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!!!!
You know those days when you walk back to your car after an all-day-event of check-ups or appointments and you feel completely drained?
I have had plenty of those days.
But, I *think* I cracked a little code the other days when I went to the doctor with all three of my three and under to get flu shots and I walked out of the office wishing I had passed out business cards haha.
There are plenty of factors that marked the success of that day:
1) God’s good grace 🙂
2) Going early enough in the morning that I wasn’t torturing tired children
3) Bringing plenty of snacks to keep my little ones tummies happy
4) Staying Calm and Positive
5) Being Prepared!!
I was wearing my baby in the moby wrap, and I packed clip boards and a small dollar tree container of crayons in the diaper bag.
While I was filling out paperwork I put the clip boards and crayons on the floor and said something like: “The doctors need to know who we are and why we are here so we are going to write it down for them.”
While I was writing my information down I would just ask my preschooler questions like:
“Okay, they want to know your name. What is your name? What are the letters in your name?” Simple questions.
He would answer me and then scribble his lines and circles. But lines and circles mean that he is learning that we can communicate through print so every little moment counts.
This little waiting room success moment inspired me to make this for our next visit:
I know the whole space to draw a picture for why they at the doctor leaves room for T.M.I. but I am so curious to see what your kids “think” they are at an appointment for.
If Free Printables make you happy, hop on over to Red Stick Moms Blog and check out the guest post I wrote yesterday. Believe it or not, that is the only place you can get my Park Scavenger Hunt Printable for FREE. Click HERE to check it out.
The other day I made a simple template for a zoo trace and color to tote along in our wagon for down times, I am going to re-make it using my own clipart soon, but for now it looks like this:
Well, the VERY next day we were going to Boo at the Zoo so I wanted to mix it up and I had already made seasonal clipart so I toted this one along in the wagon…
I decided to make it a combined printable even though Halloween is right around the corner.
I thought you might want to tote this one around tomorrow on a walk and make it a scavenger hunt for decorations in the neighborhood so I figured I would go ahead and give ya this printable today! If you don’t use it this year, bookmark TheMommyTeacher and you can always keep it for next year !
This is a Mommy Teacher Spotlight from a friend that works out at the same gym as me… that will be no surprise to you after you see what she is all about.
The following post is from Niki (whose information to link up to her site is at the bottom of this post… so check it out!):
Niki writes “It was a 4:30AM kind of morning. I was pulling out of my driveway to see an early client. My crazy neighbor was at it again. Running up and down the street. Back and forth. The monotony of it practically put me back to bed. I wondered why on earth she ran back and forth. We lived a quarter mile from the cities running hot-spot. A beautiful 3 mile loop around the university lake. It made no sense and the absurdity of her routine drove me bonkers. Years past and every morning I gave her a we’re-up-too-early wave of camaraderie, followed by a you’re-more-nuts-than-me look.
One morning as I was headed off I noticed she had 2 mini-me companions on her morning route of back-and-forth. Two young children on bikes pedaled at her heels. It turns out she was a single mom and the only way she could fit exercise into her day was to wake up earlier than her kids and never stray farther than a backward glance. I immediately fell in love with her no-excuses, make-it-happen mentality. She wasn’t a nut. She was a warrior.
What I didn’t know is that she would become the inspiration for my own back and forthing.
Fast forward 3 years. I’m now a single mom to two wildly fun kiddos, ages 4 and 6. I could never have dreamed up the life I have today. It’s very screen-play-ish. Life throws you curve-balls sometimes. What I’ve learned is that as pressure increases you have two choices: you can either rise or explode. Rising sounds like more fun to me.
I know that I am my child’s greatest teacher. I will pass on my best and my worst qualities to my children.
So I had to ask myself, “what kind of adult do I want my children to become?” “Am I a model for that kind of adult?”
I want my children to be healthy, happy, confident and love themselves. Not self-love in a narcissistic way. Self love in an I-am-worthy-of-greatness way. I want my children to become outside-the-box thinkers, people who laugh at limitations, go after what they want in life and follow their heart’s desire. I want to raise individuals who understand that wholeness comes from within.
Then I asked myself “am I a living example of all I want my children to become?”
Because I value being a mother more than anything in my life, I choose to rise each morning in self-love. Loving yourself by taking care of your personal needs is not selfish. So many mothers feel guilty for taking the time to exercise, prepare meals or relax! We need to embrace self care as a teach-by-example lesson to our children. If we want our children to love themselves, we must teach them to respect their entire being, body-mind-spirit. That includes exercise, feeding the body healthy foods, and seeking solutions to eliminate cravings, poor body image and low energy. The mind can literally become captive inside an unhealthy body. I know, because I struggled with cravings, emotional eating and poor body image for over 15 years. Negative self talk occupied my mind and prevented me from contributing my unique gifts to the world. I knew that I never wanted my children to experience the pain of not loving themselves or the fear of not being enough. Pretty enough. Smart enough. Popular enough. I want my children to experience a love of their bodies as a gift that allows them to do things that bring them joy and allow them to contribute more love to the world.
I choose self love inspired exercise and nutrition daily to fulfill my own physical needs and personal growth desires. When you fill yourself up with good food and exercise, you have more energy to give your children. You show them what it looks like to be healthy and happy. That is a life skill that cannot be taught in a classroom, it must be consistently modeled.
So, I rise each morning long before the sun comes up. I move forward in my self-love inspired life by sprinting back and forth past my children’s bedroom window. I send out a prayer of gratitude for the strong, no-excuses woman who pioneered the path of back and forthing. The mornings I find myself moaning and groaning with a I-don’t-feel-like-it attitude, I envision my future healthy happy adult children. My children are my greatest motivation and my biggest fans!
3 Ways To Model Health & Happiness For Your Kids
1. Identify what makes you happy in life.
What are your deepest desires for your own personal development? Do you have the desire to live in a strong, healthy, energy-abundant body? Do you have the desire to learn a craft or hobby? Do you deeply yearn to volunteer and make a positive impact on the world? What can you do to become the best version of yourself? Inspire your children to reach their highest potential by reaching for yours.
2. Get organized.
Write your self-development goals for the next 6 months. Break down your goals by month and put it in your calendar. If it’s not on your schedule, it’s not happening! Prior to bed, each night make a (doable) to-do list for the next day. Setting goals seems obvious but it doesn’t work unless you actually do it and stick to it!
3. Set it and forget it!
Set your goal and then enjoy each step of your journey towards achieving your goal. Focusing on the end-result will lead to overwhelm. Overwhelm is the inability to make a decision and take action. Take one moment at a time and knock out the 1,2,3’s on your daily to-do list. The most successful people don’t hyper-focus on achievement, they are present with the experience. Remember, your children will learn patience, persistence and follow through if you model a positive attitude on your own self development journey. “
Niki Driscoll is a Mind-Body Connection Expert, Holistic Health Practitioner and Personal Trainer.
Niki created Candy to Kale, a sassy-fun online video program to help women kick cravings and end emotional eating without discipline. Her sassy-edgy style motivates even the most committed self help cynics.Learn how to love yourself healthy and hot at [http://nikidriscoll.com] and visit [http://facebook.com/thenikidriscoll for the designed-by-niki poster series ‘Exercise Meditations.’