Moses' preschool is doing the cutest thing this month and I thought I'd pass the idea along to you. They have adopted another preschool in Mexico whose children are all from an impoverished area. After telling them about the kids (Moses is still amazed that they never get new shoes), the teachers had each child make a "giving bank" and sent them home with a giving calendar. Each day has a fun little activity to determine how much money to put into the bank.
What a fun way to teach our children to give generously! In my experience, young children are naturally quite generous. Though not always willing to share toys with their younger brother (ahem), helping other kids in genuine need is something that sparks their generosity as well as their creativity. I think it is wonderful that Moses' school is tapping into this at such a young age and teaching our kids that they are very fortunate and able to help other people in need. Plus Moses loves doing this - I think his favorite so far was counting every toy in the house and dropping 119 cents into the bank. (I'm sure we have more toys than that... I just got tired of counting. And appalled by how many toys we have.)
So why not create your own giving calendar? There are so many people in need here in our own country, as well as throughout the world. All you have to do is choose a cause, make a bank (ours is an old yogurt container) and a calender, and get to work! This could be adapted for kids of any age, and as you can see, it doesn't require much money at all. Moses is just using spare change that he finds lying around the house. I'd LOVE to hear if you decide to do this as well as any other ideas for teaching kids to give to others!