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The little book with BIG resources!

The Art of Gift Giving; Teaching Kids To Help Others In Need

Gift giving can sometimes be a bit of a struggle!  With the number of toys that most households with small children usually have it’s hard to know what the perfect gift may be.  Max, from our iFamily Mom & Dad Squad shares with us a unique way that his family has found to give!  Take a look…

The Art of Gift Giving; Teaching Kids To Help Others In Need

There are so many little details that go into parenting that you’ve probably never thought of.  Some that actually wouldn’t think of until the situation you need them for comes up. One of those situations, for us, is gift giving.  Especially as our kids get older.  The dilemma is that our kids simply have enough toys. It is to the point that we are keeping some of them in the basement.  This way we can incorporate “new” toys into the selection for our children from time to time. There are several different resources available for how to cycle your toys, so we know that we’re not alone in this situation.

​​I have also witnessed the crazy number of toys that our friends’ children have to play with on visits over to their houses. Every time we go shopping for a birthday party (usually at Target) and walk the aisles looking at all of the shiny plastic toys, I just can’t help but think about all of the half-broken/half-played-with toys sitting around my own house. I actually feel kind of bad for my friends to be adding to their existing problem with my give. Plus, I have to wonder what the message and meaning behind all of these toy options at the store really is…

As you can see…

The dilemma is a pretty major one and the first solution I came up with was to get the kids books! My wife and I figured that the kinds can never have too many books and gifts like that fit our personalities since we both have a background in education. When you give a book, you’re giving a greater gift than just a toy since books have deeper meanings and messages for the readers. They’re not just an item. The one thing to be cautious about is making sure that, when you do give a book, you’re not buying duplicates of books that your children (or your friends’ children) already have. After all, nobody needs four copies of “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom”.

This ​​left ​​us ​​with ​​the​ ​new dilemma​​ of​ ​knowing ​​that ​​we ​​did ​​not ​​want ​​to ​​add​ ​to​ ​our ​​friends’ ​​collections ​​of ​​plastic​ ​toys.  Now we were also ​​feeling ​​that books​​ may ​​not ​​be ​​that ​​different​ ​from the ​​original ​​problem.

For ​​us, ​​the ​​solution ​​has ​​become ​​to ​​donate ​​to ​​a ​​charity ​​in ​​the ​​name ​​of ​​the ​​child. ​​

We ​​try​ ​and choose ​​a ​​charity ​​whose ​​mission​ ​is ​​a ​​concept ​​that ​​the ​​child ​​will ​​understand, ​​like ​​clean ​​water. ​​We also​​ realized ​​that ​​it ​​is ​​beyond ​​anti-climactic ​​for ​​a ​​child ​​to ​​receive​ ​a​​piece ​​of ​​paper ​​as ​​a ​​gift. ​​That is​ ​why ​​we ​​make ​​sure ​​that ​​we ​​also​​ include ​​a ​​book ​​about ​​the ​​topic ​​of ​​the ​​charity’s ​​mission. ​​So, ​​if we​ ​donate ​​to​ ​Charity ​​Water, ​​we ​​would ​​get ​​a ​​children’s ​​book ​​that ​​explains ​​the ​​fact​ ​that ​​there ​​is only ​​so ​​much ​​water ​​on​ ​the​ ​planet ​​and​ ​that ​​not ​​all ​​kids ​​have ​​access ​​to ​​safe, ​​clean​ ​water. ​​

We were ​​a ​​little​ ​hesitant​​ the​ ​first ​​time ​​we ​​gave ​​this ​​as ​​a ​​gift ​​because​ ​we​ ​did ​​not ​​want ​​to ​​seem pompous ​​or ​​offend​ ​anyone, ​​but ​​it ​​went ​​over​​ great. ​​The ​​child ​​was ​​excited ​​to ​​get ​​a ​​new ​​book ​​that had ​​a ​​science angle ​​and ​​the ​​parents ​​were ​​excited ​​because ​​it ​​gave ​​an ​​easy ​​opening ​​to ​​a discussion ​​about ​​the ​​broader ​​world. ​​I ​​like​ ​that ​​it ​​also ​​gives ​​us ​​an ​​opportunity ​​to ​​talk ​​to ​​our children​ ​about ​​charity ​​as ​​well ​​as, ​​the ​​concept ​​of ​​giving​ ​a ​​gift ​​with ​​meaning.

​​We​​ can​​ talk​ ​and​ ​ask our ​​kids ​​what ​​kind ​​of ​​charity​ ​they​ think​ ​their​​ friend ​​would ​​be ​​interested​ ​in​ ​helping. ​​It ​​is ​​never ​​too early​ ​to ​​start​ ​these ​​conversations ​​and​ ​start​ ​the ​​empathy ​​building.

From iFamily to Yours,


Why every kid should have a lemonade stand

Who can forget the excitement of having a lemonade stand as a child?  Not only is it a fun way for kids to be able to earn some spending money, it also teaches them some great life lessons!  Bridgette, from the iFamily Mom Squad, is here to share some of the things your kiddos can learn while running their own lemonade stand!  Take a look…

Why every kid should have a lemonade stand

Over the past several months we have been planning our lemonade stand. I had one growing up and I loved it! Once I presented the idea to my kiddos, they were all on board! So, we started our summer project goal to set one up.

It wasn’t until the kids and I started putting all the things we needed together that it really hit me. Every kid should do this! Outside the aspect of having fun and making money, a lemonade stand teaches our kids so much!

Planning

It teaches kids how to organize their needs and wants for their stand, plan where they want to set it up and put together an idea of how they want it to look. They get to unleash their creativeness when coming up with color schemes, drinks and baked goods.

Budgeting

Knowing that they will need to buy certain supplies will give them the opportunity to practice budgeting. I wanted to keep ours under a certain dollar amount (since I was footing the upfront costs lol) and with knowing what they needed and how much we had to spend, they were able to find ways to not only make it look nice but also make sure we stayed within the budget.

Customer Service

A lemonade stand shows kids how to serve others and take pride in what they are serving. If a cup fell on the ground they would throw it away. They wouldn’t want to drink out of a dirty cup themselves so why would they want someone else too?

Marketing

They had to get their business out there! So whenever we visited family or friends, they were sure to tell them about it! On the day of the sale, they had help from dad with posting flyers in high traffic areas to reach a lot of people. They also created a fun atmosphere that would draw the attention of passerbyers.

Dealing with Rejection

Nobody wants their kids to be rejected, but sometimes.. It just happens. Not everyone that came by wanted to purchase something. At first they didn’t understand fully why, but once I explained and how they should respond, they easily grasped the idea of “keep moving forward.”. They simply responded with a “thank you” and a smile and went on to the next customer.

Ownership

This was their stand! Of course mom, dad and nana helped out but at the end of the day, this was their stand. Once it was set up and they were in business, they took so much pride in what they had created and what they were offering.

My kiddos loved having a lemonade stand and they were very successful! As soon as we sold out and closed up shop, they picked up their stand and went straight inside to start planning on what they could buy lol. Having a lemonade stand has pretty much become a right of passage when growing up. If you are able to have one or anything similar, I strongly encourage you to help your child make this opportunity happen! You will both feel proud and have memories that will last forever!

Need a few tips on how to have a successful lemonade stand? You can read all about ours HERE and all about how my kiddos were able to bring in some big bank for theirs this past weekend!

From iFamily to Yours,