10 Fun Ideas That Teach Kids Values
What could be more worthwhile than family activities that encourage kindness, compassion responsibility and generosity?
It's so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day routine of raising children, doing laundry packing lunches getting them into and out of the tub that the goal of rearing kind-hearted, resilient kids often falls by the wayside.
The following character-building activities are not only fun but will have a lasting impact on your child. Share your enthusiasm for them from the start. The sincerity behind your words and action is what will truly motivate your child. If you put your heart into each activity there's a good chance that kids will too.
Have a garage sale:
Ask your child to help you round up old toys books and clothing explain that it's good to sell things you no longer need to people who do. Write yard sale in big bubble letters on poster board and have your preschooler color them in with a markers or paint.
Together attached streamers and balloons, he can also sort items into boxes according to price and arrange larger ones on the table. An older child can help price items, prepare tags or stickers and collect money from customers. Or set up a child size table where she can sit and sell lemonade or for her own toys.
Give the proceeds to a local charity such as an animal shelter and take your child with you when you make the donation let her pet the puppies and kittens, and explain, " These animals don't have homes. The money we made the money will help pay for their food."
Adopt a grandparent:
Make friends with an elderly person in your community, if you don't know someone asked local nursing homes for a suggestion. Find ways to brighten her day or lighten her load. Bake your new friend a batch of brownies, plant flowers in a garden or pick up her groceries. Have your child draw her a picture or write a cheerful note or simply pay your adopted granny a visit. Say to your child," Miss White doesn't get to see other people very often. So she'll be so happy to see you!"
Make a chart a chore chart:
Teach responsibility by helping your child at take on a few important daily jobs, such as feeding the fish and setting the table. List of chores across the top of a page and the days of the week on the side.
Make copies of the original so that you don't have to make a new chart each week. Or you can laminated it at your local Fedex shop and hang it on your her refrigerator. Kids can use dry eraser marker to check off their jobs when done.
Your preschooler can probably handle one simple chores and older child can manage two or three. If they finish all their chores during the week, you can celebrate their teamwork with going to the park or a movie on the weekend.
Cleaning up the neighborhood:
Find a littered playground or a vacant lot that needs some TLC and take it upon yourselves to spiff up. Give your child protective gloves and a small bucket or shopping bag for collecting trash. She can dump it into your larger bag when it gets full.
Remind her to avoid sharp objects. Ask your child who she thinks will benefit from your clean up. It's a powerful feeling for a child to see that her small efforts are helping to make the world in nicer place.
Afterward admire your hard work and treat yourselves to ice cream.
Stir up some stone soup:
Start with one of your favorite soup recipes or use a packaged mix. Have your child select a few common soup ingredients to add, such as carrots, beans and potatoes. An older child can help peel and chop veggies, a younger one can drop them into a pot while the mixture simmers.
Read, "Stone Soup" by Marcia Brown. It's the story of how everyone in a town donates a small amount of food to make a big pot of tasty soup for all. Explain to your child that you are working together to make soup to share with people who don't have enough to eat.
Transfer the soup to large plastic containers and then deliver them with your child to a local homeless shelter or soup kitchen. Call first to organize arrange the delivery time. Include a plate of cookies or cupcakes for dessert.
Play the gratitude game:
The next time you're riding in the car play the ABCs of thankfulness. Take turns naming things you feel grateful for that begin with the letters A,B,C and so on. Your child may say, " Thank you for the apple pie and alligators." Then you might say, "Thank you for butterflies and biscuits." A young child can simply call out anything that she's thankful for when it's her turn.
Design "Get-Well" pillowcases:
Ask your child how he would feel if he were sick and receive a special gift. Then suggest using colorful fabric paints or markers to decorate plain pillowcases, and then deliver them to the pediatric floor of a local hospital.
Insert cardboard first to keep the paint from soaking through. A preschooler can draw dots and squiggles, and you can write a message, such as "Feel Better Soon!" Show him how to dip differently shaped sponges (in craft stores) into the paint and press on to the fabric. An older child can draw flowers and happy faces or use stencils to trace designs.
Create a family timeline:
Draw a line down a length of butcher paper.
At one end, mark the day you met or married your spouse. Add another event such as a birth a move.Or the day your child started preschool and continue until the present. Your child can do can help decorate the timeline by drawing pictures and attaching memorabilia such as as a seashell from a vacation or a field day ribbon.
The timeline will help your child understand what makes family unique and what you consider important. You could also start a family scrapbook. Talk about the day she was born and the different places you've lived and asked her to talk about her earliest memory and favorite birthday.
It's through the process of sharing group and individual experiences that family members grow more and more connected to each other.
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