Bringing the Spirit of Giving into the Classroom
How do we get kids to see the value of giving and gratitude? Promoting generosity is good for kids because it helps self-esteem and makes kids feel proud of themselves. It shows students that they matter and can make a difference. Giving strengthens social connections with others and encourages kids to be thoughtful helpers.
Children have many gifts and talents that they can share with the world, and it doesn’t have to cost a thing! Help kids understand the expanded definition of giving. Kids can contribute to others by being thoughtful, helping out, donating, and creating. Here are ways to bring the spirit of giving into the classroom.
Choose a giving day. Challenge little ones to do at least one act of kindness. It can be something as small as letting someone play with their favorite toy or allowing a classmate to go first on the swings. Draw a picture and deliver it to a friend or teacher. Little acts of kindness can make a friend’s day!
Have age-appropriate discussions about the impact kids can have on those in need. Encourage getting involved in projects that interest them personally. Explain advocacy for kids can be raising awareness about something meaningful to them.
Coordinate a class project as a gift to the school. Pick up trash as a grade level. Tend to the school garden by planting or pulling weeds. Volunteer to read books or do a craft with a younger class. Little ones can make positive changes in the lives of others.
Organize a classroom collection. Hold a pet food drive to donate to local shelter. Bring in a food from their own pantries to donate to a food bank. Ask a volunteer to drive the collection to the drop off spot.
Adults can model giving by volunteering to be a chaperone or run a program themselves. When students see the adults in their lives giving, it shows kids that volunteering is a valuable and important use of time.
Make a winter craft in class so that each student has a gift to give to someone special.
Share stories together of how giving makes you feel. Bask in the warm feelings that come from giving without receiving.
Stephanie Standley M. Ed. is a mom, educator, writer, and outdoor enthusiast. She received her undergraduate degrees in Sociology and Psychology as well as a Master of Education-Literacy from the University of San Diego. Stephanie has 12+ years of classroom experience as a teacher and currently supports students in Special Education. She is inspired to use evidence-based practices to educate children in creative and engaging ways.