Teaching children about the season of giving

This is known as the “season of giving”, but for many children it feels more like the “season of receiving”. With all the celebrating and gift giving people can forget to be thankful and show a little gratitude.

This holiday season take the opportunity to put the focus back on having fun and connecting with each other.

Have children make gifts for people they love. Put out the supplies and let their creative minds and little hands go to work.

loose parts fun

Just a few great ideas from Loose Parts: Inspiring Play in Young Children 🙂

Source: Loose Parts, 2014, Redleaf Press

Another option is to have children make gifts for people in need. Discussing with children that not everyone has a place to go or receives a lot for the holidays can help them learn about being thankful for what they have. In Celebrate! An Anti-Bias Guide to Enjoying Holidays in Early Childhood Programs, Julie Bisson offers the idea of having each child discuss gift giving at their house so they can see how not everyone does it the same. “This may be particularly important f the families in your program can’t afford or don’t choose to provide the kind of holidays portrayed in the media and some books”, notes the author.

Or you could take the gifts out of the equation all together and talk to them about the other things they do to celebrate – where they visit, who they see, what they eat, special stories their family tells.

The most important way you can make this the “season of giving” is to model gratitude and thankfulness for the children in your care. What are you grateful for this holiday season?


Provide other ideas you have for sharing the “season of giving” with children in the comments. Spread the cheer and tell us what you are grateful for!

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