As the holidays roll around this year the twins will be 21 months old. Thankfully, they are not old enough to understand what’s currently going on in the world, but one thing is abundantly clear: we need to spread more love, more kindness, and more goodness in our world… And that’s what this blog post is all about.
My kids can’t read or write yet, but they are old enough to get that warm fuzzy feeling that comes from doing acts of kindness. I suddenly remembered a “Giving Calendar” that I saw on another blog. This one is great for older kids and I hope you’ll check it out. It inspired me to create our Toddler Holiday Giving Calendar.
What: I purchased a few supplies at The Dollar Store. I used frogs (lol, holiday frogs) because they were pre-cut and a Christmas green color, a bunch of packs of Christmas stickers, and a large white poster board. If you check out the link to the original calendar, she makes a really cute one with Christmas scrapbook paper. You could also use wrapping paper cut into squares.
How: I arranged it in a calendar pattern. I only did 16 tasks, the original one has 25 tasks for the days leading up to Christmas, but that seemed like a lot for toddlers. Come on, I’m trying to do random acts of kindness here, but let’s be honest, there are days when I can’t take a shower!
Tasks: For each day I wrote a job for them to do that shows love or caring to their family, their home, their world, etc. When it is complete, we’ll cross it off the board. Here are the toddler tasks I listed:
1. Draw a picture and mail it to someone we love.
2. Do something extra nice for Daddy/Mommy.
3. Play with a new friend.
4. Go to church together.
5. Say our prayers together.
6. FaceTime someone we love who lives far away.
7. Donate an item(s) to a local organization.
8. Help pick up our toys.
9. Bring a treat to a neighbor.
10. Help water the plants.
11. Color a picture for a family member.
12. Take flowers to our church.
13. Make a craft for a friend.
14. Help mommy bake holiday treats to give.
15. Help mommy/daddy put plastic in the recycle bin.
16. Stop by a loved one’s house to give them hugs.
After writing the tasks and gluing the frogs, I let it dry for a few hours. Note: toddlers are destructive, it needs to dry! Then, I let them go wild with stickers and pens. They loved it! This is a fun way to get kids involved in the giving part of the season. It can be adapted for any age, even as young as my babies. I love advent calendars, but with three same age kids I foresee years of fighting over who opens it each day, who gets the chocolate, and many more problems. I think this is the solution. This is a tradition I’m planning to do yearly and it will be fun to see the tasks evolve as they grow up. When they are older, they can even create the tasks.
Here are a few additional tasks you could add for older kids:
-Help make a healthy dinner for the family
-Take old blankets to animal shelter
-Donate cans to a food pantry
-Locate an organization that feeds the hungry and see if you can help out- stocking the pantry or serving food (In our area there is a church that will allow younger teens to help by putting together silverware packets, fixing up to-go plates, etc. for the hungry)
-Do something extra special for your brother/sister
Let’s get out there, get to it, and spread some love around!
What would you have your little one include in their calendar?
Leave your suggestions in the comments section below.