Updated: Oct 2, 2021
To quote one of my eight year old students, "doing nice things feels real nice." We're in the south...so put a little twang on "niiice." It's true! When we share our blessing with others most of us get a warm fuzzy feeling in our souls. This feeling is our spirit's way of reminding our brains that we're supposed to be doing "nice things" as often as we can. In this line of work, we do a lot of fun things with the kids in our lives. We host and attend festivals, go on field trips, have camp outs, and teach classes & mini workshops to kids of all ages. We love doing all these things with our youngsters and their families. But more than just doing the fun things, we work to teach children how to give back in ways that are realistic for them. A simple thank you message on social media, a "just because" card to an elderly friend or a plate of cookies for a neighbor can make someone's day. We want to remind kids to do intentional acts of kindness consistently, and this is where our monthly Share The Love Days comes into play. It's something you can do with a social group, class, coworkers, church or with your family. For our program, we have set up the 14th of every month as our Share The Love Days. We have a lot of success with this so we want to share some of our favorite ideas with you!
We know that the children's involvement in the planning is what makes this work so well. We present them with ideas and options and they choose what feels like a realistic goal for each month. Often, they improve on our suggestions or come up with completely different ideas that are so much better than the "adult" ideas. Kids are creative and passionate about doing good in the world. So, as you plan your Share The Love Days, be sure to let your littles have input.
Over the next week, our little Jaibirds will choose their favorite "share the love" ideas for us to share with you. Today, the kids voted and we're sharing: Birthday Banners!
Birthday Banners and Posters
Children with long term health concerns are sometimes stuck in the hospital on holidays and birthdays. Pediatric units in our local hospitals often ask for donations of Birthday Banners and cards. Our kids LOVE this activity. All you need is a piece of poster paper and some crayons or markers to write "Happy Birthday". Then decorate the poster or banner however you see fit. Some of our kids like adding paper flowers, glitter (aka Satan's dandruff in this house) and rhinestones. If your family or group isn't crafty, you can also design posters online and just print the components out and glue them onto the poster paper. Canva is a great app for that and you can see an example of a quick design poster below.
You can also purchase a Happy Birthday Banner from your local dollar store or big box store. We've also donated "Birthdays In A Box" in which we donate streamers, mylar balloons, themed plates, napkins, party favors and some fun things like playing cards, coloring books, crayons, action figures, toy cars, building blocks, popular books or magazines and dolls.
The last time we donated a birthday box, the kids chose to save their pocket change throughout the month and purchase at least one item to put in the Birthday Box. Our last birthday box included decorations, five nice toys, several activity books and some arts supplies. They did this with money they earned from selling their crafts or from their weekly allowance. Their hearts are so full of love to share and this was a beautiful moment of giving. It definitely gave me the warm fuzzies. This Share The Love activity is a great opportunity for you to witness and encourage the generous nature of your child (and your friends) without breaking the bank. Kids really enjoy giving as much as receiving and this type of activity is a great way to build their confidence to act in love.
Stay tuned for more Share The Love Activities coming later this week! In the meantime, enjoy these birthday poster designs from the JaiBirds.