Celebrating #GivingTuesday with kids

Sponsored post Cristmas wishes come true with CorolleSince my last post was about giving thanks for all the wonderful things in our lives, I thought it fitting to also feature #GivingTuesday, a day dedicated to giving back. The idea of Giving Tuesday is a simple one: you simply find a cause and find a way to give. Whether it be time, energy, money, supplies, donations, just give whatever you can.

For us, we like to give back numerous times a year, not just this one day every year, but I never turn down a good opportunity to teach the kids about helping our neighbors, our community, and making the world a better place, so Giving Tuesday seemed like the perfect opportunity. And, this time of year there are so many ways you can involve the kids, so in honor of #GivingTuesday, I thought I would share ideas to get kids involved in giving.

Ways kids can help give back:

  1. Purge excess. We hand each kid a bag a few times a year and tell them to fill it with toys they have outgrown and stuff they never really play with while we tackle their dressers and closets looking for items to donate to those in need. When we're done collecting we usually have large Santa sacks of stuff that was hidden, and therefore not being utilized, and we merely take one glance through so we can make sure that something really special didn't slip inside accidentally. Some parents spin this as a post-holiday clean-out to make room for new toys, but personally I think most of us could get by with less and it's not about replacing the empty space with more stuff, it's about donating whatever we can to those who otherwise would go without.
  2. Always think of others. If you ask anyone they will tell you that I'm a good person to know if you're trying to furnish a house, update a toy box, or if you happen to have kids younger than me. I know that my kids are watching this because I hear them suggest that although they have grown out of their beloved Hello Kitty dress, now would be a good time to pass it down to Erica three blocks down who has always admired it. Admittedly sometimes they can go a little crazy giving things away and it's usually only people they know so they likely aren't really "in need", but I love that they are truly thinking of others and I'm hoping this only grows as they get older and learn more about those in need around us.
  3. Focus less on the "what do you want for Christmas?" question. Instead, I ask "what do you want to do for Christmas?" and I get wonderful suggestions from them like riding the holiday carousel as a family, singing Christmas caroles under the tree, going to see someone they haven't seen in a while, or bundling up to look at Christmas lights. When they do finally sit on Santa's lap and he asks them what they want they come up with some crazy ideas that aren't influenced by toy stores or glossy ads. From my daughter we heard "coupons" one year, "a toothbrush" the next, "a steam mop" {?} the year after, and the following year she wanted "a dress for her doll". This year she wants a baby sister, but that's not something Santa has any control over. My son always wants merely "a toy car", but anyone who knows him would already know that. If you're wondering, all of those presents were under $20, with most being under $10. The bonus of this is that they then focus on what they can give, make, donate to others for Christmas and it becomes less about filling their rooms with stuff.
  4. Volunteer their time. Even if they don't have money or things to donate, kids can donate their time to making the holidays merry with the help of their parents. Find organizations near you that will allow your child to help cook, clean, decorate, or even just cheer up those in need. Good ideas are nursing homes, women and child shelters, and food banks.
  5. Find a toy drive, food drive, or adopt a family for the holidays. While giving away toys and clothing you don't use as much anymore is a good first step, I like the idea of involving the kids in donations that involve shopping for new things. Ideally these new things will be ones that they themselves might be wishing for this Christmas, or at least think are really cool. When they first started participating in these when they were young they focused a bit too much on what they wished they had instead of focusing on what their child they were shopping for might like to open, but as the years have gone on they have gotten better and better. I'm really proud of how selflessly they are able to shop when we're contributing to toy drives now and how there's no grumbling when we leave the store with a shiny new toy… for someone they don't even know. 

As you probably know by now, all of us here at Rave & Review feel very strongly that every little kid needs a Corolle doll. Regardless of gender or toy preferences, I truly believe that every toddler needs to have their own doll to love. Experts agree that not only is doll play fun, but doll play also helps with social and emotional skills, verbal development, role play, and helping to enhance their imaginations. 6a0105362badb1970b019b02d6ed77970b-800wiEach holiday season we make a point to gift a few Corolle dolls to our littlest friends, but we also make sure that we donate a few dolls and accessories to charities as well. I know that my children’s doll play has contributed so positively to their interactions with others and has helped shape their childhoods, and I want to give that to every little kid I can – especially those who don't have a lot. Whereas the new fad toy might last a few weeks, the bonding with a Corolle doll is much deeper and makes for many more opportunities for play throughout the years. Corolle donationThis year we had many Corolle dolls and accessories on our lists for the children and families we adopted for the holidays, and my son was very willing to help bring them to the schools, community centers, and donation drop off points with me. Armed with bags full of toys, household items, food items, and more, he happily shared the Corolle love with three separate children in need this year from different charities we love.

Here he is dropping of the Elf First Doll from Corolle for our little girl we sponsored. Donating CorolleWhat are the ways you get your children involved in giving?

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