shutterstock_521369524How do you help a preschooler understand the importance of giving back and being thankful during the holidays?

The holidays bring a great opportunity to not only focus on the things that make us thankful, but to also think about helping others.

At 3, 4 and 5, it is difficult for a child to interpret others’ feelings. However, children do understand when someone is happy, and that kind acts can make a person happy. Setting an example early and often shapes children’s attitudes and behaviors for later years when they have fully developed the ability to feel empathy and other higher level emotions. The act of giving is a proven way to make yourself feel happiness too.

At Colonial Schools, the mission is to enrich lives of all generations. With a curriculum focused on outward thinking, students are encouraged to think about ways they can help others in need. By developing these outward thinking skills, and building positive character traits, students are familiar with what it means to volunteer and contribute to their community. These skills are developed by teaching children concrete ways to make a difference in someone’s life. No matter how big or small the project, each lesson on serving others encourages valuable emotional and social development.

This holiday season, make a list of all the ways you and your children could volunteer together to make a difference in the lives of the people you encounter on a regular basis. Volunteering as a family provides opportunities for bonding and connection in a setting outside of the home and where the family is working toward a common cause. Children and parents are able to experience each other in a different setting and learn more about each other’s skills and personalities. Children also learn first-hand how their actions can make a positive difference in others’ lives.

Whatever you come up with, remember that it will make a difference in someone’s life, no matter how small the gesture. More importantly, though, it will make a difference in your child’s life.

Need ideas? We have compiled a list below to help you and your children and grandchildren get into the spirit of thankfulness.

  • Visit the skilled nursing wings at Berkeley Square or Westover to deliver treats or cards to residents. Practice some simple carols for your children to sing to the residents.
  • Purchase and decorate a $5 tile for the Giving Wall to help with Colonial Schools’ scholarship program.
  • Rake a neighbor’s leaves, or when it snows, shovel an extra driveway or two.
  • Encourage your child donate some of his or her piggy bank money to a local charity, or to purchase a gift for a child in need.
  • Deliver a hot meal to someone in need.

Give back to Colonial Schools

Did you know that you can easily support Colonial Schools? Simply register your Kroger Plus Card for the Colonial Schools Community Rewards Program, and Kroger will donate a portion of the sale to us. Visit http://colonialschools.org/for-parents/ for information and to learn more about our school.

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