Instead of focusing on Christmas and all of the associated events that may unintentionally leave some children out of the holiday festivities, we can focus on December as a month to learn about charity. It’s a perfect time to teach children about giving selflessly.

It is in giving that we receive, a lesson to be learned regardless of age, creed or religious affiliation. It is a lesson that belongs in our programs year-round.

Seven ideas for educators to teach children about the art of giving:

1

Volunteer time or items to a local charity

Most children don’t realise that there are children in their own community less fortunate than themselves. Take time to talk about what it means to give, and think of ways your centre can get involved with and contribute to the wider community.
2

Simple acts of kindness

Brainstorm good deeds with children such as watering plants in community areas or picking up garbage from the playground, and place these in a bowl. Talk about the positive outcomes of each of these deeds. Let each child pick one deed every week that they can achieve and encourage them to talk about his or her experience during circle time.
3

Set up a drive for children their own age in need

Think about ways children can raise funds, for example, through giving away their artwork and buying a toy for a child their own age, to donate to a local toy drive. Can they do chores at home or at the centre? Bringing them to purchase the toys themselves can teach children many valuable lessons.
4

Giving is better than receiving

Encourage them to clear out old toys in good condition that aren’t being played with anymore and donate them to a charity in the local community. A field trip to learn about how their efforts helped would bring this valuable lesson to a full circle.
5

Visit the elderly

Nursing homes love volunteers of all ages at any time of the year. Bring children to do colouring sheets with the residents. It sharpens the motor skills of the children, helps with physical therapy for the adults and connects the generations through time spent together.
6

Visit other children

Visit a Children’s Hospital - make sure you talk to children ahead of time about the things they might see so they are not frightened or tempted to make fun of children who look different than themselves. Give them a little time to just be kids.
7

Plant saplings to give back to the planet

Giving to the planet is a lesson the next generation is never too young to learn. As their saplings grow, children will learn a little about botany and how the trees will help the environment. Find an area to plant the saplings such that they will be able to return to it when they complete the year, to see how much their saplings have grown.

Tot Tok (www.tot-tok.com) is a data-driven web and mobile-based platform that promotes personalised learning and development of children in their early years. The tool empowers educators and parents to create a stimulating learning experience for children based on their unique needs and requirements.

Tot Tok works across multiple devices and operating systems, and offers a simple dashboard to educators and parents to actively contribute to the child’s development and progress.

Jean McCorkle

Author Jean McCorkle

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