Teaching Children about Giving Back

The holiday season is upon us. A time when kids give you long lists of toys they want. A time where we stuff our faces with holiday treats and massive meals. We attend holiday parties and drink and eat our fill. We wait in long lines and spend too much money in order to buy perfect gifts for friends and family. But, it is also a season of giving.

I love Christmas. But not for the food, gifts, and holiday parties. (Although those are all wonderful parts about the holidays) I love the holiday season because it is a time of giving to others, showing family and friends how much you care.

The holiday season is a great time to give to others who really need it. Should we be giving all year? Yes. But, if we are going to choose a time to remember to give back, Christmas is a good time to do so. There are many families who feel the stress of Christmas and can’t afford food and gifts for their family. It’s important to remember those families.

Now that Jack is four and Eva and Marie are two, Jarrett and I decided it was a good time to start teaching the kids about giving to others over the Christmas season. How do we teach such young children about this? We decided to do a bake sale! We took orders from family, friends, and coworkers who wanted holiday baking and then spent a weekend baking all the orders to raise money for Toy Mountain, a charity in Calgary that provides boys and girls with Christmas presents. The kids helped with every single baking item, and there were a lot! .IMG_20171129_082322

While we were baking, we had talks about how some kids don’t get Christmas gifts from their parents and why it’s important to help them.  It was nice to have talks with them about important things like giving to others in need.

We split the proceeds 50/50. Fifty percent of the money goes to the toys while the other fifty covers the costs of ingredients. They also get to buy some small gifts for friends too.

I’m proud to say that the kids made 260 dollars, 130 of which will purchase gifts! We still have a few small orders coming in, and the rest of the money will go to the food bank.

It was important to us that the kids earn their own money. It’s not easy coming up with ways for two year olds and four year olds to make money, but here are some other ideas for kids to earn money.

  • Collect Bottles
  • Have a Garage Sale
  • Lemonade Stand
  • Bake Sale

Ultimately, it was a great experience for the kids to earn money for other kids in need. While the girls probably won’t understand until they buy gifts and have to give them away, I think Jack has definitely started understanding that not everyone has parents who can afford to celebrate Christmas. I definitely think this will be something we repeat next year.

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