Lately, my mom friends and I have been trying to brainstorm ways to include our children in service opportunities.
We made homeless care packs together and we introduced it by teaching a little lesson on The Good Samaritan. It was special to pray with the kids and ask God to give us eyes for those in need, and to feel prepared if we see someone in need.
As I started to try to brainstorm more ways we could serve. I thought about my friend Deb who started a little group called “Superheroes of Kindness.” They have served in our community in so many ways. As Deb plans the outings, she keeps it age-appropriate and makes it a priority to be servant-minded. So, I asked her to fill me in on more details and here is what Deb shared with me:
“WOW!! This is my first blog post ever and I am thrilled about the subject Super Heroes of Kindness. I am the Children’s Coordinator at University Baptist Church, and missions for children is my pet. There are so many opportunities out there, but many parents stop and think I am not sure if my child is ready for that. It is definitely important that we find developmentally appropriate opportunities and provide them early so we keep their attention.
I wish I could say Super Heroes of kIndness was by brain child. We were already involved in service opportunities at the church, but they were sporadic and under the umbrella of the church missions programs. So, I wanted to create something that was child-centered and a regular part of young children’s spiritual growth. One day while flipping through Facebook posts, an old college friend posted a picture of her daughter with her classmates. They were on an outing to do good and were wearing super hero capes with little hearts on them… BAM! The light came on and I stole the idea, others had stolen it too.
We now have a Super Heroes of Kindness activity once a month, the 3rd Saturdays during the school year and varying dates in the summer. The kids love it.
We normally gather at the church in the morning. We have coffee and a light breakfast is served during the gathering time. Kids learn about what we are doing, who we are visiting, and how the issues matter to the day’s activity. A variety of mediums are used including games, story time, art, gardening and music. We then head out on an adventure that gives back or says thanks to members of the community. Assisted Living Centers, Pet Adoption Centers, Fire Stations, Church Service Workdays etc. There are so many opportunities… you just have to be creative and then ideas will POP! into your mind. Parents also provide suggestions. For example, one of our moms suggested each child do a community service activity on their own and then we share that experience at our next meeting. We are eager to hear these stories.
Super Heroes is open to members and non- members of UBC. We welcome families from our MDO program and always encourage the kids to bring a friend or a stranger. For our next event, we will be set up outside a Walmart collecting dry and canned goods for the Baton Rouge Food Bank’s Summer Drive. E-mail jessica (at) themommyteacher (dot) come if you have any questions for Deb or if you live in Baton Rouge and want to register your child. Kids can wear their own capes or one of ours. SHAZAMMMMMM! God Bless,”
Some ideas for those itching to get it going:
1) Bake cookies and deliver them to neighbors.
2) Paint flower pots and hand them out at a local assisted living home.
3) Bring root beers and Rice Krispie treats to a nurses station at a local hospital.
4) Bring children’s books to drop off at a children’s hospital.
5) Collect non-perishables to bring to a food bank.
6) Write thank you notes and drop them off at a police station or fire station.
Please comment if you have other ideas to give us ideas!!!!
Hi Mommy Teachers! I hope you all enjoyed a fabulous Easter! Many of you may have kids on Spring Break now, or perhaps your Spring Break was last week like my oldest’s was, or if you don’t get a Mardi Gras holiday like we do in Louisiana, yours may have been several weeks ago. Or if you don’t have a child in school, then perhaps every week is Spring Break… or not. What is a break when you’re a mom anyway?
Easter was so much fun this year for my family! The night before Easter, our family had our 4th Annual Glow-in-the-Dark Easter Egg Hunt with friends! While I read from our Jesus Storybook Bible about Jesus’ crucifixion, burial and resurrection, the dads threw hundreds of glow-in-the-dark eggs in the field. Jesus is the light in the darkness…great reminder!
This year, for our egg hunt on Easter morning, we decided to hide 12 Scripture Eggs, or Resurrection Eggs. We followed the guidelines from Your Homebased Mom’s post for the Easter Scripture Egg Activity. She shares a list of items/symbols to include in each of your eggs to have a visual element to better connect to each scripture, the twelfth egg being empty to represent the empty tomb. Her post also includes a PDF that you can print out with each of the scriptures on it.
