Thursday, June 25, 2015

Books that teach children of any age to say 'Thank You'

I'm such a sucker for children's books!  I feel like they are a fun way to learn new things.


Saying 'thank you' is something that I teach my children as early as possible.  In fact, I teach them how to sign thank you before they can officially even say it verbally.


So, if I can combine those two things, that makes me a happy camper!

Lately I have been looking into books that encourage kids to say thank you, so I thought I would share them with you, too!

Here are a few of my favorites:
(affiliate links below)


Bear Says "Thank You"
by Michael Dahl
Age Range: 0+ years


Please and Thank You!
by Jill Ackerman
Age Range: 0+ years


Disney Sofia the First: Please & Thank You:
Your Guide to Becoming the Perfect Princess!
Age Range: 3 - 6 years



Richard Scarry's Please and Thank You Book
by Richard Scarry

Age Range: 3 - 7 years


The Please and Thank You Book
by Barbara Shook Hazen
Age Range: 3 - 7 years


The Berenstain Bears: Please and Thank You Book
by Mike Berenstain
Age Range: 3-7 years


Please! Thank You!
by Parragon Books
Age Range: 3-7 years
The Berenstain Bears Say Please and Thank You
by Jan Berenstain
Age Range: 4-8 years


Thank You, Amelia Bedelia
by Peggy Parish
Age Range: 4 - 8 years


Thank You, Mr. Falker
by Patricia Polacco
Age Range: 5 - 8 years


The Thank You Book for Kids
by Ali Lauren Spizman
Age Range: 8 - 12 years


101 Ways to Say Thank You, Kids and Teens
by Kelly Browne
Age Range: 8+ years

I hope you find these helpful!  

Oh, and don't forget to utilize the library for these books!  


0

#FamiliesRead

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Mailing Kindness

(this is a sneak peek into a small part of our Kindness Facebook Party tonight!)

My favorite way to encourage kindness with kids is to start with their interests & ideas/letting them help plan intentional acts of kindness. I love to ask my 5 year old what we should do that day to do something nice for someone. 99% of the time, she says she wants to draw a picture or a card to mail to someone.

We love “mailing kindness” at our house! It’s the perfect activity for us for many reasons. (Paige loves drawing, she is working on handwriting, and what kid doesn’t love mailing things?)

There are TONS of easy & fun ways you can mail kindness. They can be as simple or as complex/crafty as you want them to be. 

 
Here are some ideas for how to mail kindness:

•Mail something to someone in the military (a thank you card, a letter, a package, etc.)

•Leave a thank you note in the mailbox for your mailman (read our story with this here)


•Send a thank you card to someone who recently did an act of kindness for you or gave you a gift

•Mail a heart attack in a box or in an envelope  (here's a free printable to get you started)

mail a heart attack act of kindness

•Draw a picture to mail to a friend

•Mail a birthday party in a box for someone you know who has a birthday coming up, or for a shelter that can use it  (read about our fun birthday party in a box project here)

Birthday Party in a Box - an act of kindness for children living in a shelter

•Mail a letter (to a grandparent, an aunt, a pen-pal, etc.)

•Send someone a "thinking of you" card just because



•Mail DIY Postcards

•Mail a sunshine box



So, there you have it!  If you're looking for an easy way to do something nice for someone, this is a fantastic way to do that!  

Have you received anything in the mail that just made your day?  Tell me below!



0

Sunday, June 7, 2015

9 fun ways to serve the elderly with your children

(this post is inspired by the Virtual Kindness Summer Camp)

I know that serving the elderly is talked about a lot, but there is a real need for it! I work a couple of nights a week at an independent living facility and I know how much it means to each of our residents each time someone comes to visit or volunteer.  Most of these people are widowed, and often don't have very many family members that live close by.

Before I get to the ways you can serve them, I want to give you a little extra help...

The first thing you need to think about is who do you know that is older (and I use that term loosely) who could use some help or a boost.  It could be a grandparent, an aunt or uncle, or even a neighbor.  They don't even have to live close to you for you to serve them (see ideas below).  If you don't know of anyone personally, retirement centers love any help they can get.  

(If you are interested in volunteering at a retirement center, see this post from Pennies of Time.  She has some perfect tips for coordinating it!)

Second, if you are serving with your children, a great way to introduce this topic to them is by reading a book.  There are many great books, but one of my favorites is:



Third, you need to decide the best way to help that person.  If possible, include your child in deciding how.  You can ask them for ideas, or give them a couple of options to pick from.



