The holidays are an exciting times for kids. Gifts, festivities and vacation from school make it a special time of year. Sometimes gifts seem to get the spot light on the holidays. However holidays also remind us of what we really value, like spending time with friends and family. It is a perfect time of year to reflect on the things we are lucky to have in our lives.
It’s also a wonderful time to introduce the joy of giving to children in the classroom. Getting students involved in daily giving can be a fun and life changing lesson. Learning to give can lead to a life long habit. The old saying is true, studies have shown we enjoy giving more than receiving! Below are some fun classroom give ideas to get children in the charitable mood.
A classroom food donation is a way for students to help those in need in their community. Guide students giving by specifying what type of non-perishable goods are best. Often food banks have lists of the items that are most needed on their websites.
This is also a great way to introduce children to what local non-profits do .To get students even more involved, take a field trip to a local food bank. Many food banks are happy to do tours of their facilities. Teachers can also organize a food sorting morning or afternoon with their class. Students can take part in food sorting and bagging produce. It’s an active way for children to see where their donations go.
Pen pals have often been a fun staple of a the student experience. It’s a way to teach children empathy, social skills and the capability to understand different points of view. Sending greeting card to a local children’s hospital is way to teach children how to be a good friend. A colourful hand made card can brighten the day of patients who may be feeling lonely around the holidays.
Most hospitals have specific card guidelines, but some general rules are:
Pajama Day is an excuse to stay comfortable and smile all day. Being a past youth worker in a school, I got to see some really creative pajama days. Bear paws as slippers and animal onesies were popular. One boy even wore a night cap!
Pajama Day is popular with kids of all ages and can be easily combined with giving. Teachers can ask for a small donation, food donations so kids can dress up in their favourite pajamas. The amount can go to a local charity that the students pick themselves.
Getting children excited about giving is always a good idea. It changes a classroom or school culture, increases student’s happiness and even gets families giving as they follow their child’s giving journey. If you liked reading about food donations and was inspired about this idea, check out this inspiring post from our blog about a food share program.