A Letter for the Postman. Acts of Kindness for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Dec 1, 2013

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Each year around Christmas time, my children and I love to bake cookies and deliver them to an assisted living centre to bring some Christmas cheer to others. We're looking forward to doing this again this year slightly closer to Christmas.

Whilst it is important to encourage children to be kind and thoughtful towards others all year round, Christmas is certainly a fabulous time of year to put a real emphasis on kindness, giving and thinking about others and a little less emphasis on what we want and what we're going to get.

When Chelsea from Moments a Day organised a group of bloggers to participate in Random Acts of Kindness for Toddlers and Preschoolers I was grateful for the opportunity to think about this more and to reinforce these important messages in my children. Using Chelsea's ebook, 52 Acts of Kindness, for inspiration, I read through some of the different and simple ideas that we could do to bring a little bit of sunshine to someone's life. Together, we decided that we would write a letter and leave a little gift for our postman.


Materials we used: Home-made Christmas Card, large ziplock bag, ribbon, cardboard, markers, Christmas wrapping paper, sticky-tape, scissors, holepunch, little gift (gingerbread men, optional) 



So that the postman would know that the package was for him, Maddie (aged 4) made a little sign. This was a good literacy experience as we talked about how to write the words first and were able to talk about letter sounds etc. I wrote the words on a piece of paper for her to use for reference as she wrote. She of course needed to decorate it too.



For the inside of the Christmas card we talked about what we should say to the postman and what message we wanted to get across. Once we had brainstormed ideas a little, Maddie dictated the card and I wrote it in. Children with more advanced writing skills may like to write the card themselves.


I asked her if there was a question that she would like to ask the postman. I wonder if he will reply at all?


We also talked about whether she thought she was going to get a present or letter back from the postman. At first she thought that she would, but as I was not so sure, she realised that she most probably would not, and that was fine. We were NOT giving in order to receive something. We were giving to spread a little joy in the world and in return, we get a little joy just thinking about that happiness.

How does it make you feel when someone feels happy because of something you have done? Happy!

We wrapped the little gift and put it inside a clear zip-lock bag. As we often have unpredictable weather, we wanted to ensure that it would survive the elements. We put the card and little sign inside the bag as well and used a little bit of tape to secure them in place to the inside of the bag so that they would be easily visible by the postman. After sealing the bag, I punched a hole in the top and threaded through a nice thick ribbon to tie to the letter box.


The kids couldn't wait to get outside and put it on the letter box.


I tied the ribbon around the letter box with a nice big loop. I didn't want to secure it so tightly that the postman couldn't get it off, so avoiding millions of knots is probably a good idea. We hope he likes it! :)
Thanks for the letters Mr Postman. (Well, except for the bills, you can keep those ones).


Important messages my children learnt through this experience:

  • It is nice to do things for other people
  • We can give without expecting anything in return
  • You don't have to have a reason to do nice things for people
  • Bringing happiness to others makes us feel happy too
  • It doesn't have to take a lot of work or effort to bring a smile to someone's day

Here are some more Acts of Kindness for children:

Bringing a Meal to a family in need from Moments a Day
Kindness Elves. An Elf on the Shelf alternative from The Imagination Tree
Making Bread for someone special from Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds
Burying Treasure from Pennies of Time



We hope you feel inspired to try some Acts of Kindness with your children. We're certainly not going to limit ourselves to being kind during the Christmas period and will be sure to continue performing random acts of kindness throughout the year.



Happy giving,
Debs :)






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80 comments:

  1. Love this post, what a beautiful activity for the kids.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Chelsea and thank you for the wonderful ebook full of inspiration!

      Delete
  2. So thoughtful and a great way to teach kindness

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was such a great reminder to us that it's not hard to be kind and thoughtful and that we need to go out of our way to do it more often. :)

      Delete
  3. What a great idea to teach various life skills for little children. Thanks for sharing. Even my big boys have to learn this one. LOL. Love it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome :) I think it's an ongoing lesson for children! Thanks for your comment :)

      Delete
  4. A lovely post and such a great way to get your children involved! (And, after a month of getting notes/treats once a week, our postal carrier wrote a note back to my kids. After that, we were on a first name basis. So fun!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! That is so lovely! I think we actually have a few different posties on different days haha, so we might have to leave a few more. :)

      Delete
  5. Naww, I feel so warm and fuzzy Deb! I just can't wait to do this one with the girls. It's simply my favourite! You set the bar really high, your gift is sooooo lovely! Squeee, I'm going to do ours Friday!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh thank you, Penny. I bet your girls could do a lovely nature based gift that would be adorable! Let us know if you do it! :D

      Delete
  6. So nice that the postman replied. I'd love to do this, would just have to work out writing it in German. That would be good practice for me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jo. I know! It was really lovely that he did. It made it extra nice to know he actually got it and that he probably got a smile :)

      Delete
  7. Love the idea of doing this with the kids, such a simple way to teach them to give to others.
    And your kids are so cute!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks OneMommy :) I think sometimes we forget that it really doesn't take a lot of effort to do something nice. This was a good reminder for us :)

      Delete
  8. Okay so is there a way for us to buy those elves online?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you're talking about the "kindness elves" that Anna from the Imagination Tree is using, you may want to pop over to her site and ask her. I'm sure you can! :)

      Delete
  9. wonderful project and lesson - but PLEASE, unless you know that your mail carrier is MALE, then use "for our mail carrier" (not POSTMAN)!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. Yes, we were well aware that our postie is male, so in this case, Postman was fine :)

      Delete



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