As we settle in to celebrate the holidays, it’s a great time to remind our kids about the importance of giving back to others. Not everyone is surrounded by family this time of year, and a little dose of kindness can go a long way.
Spend a few minutes this week practicing gratitude for all that you have, and finding a way to give back to someone in your community. With all of these activities kids will have the opportunity to develop interpersonal skills like communication, empathy and compassion. We’ll get you started with the brainstorming.
Here are 5 ways to give back during the holidays.
Reach out to those who might be struggling to get through the holidays, and think about ways to help them. Call family members who live alone, and spend time talking to them. Help your elderly neighbor by shoveling their sidewalk, picking up pinecones or taking their dog for a walk.
It’s a bit harder to donate our time right now with COVID-19 health restrictions on gathering. If you usually volunteer to serve food at a homeless shelter, but can’t right now, consider donating food instead.
There are often local community organizations collecting new or gently used toys for families in need this time of year. Kids can clean out their toy collection, and donate items they don’t play with anymore. Consider adopting a family this season, and let your kids be involved in purchasing, wrapping, and delivering the gifts.
Create your own cold weather clothing drive, and ask friends and families to donate new or gently used coats, hats, gloves, mittens, blankets, socks or boots. Donate them to a homeless shelter or local organization that can help distribute the items to those who need them most.
Random Acts of Kindness
Encourage your kids to practice random acts of kindness. As adults, we often do this by buying a cup of coffee for the vehicle behind us. Kids can do this in a variety of ways. They can pick up litter on a walk around their neighborhood, leave chalk messages on sidewalks, or give compliments to people they talk to.
Make your neighbors smile by painting happy messages in your windows. Just remember if you’re painting it on the inside that you have to write it backwards so it shows up correctly when reading it outside! Alternatively, if you don’t have window paint, make signs with messages of positivity and tape them to your window for all to see.
Encourage them to do random acts of kindness for the family too. It could be something as simple as making their sibling’s bed or getting up early and making breakfast for everyone.
Bake For Others
Let your kids practice their baking skills by making cookies and other baked goods for neighbors or friends. You can drop off homemade cookies to your local fire department, police station or mailman. Write a thank you for serving our community card to include with the box of cookies.
Spread Cheer With Crafts
Spread cheer to those who need it most. Call your local nursing home or homeless shelter and ask if you can donate some crafts made by the kids. Checking beforehand is recommended due to potential COVID-19 restrictions. Ask about a contactless delivery and how many residents are in the facility so you can give everyone something. Seniors who are stuck in nursing homes don’t have a lot of interactions right now due to COVID socialization restrictions, so a little act of kindness can go a long way to cheering them up.
Ask your kids what they want to make. Think of little things that could be given out to each resident. Ornaments, door hangers, painted rocks, and handmade stationery are all great options!
How do you and your family give back during the holidays? Share videos of your kids giving back to the Campfire!