Now, here are some easy ideas for serving any older person (either living at home or at a retirement center):

1.  Heart Attack
(No, not that kind of heart attack!)
A heart attack, in this case, is where you cut out hearts.  You can write notes of encouragement, love notes, or draw pictures on them.  You can tape them on someone's door (be sure to use tape that won't damage the door).  You can either ring the doorbell and run, or just leave it for them to find it on their door.  You can do this on someone's house, or on their door at a retirement center.  If they live far away, you can put the hearts in a box or an envelope and mail it to them.  Who wouldn't want to receive a box of love in the mail?!

act of kindness idea: heart attack!


2.  Visit or call
It seems like the older we get, the more we appreciate the simple things.  A phone call or a visit is often among one of the most appreciated ways you can help an older person.  I know when my grandma was living in a nursing home, I loved taking my young children to visit.  She wasn't the only person who loved it, all of the other residents and nurses loved seeing them, too!  


3. Mail Kindness
Mail something to someone who could use some cheering up. It can be a postcard, a letter, a picture you drew or took, etc.
Here are some of my favorites we have sent out:

I've sent out a "missing u" card (inspired by this one), to let someone know I have been thinking about them.  I thought it was pretty cute.  Feel free to use these printables to send one yourself!

Missing U card
(front) 
missing u card
(inside)


Possibly my favorite card we have sent out was a DIY pressed flower card.  We just picked flowers from our yard, put them in a book (surrounded by paper towels, so they don't stick to the pages).  Let them sit under the pressure of some big books for at least 24 hours, then carefully glue them to the card.  We just used a glue stick and it worked pretty well!  We got a great response to these cards.  They look a lot harder than they really are, and they are pretty and kid friendly!


Act of Kindness Idea: DIY Pressed Flower Cards

Another thing we love to do is to send post cards.  We either search for coloring pages online & print them in postcard size (on cardstock), or just cut out the cardstock & color a picture on one side and put a message and the addresses on the other.  Easy peasy!

Note:  If you are mailing a DIY postcard (they are super easy to make!), it needs to be rectangular. At least 3-1/2 inches high x 5 inches long. No more than 4-1/4 inches high x 6 inches long.  If you cut and/or print your own, just be sure it is on card stock, so it will hold up through the mail system.


4. Ask Questions About Their Life History
If you are visiting them, ask questions about their life.  Even better, write it down!  Think of how valuable that would be to them and their family!
*I have created a simple Life History Q&A that you are welcome to print and use.



5. Use Your Talents
(and your kids’ talents and interests)
This is my secret to getting kids to like serving others (if they are struggling with it).  Incorporating their interests and talents will be so beneficial!  Here are a few examples of talents and how to serve with them.


If you or your children are interested in photography, take pictures of a Senior for free. It won't cost a thing, and chances are, they haven't had their pictures taken in far too long.

Bonus Points: Email them (or their family) the pictures.  No doubt this will be something that is cherished for generations.



(this one is self explanatory)  :)



If you like to draw, draw a picture for them & send it in the mail. Maybe even a portrait of them?
Draw some cheerful pictures and ask if they can be hung at a nursing home, or in the elderly’s home.


serve others with your talents: play an instrument

If your child plays an instrument, they can volunteer at a nursing home to play some songs for the residents


Serve others by your interests: go shopping for them

Or, maybe they need some new clothes.  Or maybe they even just need milk!


Don't feel like you "have a talent"?  Check out this awesome post about how Kimber used her "untraditional" talent in a creative way!  I love it!


6. Volunteer at a retirement center.
If you are interested in volunteering at a senior citizen center, Sheila has some great suggestions for getting in.  When you call, just ask for the Activities Coordinator and use Sheila's tips!
Some fun activities to do at an indepentent living facility, assisted living facility or memory care facility are:

  • Hold a spa/pamper day doing the resident's nails
  • Take thank you for serving our country cards, pictures, or notes to those who have served in the military.  
  • Plan a program… can be magic show, singing, jokes, playing a musical instrument, holding an art stroll, etc.
  • Play games with them.  Some of their favorites are Gin Rummy, BINGO, Bridge and puzzles.

7. Brighten their day with flowers
Pick flowers from your garden to deliver to an elderly person.  It doesn't have to be an extravagent boquet.  Even a simple flower from someone would make anyone's day!


8.  Write notes of encouragement
Write notes of encouragement & slide them under doors at a retirement center.  It's always nice to receive a note of encouragement, even if your life is going smoothly!  It doesn't have to be anything long, it can be an uplifting scripture, quote, or even something simple from your heart.


