We all remember the saying “giving is better than receiving,” but this is difficult for our children to really comprehend when they see all the holiday gifts on the store shelves. If they haven’t felt the joy of giving and see the difference they can make by doing so the phrase doesn’t hold a place in their heart. Here are three fall activities that will help make it more about the feeling and less about the stuff with the holidays quickly approaching. To achieve an attitude of gratitude little ones require help to look at their situations from a point of appreciation so let’s start.
Each child will use a pumpkin from October that we didn’t carve. Every morning throughout the month of November my child/children will write one word on the pumpkin about something they are grateful for. I love this simple, fun way to start the day off with gratitude. By Thanksgiving they will each have a full pumpkin to read off to family or company.
You can print, purchase, or if you’re a crafty mommy, draw a turkey with about 10-15 feathers. Leave the turkey’s feathers empty and white. Explain to your child/children that all month you’ll be watching for “Thankful Turkey” actions and moments . When you notice your child/children doing a kind act, helping their siblings, or even better, helping you, write it on a blank feather. Allow your child to then color and decorate that feather. Soon that plain turkey will be full of color, kindness, thoughtfulness and a thankful month with your little turkey.
Now that your mums most likely aren’t in bloom any longer, save those beautiful wood baskets they came in, or find a basket around the house. We all know that December brings stuff… lots of stuff. It’s easy for a child to start the I want that ..oh and that too. The giving basket is a great start for your child feel the joy of giving. Your child can fill the basket during the month with stuff they are willing to give. Maybe a toy car or doll they are not using anymore, a shirt they out grew, or a book they’ve mastered. When the basket gets full, let them choose where each item would be appreciated. Mail a book to a friend or donate the shirt to a family in need, but let them do it and be there to drop it off or put the stamp on it. Those moments of giving will create a lasting memory.
Fall is the perfect time of year to teach your child/children that it truly is better to give than to receive and it can actually feel really good. These 3 activities will instill values in your kids and broaden their perspective of what gratitude, thankfulness, and giving is.