In the past we have participated in the 30 Days of Gratitude for November (Where you make a Turkey out of two foam balls wrapped in yard, then each day you add a feather made from construction paper attached to a popsicle stick- write what you are thankful for on the feather, & then press it into the Turkey….thus having a full turkey at the end. This activity is perfect for toddlers and preschoolers!), and have done the Acts of Kindness Countdown to Thanksgiving and the children seem to favor the latter. Read more
Last November our family lived 30 days of Gratitude which was extremely fulfilling. This November we are doing something similar but this time there will be more order to the activity and the children are involved in preparing the activity…Acts of Kindness Countdown to Thanksgiving!
The idea is kind of similar to an Advent calendar. However in addition to a piece of candy each day there is also an act of kindness for the children to engage. First things first…assembling an Acts of Kindness Countdown to Thanksgiving….
What you will need:
- 1 mini 24 count muffin tin/pan
- 4 sheets of construction paper (let kiddos select colors, need two colors)
- 1 bag candy corn or equivalent sized candy pieces
- 22 Adhesive dots (Scotch has great ones)
- Thanksgiving themed stickers
- 22 Acts of Kindness (See our list below…feel free to add, or alter the list so that it is age appropriate for your children. Ours is geared more towards our 5 and 6 year olds.)
Acts of Kindness List:
- Make an afterschool snack for your sibling.
- Put together a fun package for friends who live out-of-town. Make a card; include stickers, and other fun activities.
- Help clean out the pantry. Put all canned goods in a pile to be donated to the shelter.
- Give someone a compliment.
- Organize your clothes and place the ones that no longer fit in a pile and you and mommy can donate them to a clothing drive or shelter.
- Hold the door for someone; allow them to enter the building first.
- Go through your toys and books and those that you no longer use will be donated to children in need.
- Help around the house without being asked to do so, such as cleaning your room, the family room, or arts & craft drawers.
- Help your sister or brother with something in a kind manner.
- Teach your sibling how to do something, to put their shoes on, a crafts, trick, etc.
- Visit or call a relative or family friend that you do not see often.
- Make and Send a Random Card of Kindness to an ill child. http://loveletterscares.org
- Help mommy make dinner for a relative or family friend.
- Write a letter to a soldier and send to http://Kidz4Troops.org
- Get out your crayons and color one of the coloring pages found on Color A Smile and then send it to Color a Smile where it will be distributed to the elderly in a Nursing Homes or through Meals on Wheels Programs. http://www.colorasmile.org/coloring.html
- Help organize books in the book shelf.
- Read an extra story with mommy. (Or read to mommy, if old enough).
- Help pack a Shoe Box filled with items for Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child. http://www.samaritanspurse.org/index.php/OCC/Pack_A_Shoe_Box/
- Praise your siblings or a classmate when they do something kind.
- Kids Choice (allow your child to come up with their own Act of Kindness)
- Purchase mittens and hats to donate to the homeless shelter.
- Help mommy collect and drop off donations to the animal shelter.
Please encourage your kiddos to participate in the assembling of the Acts of Kindness Countdown to Thanksgiving. By doing so they have the opportunity to practice and sharpen up on their fine motor skills, patterns, sequencing, addition, subtraction, etc. (steps towards writing, reading comprehension, and practicing math skills).
- Print off the Acts of Kindness list and cut each into one strip.
- Have children trace circles on the construction paper (we used the bottom of a cup as our template).
- Cut circles out.
- Have children place stickers on the circles.
- Have children place circles on the table in patterns. Have some fun with this, take your time and see how many different types of patterns they can create.
- Have children wash their hands and then open candy corn or equivalent sized pieces of candy, package. Then take a few minutes and have some fun with math! Do some simple addition… place 5 pieces of candy on the table and then add 3 more, ask your child how many there are? Then subtract two from the table and ask your child how many are left. If you have older kiddos have some fun with multiplication! Add five pieces to each cubby in the first row; have them multiply 4 x 5 and then check their work by actually counting out each piece of candy.
- Once you are finished having some fun with math have children count out however many you wish to include in each cubby (we included 3 pieces in each because all three of them will be participating in the countdown, so each will receive one piece of candy each day)
- Then have them roll up each Act of Kindness and place one in each cubby. (Well, 22 of the cubbies since Thanksgiving in on the 22nd, or adjust to your liking…24 days).
- Then place one Scotch adhesive dot at the top of each circle. And place circles over the cubbies thus hiding the candy and Act of Kindness.
Then each day have the children take turns uncovering the Act of Kindness for the day. Take a moment and discuss the act of kindness with your child/children to make certain it is comprehended accurately and then later in the day (we like to do this over the dinner table) discuss how they accomplished the act of kindness. Ask them how it made them feel, how they think it made the other person feel, and any addition questions associated with the act.
Does your family have a similar tradition around this time of year? Do you have any suggestions for additional acts of Kindness? Was there an act of kindness you did or received from someone who had a strong impact on your life? Please share…