Friday, November 21, 2008

Family Volunteer Day - Teaching Kids to Give Thanks

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One of my favorite stories books as a kid was the Mrs. Piggle Wiggle series. Remember those? In every story there was kid misbehaving, the parents were always hopelessly stumped, and Mrs. Piggle Wiggle would then come to the rescue with a ingenious trick to get them to behave.

This time of year, with large special dinners and the holiday rush and tumble of gift giving, it's easy for everyone, but especially kids, to focus only on what they want at the expense of the needs of those around them. While I can't claim to be any Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, I can at least offer one fix for this.

Get your kids volunteering! November 22nd (tomorrow!) is Family Volunteer Day, and the timing could not be better. The holiday is hosted by the folks at Disney, and there is a site that helps families think of volunteering ideas, or allows you to share your own projects. It also provides lots of resources for you to find different volunteer opportunities in your neighborhood that are suitable for the whole family. One of the better site listed is Family Cares. The kids section gives Family Volunteer Day themed coloring print-outs, puzzles, and other games.

One project on the site shows how helping others can be so easy. The Barta family was doing some "spring cleaning" and realized they had tons of old DVDs and movies that the kids no longer watched. As one of their kids friends used to be a cancer patient, they knew that for sick children, movies could be a great comfort, so they donated all the movies to their local hospital. Now as a family they continue to seek DVD donations from other families like them.

As for our family, we're going to keep it simple and get out of the hosue. Me, my husband, and the boys are going to go the park and city streets and volunteer our time to help pick up trash. It's an activity that can keep my youngest (5 years) and my oldest (10 years) occupied. Other ideas I debated with was doing a bake sale and donating the proceeds to charity, making craft decorations for a local nursing home.

Have a good weekend!


Caroline said...

Wow, I didn't know about this! Sounds like a great excuse to get my kids thinking about people other then themselves.

MomO3 said...

You should also check out Great site for moms and teachers who want to teach children to care. Site includes education, activities and service project ideas for kids.