While giving is important all throughout the year, every year. This year, with so many people struggling, I think it’s even more important for those of us who have enough to give to those in need.
This week, we will be continuing to talk about things we are thankful for. And also bring up the conversation about families in need.
I know this can be a difficult concept for preschoolers, and also a difficult conversation for parents to bring up. This is up to each parent how and when you want to bring this up with your child/children.
Tangible Experience of Giving
This week, I do want my son to get a glimpse of the idea of being in need, but the main focus will be on giving.
For adults, giving monetary gifts can be meaningful, but for young children, I think a tangible/physical experience is probably a more meaningful way to experience giving.
With the pandemic this year, it won’t be easy to go volunteer with young children. However, I’ve come up with some ideas for our toddler and preschooler to be able to participate in giving this holiday season.
I will be sharing some charities throughout this post. I am not affiliated with any of them, but these are just some that I’ve found and some that our family will be giving to.
If you’re local to West Michigan, here is an amazing Holiday Giving and Volunteering Guide for 2020 that can give you a place to start.
Giving Unit Activities
Day 1: Donate Winter Clothes
Michigan gets cooooollllldddd. So it’s not surprising that there are places to donate winter clothes to help people in need during the long winter.
If you’re local to West Michigan, Bethany Christian Services accepts winter clothes that are new or gently used.
How Can My Preschooler Help?
We will be going through some of the gently worn winter clothes that the boys have outgrown, and will fold and put them in a box together. I think this physical action of taking something that belongs to them and giving it away will be a great way for my son to experience giving.
Discuss with your child, we’re not just getting rid of these clothes because they’re too small for us. We are giving them to people who need it.
Then we will drive together and drop it off at the specified location.
Day 2: Christmas Countdown Paper Chain And Alphabet Practice
Since Tuesday is the first day of December, we will be taking a brief break from our giving unit, and make a Christmas countdown paper chain. And we will also be doing our Letter of the week activity on this day as well.
How to Make a Paper Chain
Cut colorful construction paper into strips.
Number the strips from 1-24.
Create a circle with the first strip of construction paper and tape securely. Loop another strip and tape. Continue on till you have created a chain!
Decorate with Christmas stickers and hang it up. Remove one circle each day of December and count down the days until Christmas!
Optional Alphabet Practice With Paper Chain
And optional activity you could do is write a letter on each strip of paper on the paper chain. Each day, you can review that letter and practice the sounds and think of one word that starts with that letter.
Here is how ours turned out!
Letter of the Week
This week, we are learning the Letter K! These printables are included in this week’s lesson plan download!
Day 3: Adopt a Family
There are many adopt-a-family organizations across the country. If you’re local to Michigan, we are planning on sponsoring a family through Bethany Christian Services.
Once you sign up, they match you up with a family in need and will provide a wishlist of things that will help their family through the holidays.
I love that there is the option to directly drop off the gift to the family. Though, this year with the pandemic, we unfortunately will not be choosing that option.
I think it’s a great way for even young children to directly see the impact of giving to those in need. And hopefully will learn that there is much joy in giving.
Here is the link to Christmas Sponsorship Sign Up form.
How Can My Preschooler Help?
After we purchase the gifts, I will ask my son to help wrap the gifts and make cards for the family. Though we won’t be delivering the package to the family directly, I think helping prepare the gifts will be a tangible way for my son to be a part of this giving experience this year.
Day 4: Angel Tree
Angel Tree is organized by Salvation Army. It is a way to give toys to children during the holiday season.
You can find locations near you that have an Angel Tree. You choose a tag on the tree that specifies what type of toy/gift they are looking for. Shop for the gift, and drop it off at any Angel Tree location.
How Can My Preschooler Help?
Due to the design of Angel Tree, I think it’s a great tangible/physical giving experience for young children. We plan on getting a tag, and then we will probably buy the gift online, but I plan on shopping online with my son. And then we will take the gift and drop it off together.
Day 5: Write Nice Notes With Small Gift For Neighbors
Lastly, we will be writing nice notes of encouragement for our neighbors and leaving them on their doorstep with a small gift. (Normally, we would bake something and share that, but this year with the pandemic, we thought a small snack from the store might be better.)
I think my son will really enjoy this activity and it’ll be a great way to bless those around us!
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The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
Thank You, Omu! by Oge Mora
Can We Help? Kids Volunteering to Help Their Communities
One Hen by Katie Smith Milway
The Quiltmaker’s Gift
Little Robin’s Christmas
The Doorbell Rang by Pat Hutchins
Bible Memory Verse: Luke 2:14
It is almost Advent season, so we will be learning some “Christmas” Bible verses for the next few weeks.
The first one we will be learning is Luke 2:14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace on whom his favor rests.”
This printable is included in this week’s lesson plan download!
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