I LOVE Christmas and I can’t wait to decorate the house and put up our tree. As a mom it is very special sharing the joy with my kids. What I want them to remember the most isn’t the gifts but the overall joy of giving and sharing holiday cheer.
One thing we did last year with my then 2 and 4 year old will now be our annual tradition, is the Kindness Advent Calendar. They really love getting involved with the kind act of the day and got excited to hear what tomorrows kind act would be over dinner the night before.
Here are our 31 days of kindness for little ones:
Day 1 – Help around the house. It doesn’t have to be big. Here my 2 year old is helping unpack our produce box.
Day 2 – Extra love for the pets. We gave our dog Una extra time to play at the park. Our kids had fun making the outing all about her.
Day 3 – Pick up someones newspaper at the end of the driveway and put it on their front steps. Not a lot of this these days but fun task to do when you are out for a walk or on your way to the park.
Day 4 – Buy coffee for the person behind you. I like to do this in the drive-thru and I ask my kids if today is the day we should do it. They love looking behind to see their faces. Or make coffee or tea for a loved one.
Day 5 – Help make Christmas cards. Even the 2 year old got to help with our cards this year. Give them the job to put stickers on the envelop or something that fits their age and skills.
Day 6 – Collect all the toys you no longer use or want to donate to others. We do this a few times a year but this is also a great time to do it with the kids and talk about how others at school might not be getting a lot of toys and how to talk with compassion.
Day 7 – This follows up great with picking a tag off the giving tree. Since my kids can’t read yet I like to pick a kid their age so they can find a gift to give them. If you can giving new toys is a nice way to give back.
Day 8 – Help someone in your family. I like giving the kids this one and letting them find a way to help. It can be bringing in someones dish to the kitchen, getting them a cup of water, or washing your brothers back with the luffa at bath-time.
Day 9 – Play nice with your friends. Have the kids try to go the extra mile to share and be kind to their friends. It is a fun task to have them focus on being kind for a day.
Day 10 – Make something for Grandma or a loved one. Everyone loves homemade gifts and treats.
Day 11 – Leave candy-canes in the neighborhood (or mailboxes). We added notes to our so they knew it was a gift from a friend.
Day 12 – Help make Christmas gifts. Last year we made a bunch of homemade chapsticks to give to friends and family. The kids really enjoyed helping and wrapping them up.
Day 13 – Bake something. We made muffins to give to friends. This year we might do a big batch of cookies.
Day 14 – Offer to watch your friends kids and have a mini playdate at your home or park. Your kids will love it too and this will give another family some time to do things.
Day 15 – Donate food to a food bank. You can either purge from your own home or give your kids a budget to go buy stuff for a family in need.
Day 16 – Write inspirational notes or art work on post-its and put them up in public places for others to see. Public bathroom mirrors are a great spot!
Day 17 – Make a bird feeder to hang in a tree. There are some really fun easy ones you can do with pinecones, peanut-butter, string, and seeds. Also fun to watch the birds after!
Day 18 – Participate in neighborhood caroling. Or sign for family members and put on a show.
Day 19 – Bring a friend a hot cocoa when you meet up. Who doesn’t enjoy something hot on a cold winter day.
Day 20 – Buy a few coffee gift cards and hand them out to people you don’t know. We do a fun day downtown and I love having them for this event so my kids can call out people who they think could use a nice hot cup of coffee. Or you can give something els, it is the act of giving that is important.
Day 21 – Hold open the door. This is a another great one for our downtown event. Ask the older kids to look for opportunities to hold the door for others. My son loves this one!
Day 22 – Buy something special for a family member. This isn’t anything big, just something special just for them. My kids are young so this is a fun way to help them learn about money and picking out a special gift for other family members.
Day 23 – Visit a senior center or memory care home. Bring treats, flowers, or the homemade cards and share some joy.
Day 24 – Make homemade cards. Depending on the age of your kids they can be simple cards with stickers and images, or write something inspirational, like you are loved, or have a great day.
Day 25 – Call family members and say hello. Good lesson for the kids to remember even if we aren’t together doing face time and saying hello is important and a way to stay connected to loved ones.
Day 26 – Help take down Christmas. We love the holidays but day after we take down our tree and everyone helps out.
Day 27 – Host a playdate. We made a hot cocoa station for the fun event at our home.
Day 28 – Let someone else pick! It can be letting your sister pick out the show or movie to watch. Let them pick what song to listen to in the car or what place to eat lunch.
Day 29 – Learn how to say hello in different languages. Fun way to talk about other cultures and how to be kind when you meet people who don’t speak English.
Day 30 – Let someone go in front of you in line. You can do this several times during the day.
Day 31 – Get an extra hour. Everyone gets to pick either an hour of sleeping in, and hour extra of play, or an hour extra to stay up at night and go to bed late.
Here is a PDF of the Kindness Advent Calendar with visual clues for each day for you to print and use with the little ones. Enjoy and Merry Christmas * L