Let Them Grow: Giving Back This Holiday Season
Making Giving about Giving
This is the time of year to think about not just our families but also for our community. Living in such a small valley makes it easy to make connections that are meaningful and valuable. One easy activity that will help your children understand the value of giving and gratitude are donation bags!
At my daycare we have teamed up with Lindsay Fogg-Willits, owner of Art Always in Florence, and came up with this awesome easy activity. Giving helps us all feel fulfilled in so many ways; it helps establish the means for empathy are caring, besides it just feels good.
Small children are inherently greedy, its part of our developmental process. Teaching your child to really understand giving can be a challenge. Making the giving more tangible can help create a memory of giving and lead to a better understanding of caring. Making donation bags before donating can really be a nice way to make the idea of giving concrete.
Help your children decorate the outside of paper shopping bags. Be creative; use bright holiday colors, stickers, stamps, paint, or markers. Lay out several bags to cover the surface and decorate away. When they are dry you can do one of a few things in and for the valley:
Fill the bags up with sundries and bring non-food donations of toothpaste, floss, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, toilet paper and especially diapers to Art Always. Art Always is located at 221 Pine Street #314, Florence any time during the week of November 24th-December 9th, 2015. We will then see that the donations are distributed to families in need in our community via the Food Bank. Personalizing a gift can help a child make an empathetic connection and have ownership of the gift giving.
By personalizing giving to others through creative-free play, we help establish the roots of a great moral compass. During this yearly time of giving, it’s easy to demonstrate caring for our neighbors. Help your kids learn to be compassionate and caring all year long by empowering them with opportunities in which to engage!
[Photo credit: (cc) Raychel Mendez]
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Candice Chouinard has worked with youth of all ages and backgrounds, creating and implementing programing for children. She revels in hand-on, long-term, messy projects that are both fun and educational. Candice comes from a background in creative writing, as well as, child development and psychology. She owns and operates a day care in Northampton, MA.