I know that this post is after Easter, but I wanted to share with you how we adapted wonderful activity to our family and how my kids processed it. Be sure to pin it to your Easter and Holiday Pinterest boards for next year!
My kids are 7, 5 and 2 and so I decided to hide three sets of Scripture Eggs to avoid a huge fight over who gets to learn about Jesus ;-). I used 12 blue, 12 green, and 12 pink eggs and each of my kids knew which color they were searching for. My kids each got a symbol in their eggs, but I rotated which kid got the scripture reference in his/her egg. My husband had an New International Version (NIV) Bible open (or you can search for your favorite translation online) because the King James Version (KJV) can be confusing for the kids.
The kids were instructed to find the eggs, but not to open them. When all the eggs were found, we sat down together and opened one egg at a time in order. I loved hearing my 7-year-old say, “Hey! There’s nothing in my 12!” and then the light bulb went off seconds later, “Oooooh because the tomb was empty!”
The whole family really did enjoy this activity! There was a bigger purpose and defined focus for what each egg represented than years past when we filled the eggs with candy… and even my 2-year-old caught on. When my oldest was joking around like they do on VeggieTales saying, “Easter is for chocolate bunnies,” my 2-year-old was the one who corrected him, “No, Easter is for Jesus!”
My first thought was, I’m going to be so sad if my kids don’t like it.
So, before I popped it in my CD player, I said “Guess what?!? This was mommy’s favorite music when I was a kid, and now we can learn the songs and listen to it together!”
Then I skipped right to my two favorite songs as a kid: “God loves a Cheerful Giver” and “Encourage One Another.”
At first, my kids ONLY wanted to listen to those songs for the first day or two, but then as the songs played without them noticing, they eventually fell in love with ALL of the songs.
This CD has been a GREAT teaching tool because when my little girl is afraid of “sharks” and “alligators” at night, we sing “When I am afraid, I will trust in HIM.”
Or, when they are complaining, I sing “Do everything without complaining.”
It is a great way to introduce and memorize Scripture naturally and regularly which is my favorite way to do things.
My kids are under 5 so it is really appropriate for them, but I remember liking this CD as a 10 year old child. I can’t promise that your kids will love it because I know Kid’s bop and Disney music are kid favorites these days, but it is worth a try because the content it priceless.
Jessica and I are both Momprenuers that juggle both the lifestyles of stay-at-home moms and working moms. My art and design business, Kidspired Creations, went on an exciting and unexpected journey this summer that has, to say the least, made it especially hard to find time to blog (my deepest apologies). But let me tell you a little bit about what has been going on and about how we have been giving back to an amazing organization called St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital – perhaps you’ve heard of it?
This is Bennett. His story has touched thousands of lives and counting! In December 2013, the Coleman family began an unexpected journey as Bennett, just 17 months old at the time, was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of cancer. He was admitted to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis for treatment where he and his family spent the last few months of his life here on earth. On april 28, 2014, the cancer died and Bennett began his new life, healed, happy and free of pain in heaven. The staff, nurses, doctors, patients and families at St. Jude are incredible and held the hands of the Coleman family all the way…
Being close friends with the Colemans, my business partner, Brooke, and I shared updates about Bennett with our kids. They learned all about St. Jude, cancer research and treatment, and the wonderful care that the organization provides families free of charge!
Brooke’s son Cooper, age 4, decided that he wanted to raise money for Baby Bennett. He said, “I love God. I love to paint. And I love Bennett.” He asked his mom to help him sell some paintings so he could donate the money to St. Jude. Brooke started a Facebook page, Cooper Paints, to document Cooper’s donation efforts and art endeavors…
…and this got Brooke and I thinking… thinking about how much our kids enjoy painting… and how beautiful each creation is… and how more kids would probably like to do what Cooper is doing… and who can resist a beautiful piece of artwork made with love from a child?