9.  Volunteer for Meals on Wheels
Meals on Wheels is a great organization that delivers meals to those who are unable to purchase or prepare their own meals.  There are a few ways you can volunteer for Meals on Wheels.

  • If you are looking for a commitment, you can sign up to drive once a week to deliver the meals.  It only takes an hour a week, and would be so fun to take your children with you!  No doubt the recipients of the meals would love to have a short visit with you and your children!  
  • If you are looking for a more short term commitment, you can have your kids make placemats, cards, pictures or letters for the recipients of the meals.  Just drop them off at your local Meals on Wheels location, and ask them to deliver with the meals.  You can also do this with something like single flowers!  



Once again, I can't tell you enough how much the residents at my work love having any sort of visitors, fun activities, notes, etc.  It really means the world to them!

Don't forget, sometimes it's the simple acts of kindness that mean the most to people!  


0

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Utah Discovery Gateway Giveaway!

Discovery Gateway Giveaway.jpg

Now that is school is out it's time to start thinking of how you will keep your kiddos busy this summer. While they can certainly play outside, there will be days where it will be miserably hot. A great place to visit that will keep them cool and entertained is Discovery Gateway!

We like to go to Discovery Gateway each Summer.  It's filled with so much fun for the kids, they don't even realize they are learning!

Discovery Gateway children’s museum is located in the Gateway Mall in downtown Salt Lake City. Discovery Gateway offers 60,000 square feet of interactive, hands-on fun. You can explore their engaging workshops, programs, and exhibits that invite the whole family to create, learn, and play together!


Exhibits Include:
  • The Garden- A 30-foot beehive greets visitors to The Garden, an exhibit where children and adults work together to keep things “buzzing.”
  • Kid’s Eye View- In the Kid’s Eye View exhibit, children can explore the big, wide world on a kid-sized scale.
  • Story Factory- From classic stage to modern multimedia, the Story Factory exhibit offers visitors numerous ways to explore telling a story.
  • Media Zone- Anchor the evening news or report the weather using the green screen in our Media Zone exhibit that takes visitors behind the scenes.
  • The Studio- The worlds of the artist, scientist, and engineer combine in this hands-on creative space.
  • The Terrace- Put your rescue skills to the test as a pilot, paramedic, or commando.

Current Promotions:

The museum is open 7 Days a week but you can visit on Sunday's for "Sunday Fundays". It is $6.00 admission for 6 hours of fun and play! Plus FREE parking in the Gateway parking garages! You can visit the Discovery Gateway Website Here to learn more about the activities and fun they have to offer!

Giveaway Time!

Discovery Gateway is giving you the chance to win a 1-year family membership for 4! This is a $115 value! Enter using the rafflecopter widget below. You must be a Utah resident to win. Giveaway ends 6/22/15.

Good Luck! 


Now that is school is out it's time to start thinking of how you will keep your kiddos busy this summer. While they can certainly play outside, there will be days where it will be miserably hot. A great place to visit that will keep them cool and entertained is Discovery Gateway! Discovery Gateway children’s museum is located in the Gateway Mall in downtown Salt Lake City. Discovery Gateway offers 60,000 square feet of interactive, hands-on fun. You can explore their engaging workshops, programs, and exhibits that invite the whole family to create, learn, and play together! Exhibits Include:
  • The Garden- A 30-foot beehive greets visitors to The Garden, an exhibit where children and adults work together to keep things “buzzing.”
  • Kid’s Eye View- In the Kid’s Eye View exhibit, children can explore the big, wide world on a kid-sized scale.
  • Story Factory- From classic stage to modern multimedia, the Story Factory exhibit offers visitors numerous ways to explore telling a story.
  • Media Zone- Anchor the evening news or report the weather using the green screen in our Media Zone exhibit that takes visitors behind the scenes.
  • The Studio- The worlds of the artist, scientist, and engineer combine in this hands-on creative space.
  • The Terrace- Put your rescue skills to the test as a pilot, paramedic, or commando.

Current Promotions:

The museum is open 7 Days a week but you can visit on Sunday's for "Sunday Fundays". It is $6.00 admission for 6 hours of fun and play! Plus FREE parking in the Gateway parking garages! You can visit the Discovery Gateway Website Here to learn more about the activities and fun they have to offer!

Giveaway Time!

Discovery Gateway is giving you the chance to win a 1-year family membership for 4! This is a $115 value! Enter using the rafflecopter widget below. You must be a Utah resident to win. Giveaway ends 6/22/15. Good Luck!

