Teaching Children to Give

Today it was snowy and cold outside. No one wanted to go out and play, but the kids needed some exercise. So we had our own walk-a-thon!!

At church we are collecting money for the Zoe House which helps mothers by providing them with clothing for their young children and connecting them to other community services. Each child was given a baby bottle and are supposed to collect coins during Lent. The girls have been really into helping the babies and collecting the coins but since they are young, they don’t have a lot of opportunities to get coins.

Like I said, the kids needed (well, really, I needed…lol) them to get some energy out. At the mere suggestion of going outside, the whining began. To motivate them, we made a big deal about how people have walk-a-thons to make money for charity. For every driveway we passed they would get 25 cents to put in the bottle. They were more than happy to do this and it really motivated them to go outside and complete the entire walk. If they made it all the way to the stop sign, then they got an extra dollar. They were so excited to actually touch a stop sign, so they eagerly walked to the end of the street.

It was so nice to walk and spend time together. We were able to talk about how much the money will help someone else.

We looked for animal tracks in the snow. We saw some deer tracks and a few from birds. Afterwards we made some bunny faces in the snow with our boots!

It was a lot of fun!

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Back at home, we counted up the money and learned how to make 25 cents from other coins. Then we grouped the coins into piles of four 25 cent pieces.

This activity touches on so many school subjects –

Math – counting, identifying coins, adding, ways to make 25 cents
Social Studies – compassion, caring for others before yourself
Science – exploring nature, finding animal tracks in the snow
Physical Activity

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The kids were super excited to put the coins in the bottle. They went about the house looking for more coins. My older daughter even took a $5 bill she got in a card and put it in there! She said, “I really want to help the babies.” I asked her if she was sure and she said, “YES!” It warmed my heart that she would give up her money for someone else. I think this lesson was successful!

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This might be a fun activity to do with the whole Sunday School. Maybe walking around the church so many times and kids can raise money. It might be fun to get the whole parish involved in sponsoring the kids. Just a thought!

If you have your own walk-a-thon, please let me know how it went and share it on our Facebook page! http://www.facebook.com/raisingorthodoxchristians

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