Photo Credit: Kelsey Ann Photography
And thus, Blue Balloon was born – named for the blue balloons that family, friends and prayer warriors have released to celebrate Bennett’s life. Here, child artists can donate paintings to sell and the proceeds will go to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in honor of Bennett Coleman.
Cooper and his friends have created true KIDspired art! Each 8″x10″ piece was hand-painted with love and is available for purchase HERE for $15.
This summer, Blue Balloon has been blessed by our community here in Lafayette, Louisiana. We were given space to host a Paint and Donate station at the Mommy & Me Expo in June where nearly 60 kids donated their time and talents to make and sell artwork for St. Jude!
We then were invited to sell those paintings at Applause for a Cause, a play, also benefiting St. Jude, and the organizers of the Baby & Kidz Expo donated booth space for us to sell paintings at their super successful event as well.
Our wonderful donors, volunteers, artists and vendor events!
Many businesses around the area donated materials and services for Blue Balloon to participate in these events! Many thanks to Office Depot and Lowe’s of New Iberia and Michael’s Arts and Crafts and Super-1 Foods of Lafayette for donating art and cleanup supplies. Also, to Kidz 337 Magazine for donating ad and article space and Kelsey Ann Photography for providing professional promotional pictures!
We surpassed our goal!
With the help of these businesses and events, our high school volunteers, child artists ages 1 to 16 years old, and including the auctioned artwork that raised $200 at Bennett’s Bash in Lafayette, Blue Balloon has raised over $1300 for St. Jude! More than $300 over our original goal!
So, now we have a new goal!
We are hoping to raise $1500 by August 15, 2014! For just $15 you can purchase a painting and help us meet our new goal! Your entire $15 will be donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to help toward research, treatment and care for patients and families as they battle this horrible disease. St. Jude operates solely on donations and at no cost to the families so they can focus 100% on their loved ones.
To read all about Bennett and the Coleman family, you can follow them on Facebook and #pray4babybennett. If you would like to make a donation to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, please visit http://www.stjude.org.
Having a sense of humor is really important in my family…we love to laugh at and with each other.
But I don’t want my kids to turn into a bunch of bullies who laugh at other’s expense.
So, we have talked a lot about what is funny, and what is NOT funny.
As my kids vocabulary grows so does their love of words like “doodie-butt” and “doo doo face.”
Name-calling is apparently the funniest thing in the world according to my 4 year old, next to telling someone they smell like fill-in-the-blank.
So, I am turning the tables on all-things-silliness.
If my four year old decides to call me a doodie-butt in a silly moment. I will look at him with a serious face, and calmly but sternly tell him… “Hurtful words aren’t funny, but I love when you are silly. Try calling mommy ‘honey bunches’ when you want to be silly. Okay CUTIE PIE HONEY BUNCH!” And I throw a name right back at him that is “silly” or “cute” but not offensive.
If my four year old decides to tell me that I smell like something stinky. Again, I look at him (without freaking out like I am a thirteen year old in defense mode…come on parents- we are the grown-ups here) and just seriously, calmly, and sternly tell him “I love when you are in a silly mood, but it is FUNNY when you tell mommy I smell like something that doesn’t really stink. Sooooo, let’s try: ‘You smell like cinnamon.'” (Cue the huge laugh like that was the funniest thing we have heard in forever). “Or… “You smell like SUGAH, sugah (also known as sugar).” HAH!
And finally, we like to tell stories around here. Stories that people relate to, and then we put a spin on them with some slight exaggerations and expressions thrown into the mix. I usually make facial expressions like “REALLY?!?” and ask questions like “What happened next?” or “What was that like?” to get my kiddos to make some funny associations.
These little exercises have made a big difference in our kid’s perceptions of what is funny, and what is not okay.
My son now REGULARLY asks me “Mom, is that funny?”
“Mom, is that silly?”
“Mom, is that a mean word?”
We want our kids to keep their sense of humor and not lose it all together from the parent police.
So for us, it just boils down to funny is silly but not hurtful.