One of the most interesting changes the digital age has brought us is a changing definition of the word “community and a change in how we interact with it. We now include a host of connections online in what we consider our community, and we communicate with them constantly using social media outlets, texting, email, and other indirect methods.
Although being connected with so many people so much of the time is great, our preschoolers are missing out. Because they cannot read or observe our behavior, and because we spend more of our time with our attentions directed at a screen, they are losing out on the opportunity to learn how to build a strong community by interacting with others. Here are some ways to get kids in the community, working directly where needs exist.
The most basic way to get kids in the community, collecting food to feed the less fortunate is also one that is simple enough for even the smallest child to understand. Your efforts can be as big or as small as you have the time and resources for, it doesn’t have to be a grand scale food drive. A simple start is have your kids choose their favorite nonperishable foods from the pantry and take them to a food bank to deliver it. If it is possible, allow kids to be involved in the drop-off process as well so they can see a food bank, talk to the workers there, and understand more about hunger in the community.
Toys for Kids
Before birthdays, winter holidays, or other occasions when you expect your kids to receive gifts, have them choose some of their old toys to give to kids in the community that have none. Make sure they choose toys that are still in great condition as nobody wants to play with broken and old toys. This will help keep your kids humble and make sure that they don’t become too attached to their things while also giving to the less fortunate. Around the winter holidays, take your kids to the store to help them buy one brand new toy to give away as well.
Another great way to get kids in the community is to participate in a trash pickup. Many park districts or schools will organize events in the spring or fall to recruit members of the community to spread out around the neighborhood streets and parks and pick up litter. If yours does not have one to join, start your own. Or, simply bring your kids out with a few trash bags and some gloves to clean up. Keeping public spaces beautiful can bring a sense of pride and a feeling of belonging in the community. Others will appreciate the job that’s been done, and the entire community will benefit.
Helping preschoolers to understand the needs of a community is an important part of raising children that are compassionate. As you take the time to get kids in the community, working and helping those who need it, they will make discoveries and connections. They will become vested and feel compelled to continue their good work. Encourage them every step of the way and you’ll probably find that you are feeling a little more connected yourself.
Thomas Learning Centers provides NECPA accredited preschool and childcare at the most affordable rates in the Denver Metro Area. Check us out at http://www.thomaslearningcenters.com , click on the offers below, drop in for a visit to get to know more about us. We’d love to meet you!
Call 877-938-1442 for general info
Lakewood 303-237-0917 or Westminster 303-427-8831