brought to you by My Little Pony
There is joy in giving and I think this might be one of my favourite posts of the year. One of the things that we hope to do as parents is teach our children to help others. To not just think of themselves. We start this young with sharing, not being selfish and being kind to our family, friends and animals. As our children grow and learn more about the world and their community they hopefully see how fortunate they are and want to help others outside of their little circle of family and friends. We are very big believers in this house in helping our community and encouraging our children to serve others. And one of the best ways to teach our children to help others is to be helping ourselves and I know so many of you do. The smallest actions can really make someone’s day and it always makes me so happy when I’m doing something for someone else or am surprising them when they least expect it.
My Little Pony has launched some lovely ideas to tie in International Friendship Day on 30 July 2015 with the qualities of some of our favourite My Little Pony characters. And of course My Little Pony is all about friendship. Each My Little Pony character has a quality that makes her a good friend!
There are so many ways that we can help other people – giving our time, donating money, buying something that is needed, cooking for someone, being a friend when someone needs one and just giving someone a listening ear. I asked the big kids what they would like to do and how we could do it. They decided we had to do something fun for children who are sick and something else for children who have special needs like their little sister.
And some of my readers might remember that I was calling for hats to be donated for the children at Westmead Hospital. Well we collected 65 at last count and often still get a hat at the post office. This all started when a reader contacted me to tell me that her son was in remission from cancer and she wanted to collect hats for the Oncology ward at Westmead Children’s hospital in Sydney. I put the call out and so many of my lovely readers knitted and crocheted wonderful hats to donate.
Rainbow Dash loves to be the first to help others and there is actually a wonderful resource Parents Guide – Rainbow Dash to help teach your children how to help sick children with one idea being the collection of hats. And since Rainbow Dash is our favourite My Little Pony here she is supervising the hats. I think she’s found her favourite rainbow beanie…………my kids sorted out the hats and counted them and then packed them away into a huge gift bag ready to be taken to the hospital. After breaking her leg last year my little girl knew how long the days can be in hospital.
My Little Pony donated some fabulous toys to send off to the hospital with the hats and I just know that these will make some little people happy.
I managed to hide them in my sewing room until I needed to photograph them and then had to keep them away from my little people who wanted to open them all up!
and while at the shops I found some giant colouring books too. Bright, colourful and cheery.
And they are all packed up in some bright colourful bags ready for us to take to the hospital this weekend………
Now we decided that just one idea wasn’t enough. As my big kids are growing up they are becoming more aware of children with special needs. They also know our speech therapist and some of the lovely people at our early intervention. Lifestart help so many families who have a child with special needs. Whether the family has just brought a baby home from the hospital with a known disability or a family comes to them with a toddler or preschooler. Our key workers visit us and check in with us and help us out. They receive government funding but also rely on money received from fees, fundraising and donations in order to provide services.
Families come in for playgroups, therapy sessions, courses for parents, fun activities for children like music workshops and more. And the therapists and key workers visit families at their homes and preschools. Having received their services and knowing the wonderful ladies who work there we made a list of the things that would be really helpful and also really fun. What did the kitchen need and what did the kids need?
Well I knew that the kitchen needed to have supplies of biscuits for playgroup morning tea where the mums head off into the kitchen for a cuppa. So we picked up big packets of chocolate biscuits, tins of my favourite coffee and some big boxes of chocolates to hide away for a special occasion or when chocolate is needed. My kids knew what kids would want and their favourite My Little Pony toys at the moment are the glow in the dark fun bags. So we’ve got a box of those in there and it’s always a surprise opening the pack because you don’t know what’s inside.
Some packets of colouring pencils for little people who come to playgroup and therapy sessions, big floor puzzles with first words on them. And of course bubbles and stickers which are a great reward for hard work by the little ones. We laid some purple tissue box in a purple crate and this will surely brighten up the office at our local Lifestart branch. We’ve also decided to regularly donate some of these items to keep the crate going this year……………….I just can’t wait to surprise our speech therapist when she visits tomorrow and help her load these goodies into the car.
So here is what our dining table looked like! My big kids were such a great help organising all of the donations and were so excited to gather them all up and see how wonderful it all looked when we were done
And we had so much fun at the same time………………..there are so many ways that you can get your kids excited to help others and it feels so good to be helping. Here are some of the great ideas that we came up with……..
– take a meal to a family who have just had a baby or have someone sick or have moved house
– bake a cake and take it over to an elderly neighbour
– volunteer to help sort the books at the school library
– when someone says they are going on holidays volunteer to feed their pets
– read the paper and see what charities are needing at the moment
– collect colouring pencils, stickers and colouring books and take them to your nearest hospital or charity
– clear your linen cupboard and wardrobes and bundle up jumpers and blankets and donate to your nearest charity
– ask friends to clear out the baby clothes and donate to wonderful charities that help with baby equipment and needs like St Kilda Mums and Dandelion Support Network
– collect movie tickets and supermarket gift cards and donate to your local charity
– spend a morning at the local pet shelter to help them feed the animals
– ask your parents if you can become a foster parent for a kitten or puppy through your local animal shelter
– ask your school if you can collect canned food for charity
– knit some squares or hats and find a charity online that collects them or why not buy some wool and needles and donate to the charity for other people to knit
So what do you think you can do with your children to get them helping others on International Friendship Day?
You don’t need lots of money just an idea, some time and some initiative and you’ll feel so wonderful and be teaching your kids a valuable lesson that hopefully plants the seed of giving in the future. Visit the My Little Pony Friendship Day website here and get your kids excited to do something to help others and then share their story.