, and hygiene products. These can be distributed to those less fortunate in your area. You can even make it a fun family project by decorating the packages and including handwritten notes of encouragement and kindness. If you’re not sure what to include, contact your local homeless shelter or women’s shelter and see if they can share a list of needed items with you.
Random Acts of Kindness
Encourage your children to perform random acts of kindness throughout the Thanksgiving season. Depending on their age these acts of kindness will look different! They can include simple gestures like leaving anonymous thank-you notes for teachers or neighbors, shoveling snow for an elderly neighbor, or going out of their way to share with a student they don’t normally play with can instill the value of kindness and empathy.
Incorporate discussions about gratitude into your family’s Thanksgiving traditions. Have a gratitude circle where each family member shares something they are thankful for. This practice helps children understand the importance of appreciating what they have and being mindful of the needs of others. This is also a great activity that can go beyond the holiday season and into your nightly routine! Dedicate a few minutes at dinner every night to go around the table and have everyone share something about their day and something they’re grateful for.
Craft for a Cause
Crafting can be a fantastic way to spread kindness and is a great opportunity for younger children to really get involved. Gather your children and create handmade greeting cards, artwork, or other crafts to send to local hospitals, nursing homes, or military personnel. These thoughtful creations can bring smiles to those who may be feeling isolated during the holiday season.