Toddler Holiday Giving Calendar

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As the holidays roll around this year the twins will be 21 months old. Thankfully, they are not old enough to understand what’s currently going on in the world, but after this week of the election and the aftermath, one thing is abundantly clear: we need more love, more kindness, and more plain old goodness in our world.

My kids can’t read or write yet, but they are old enough to get that warm fuzzy feeling that comes from  doing acts of kindness. I suddenly remembered a “Giving Calendar” that I saw last year on another blog. However, that one was for older kids and while it has awesome ideas, most of them were too much for my toddlers. It inspired me to create our Toddler Holiday Giving Calendar.

What: I purchased a few supplies at The Dollar Store. I used frogs (lol, holiday frogs) because they were pre-cut and a Christmas green color, a bunch of packs of Christmas stickers, and a large white poster board. If you check out the link to the original calendar, she makes a really cute one with Christmas scrapbook paper. You could also use wrapping paper cut into squares.

How: I arranged it in a calendar pattern. I only did 16 tasks, the original one has 25 tasks for the days leading up to Christmas, but that seemed like a lot for toddlers. Come on, I’m trying to do random acts of kindness here, but let’s be honest, there are days when I can’t take a shower!

Tasks: For each day I wrote a job for them to do that shows love or caring to their family, their home, their world, etc. When it is complete, we’ll cross it off the board. Here are the tasks I listed:

1. Draw a picture and mail it to someone we love.

2. Do something extra nice for Daddy/Mommy.

3. Play with a new friend.

4. Go to church together.

5. Say our prayers together.

6. FaceTime someone we love who lives far away.

7. Donate an item(s) to a local organization.

8. Help pick up our toys.

9. Bring a treat to a neighbor.

10. Help water the plants.

11. Color a picture for a family member.

12. Take flowers to our church.

13. Make a craft for a friend.

14. Help mommy bake holiday treats to give.

15. Help mommy/daddy put plastic in the recycle bin.

16. Stop by a loved one’s house to give them hugs.

After writing the tasks and gluing the frogs, I let it dry for a few hours. Note: toddlers are destructive, it needs to dry! Then, I let them go wild with stickers and pens. They loved it! This is a fun way to get kids involved in the giving part of the season. It can be adapted for any age, even as young as my babies. I love advent calendars, but with three same age kids I foresee years of fighting over who opens it each day, who gets the chocolate, and many more problems. I think this is the solution. This is a tradition I’m planning to do yearly and it will be fun to see the tasks evolve as they grow up.  When they are older, they can even create the tasks.

Let’s get out there, get to it, and spread some love around!

Kimberly Chacón is a graduate of New York University. Prior to becoming a stay-at-home mom she taught high school English for ten years in New York City. When she's not running after her 18 month old twins and eight month old baby, she blogs about kids, food, and motherhood at www.partyoffiveblog.com

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