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11/29/01 Question 19

Dear Visitors,
      Does anyone have fun suggestions for ways I can involve my preschool students in a service project for the upcoming holiday season?  I would really like to try to help them feel the joy that comes from doing something for someone else and I'm having a hard time coming up with ideas on their level. 
Service Seeker


Dear Service Seeker,
    
Visiting the elderly and singing some preschool songs is always a great success. You may have some songs that pertain to your holiday season that the children could sing.
Melissa

Dear Service Seeker,
    
For the last two years, my preschoolers have done the typical canned food drive.  However, last year, we decided that we would do a toy drive as well.   Most of our children come from "comfortable" families, and therefore have a lot of toys.  They would go through their toys, with the help of a parent, and donate them to the local homeless shelter, and Social Services.  The children loved helping to make other children's Christmas' special.  We also made a fieldtrip to a local retirement center, and sang holiday songs to the elderly.
Jackie

Dear Service Seeker,
    
Our preschool class is making cards and place mats for "meals on wheels" to take to the elderly people they serve.  This project can continue into other holidays such as Valentines day.  "Anytime" cards are also very welcomed.
Santa's Helper

Dear Service Seeker,
    
Is their a home for the elderly nearby.  Preschool aged children and senior citizens are perfect together! I've done this with 2's, 3's and 4's.  Have them sing holiday songs together and let the children pass out small "gifts" that they've made with you in school.
Natalie

Dear Service Seeker,
    
I take my kids (ages 4 and 2) to the home where my grandmother is.  The residents love to see them.  The kids just have to walk by and you can make someone smile.
It feels really good.
Beth

Dear Service Seeker,
    
There are so many ways preschoolers can help out in the community. They can help gather canned goods for a local homeless shelter, they could bring cookies to a nursing home, or they could help purchase a toy for a toy drive.  All of these help nurture a sense of caring for others and this will help them grow into compassionate adults
Christina

Dear Service Seeker,
    
Take small candy canes, or small tokens of affection, to a nursing home.  Sing some songs that the children like to sing--it won't matter what to the grandmas & grandpas, as long as the children enjoy themselves.  The candy, or token, gives the small children a task/icebreaker to really meet the residents.  The resident's smiles will show the children the incredible blessing they have brought.  The little children may not realize that the real blessing is their presence.
Renee`

Dear Service Seeker,
    
It's a great idea to involve your preschoolers in a service project during the holidays!  Here are some service projects that we've done:
1. Adopt a nursing home/assisted living place...make ornaments and/or cards for the elderly, deliver them and sing Christmas carols or holiday songs to them...we did this and both the children and those living in the nursing home enjoyed it completely!
2.  Have each parent give their child a set amount of money (ex.$5)  take a field trip to the local dollar store and allow the children to pick out a present for a family member or whatever you choose (ex. you could buy gifts for social services to give to children who aren't likely to receive gifts for the holidays).  The children then take their gifts back to their classroom and can wrap them or deliver them, etc.
3. Create goodie bags for those serving our country this holiday season (ask parents to bring in paper, pens, band aids, soap, toothbrush, a shoe box, etc.)  the children can make cookies to put in the box as well.  Pack the boxes together.  We've often adopted soldiers that families in our center knew.
Have fun serving this holiday season!
Serving is Fun!

Dear Service Seeker,
    
This is something I have done with my preschoolers to show them the meaning of " it is better to give than receive" I get a basket for the children to fill up articles of clothing for children who are not as lucky as we" I call it my "Bundle Basket" they fill it up with socks, gloves, hats, scarf's, etc and then we give it to a  local shelter.
Ms. Cholk

Dear Service Seeker,
    
When my children where in pre-school last year they made gifts for senior citizens in a local nursing home, and then hand delivered the gifts to them as a class trip.  While they were there they sang a few songs for the residents. This made the senior citizens day as well as made the children feel they did something special.
Debbie


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