It's the time of year when we are all about giving thanks. Maybe you are thankful for finally figuring out how to master your mom's pumpkin piecrust, while your mom is thankful for her grandkids. And those grandkids? They are thankful for the Wii Grandma gave them (and for that yummy pumpkin pie).
When we are in this mode of being aware of the blessings we've been given, it's a good opportunity to figure out how to give back to others. As parents, we can easily make a donation of money or our talents, but kids don't necessarily have the chance to do this. There are some easy ways for your kids to give back to others, which teaches great emotional skills and highlights what this time of year is all about.
-- Send a letter. Even our smallest kiddos can draw a picture to make someone smile. Many organizations that support our troops have guidelines on how to write a letter or send a big "Thank you!" to our men and women serving our country across the globe. One place to start is AMillionThanks.org.
-- Bake and make someone feel good. Sure, you may need to man the hot oven, but get your kiddo an apron and get him baking brownies, cookies, bread, whatever! There are so many comfort foods that are appreciated by so many, from your neighbor who lets the kids play in his yard to the folks at the nursing home by their school. A little plate of homemade goodies are a perfect way to say "Thank you for being you!". For the little ones to be involved, have them decorate the paper plate you will deliver them on.
-- Create a blanket of comfort. From groups that provide help to homeless families to those organizations that make a difference in the lives of children with severe illnesses, a common need is a blanket. Head to the fabric store and grab some fleece and have your kids make a blanket (or three or four). Of course, don't arm your three-year-old with a sharp needle -- there are simple, no-sew fleece blankets you can make with just your hands and fabric. Check out all of the info over at BigHeartedFamily.org.
How does your family give back and give thanks around this time of year?