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: This blog is not responsible for prize fulfillment or shipment. I was not compensated to participate in this giveaway.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

15 reasons why you should serve as a family TODAY!

We all know that by serving others with our children is beneficial, but do we realize just exactly how beneficial it really can be?  

Before you start reading, I want you to think for a second... what's one thing you want for your kids?  (I'll wait...)

Got it?  Okay!  

I bet it will be covered at some point in this blog post.  

Permission granted to continue reading...


1. Strengthen Relationships and Create New Friendships
When we serve with our children, we are not only strengthening our relationships with them, but we are blessing them with the opportunity to strengthen their relationships and create new friendships.  We are also teaching them ways that they can do this on their own as they get older.  You are also strengthening your relationship with your family.  You might be surprised at how much better you all get along after working together to serve someone else!  


2. Hard Work Pays Off
By serving with our children, we are not only teaching them, but we are showing them the value of hard work.  We are letting them know that hard work is... well, hard, but that it will pay off.  Sometimes it seems like this world lacks people that know the value of hard work, but I can't think of a better way to encourage it, than by serving others by acts of kindness!  


3. Sense of Purpose and Fulfillment
Have you ever felt unfulfilled?  Have you ever wondered how to add purpose to your life?  By serving others, you can give the gift of that knowledge to your kids.  What a blessing to know your purpose and how to live a fulfilling life at such an early age!  


4. Building Identity
My number one tip to making service fun for your kids is to let them plan... this includes letting them decide who they would like to help.  If they pick areas they enjoy already, then they will enjoy serving others!  By letting your child pick, you are encouraging your child to build their identity.  


5. Being Present
By serving together, we are helping them to realize that we need to be present in life.  By this, I mean, we can't be focusing on something else (our cell phones, our problems, etc.) while serving others.  The same is in life; we are happier and more helpful when we are focusing on others.  By doing this, it can also help them to appreciate the small and special moments in life more.  


6. Happiness
The number one thing I get back when I serve others is happiness.  It's a happiness that can't come from anything else.  I want to let my children feel that.  I want to feel it with them!  Many people nowadays don't know how to find happiness in life.  By serving with our children, it helps them to feel and recognize this happiness and they will be able to find it again whenever they need to.  


7. Empowerment
By giving your child the experience of even the smallest acts of kindness, you are empowering them!  You are letting them know that they can make a difference in the world.  Something so many people lack faith in!  


8. Kindness
We all know that by serving with our kids, it helps them to understand how to be kind, but did you ever stop to think that if they understand kindness, then they will be less likely to be a bully?  They will also have the tools to stop bullying.  Or, we can think about it this way, if they serve often, they will be more likely to understand that the worth of every soul is great.  Every person has worth & deserves to be treated with love and respect.  


9. It will make a difference in the recipient's life!
I know, this is a given, but to see it in action, is a beautiful thing!  


10. It will give your child courage.  
When serving others, you are placed in a situation that might be different than anything else you have ever been in.  You might be out of your comfort zone.  That, my friends, is where learning is at it's best.  Depending on the situation, you will get courage to stand up for what is right, courage to help others, courage to be vulnerable yourself, courage to meet new people, etc.


13. They will see many people and experience new things.
I know this one is a given, too, but it's something that can be invaluable.  By giving your children the opportunity to serve others, no matter how often, they are instantly experiencing new people and new experiences.  It can form relationships that can last a lifetime!  


15. It will teach them (and you) many other values.  
Some of the many are compassion, humility, gratitude and empathy (and many more below).  I know those are things that I work on having every day.  I am imperfect with that, but love that serving others makes it that much easier to gain those values.  

In addition to the reasons above, I've come up with a list of values we can teach our kids as we serve with them... view the info-graphic below.





Even I was surprised as I was compiling this list, there are more benefits than I thought there would be!  Those are 15 invaluable gifts that you receive when you serve with your children as a family.  I don't know about you, but I would love every single one of those things to happen for my family!  So... I guess I'm off to serve!

Join the Virtual Kindness Summer Camp for easy acts of kindness to do together all Summer long!

Join me, by posting the reasons you serve with your kids on your social media.  Just use the hashtag #iservebecause and tag @trustmeimamom.  I will be sure to share as many posts as I can! 


Feel free to use these free printables, just fill in the blank!




Oh, and PS... Serving with your kids is easier than you think!!  Don't believe me?  Sign up for emails below, and I'll send you easy ways you can serve others together each month!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...