Discover all sorts of fresh ideas for sprinkling more meaning into your kids' parties and other celebrations.
Teaching kids that giving is better than receiving is no easy task. When you’ve run out of explanations (and patience), these books have your back.
It happens at the check out line of supermarkets, quick runs to the mall, even the local pharmacy.When you’re in a store, kids see things they just have to have. If you’re looking to counter their “I need it,” “I want it,” “but Sophie has it” battle cries, then encourage your kids to dig in to a few of these great reads. From money to a warm meal, generous gifts in these tales will encourage youngsters to discover the difference between “needing” and “wanting” something.
A roadmap for making contributions—big and small—to create a better world, this book tells it like it is: We give because it makes is feel good. If you have a tender heart, generous spirit and an awareness that causes you to think beyond your own needs, chances are you’ll not only make everyone around you happier, you’ll be happier, too.
It’s Our World, Too by Phillip Hoose - $16.99 (ages 10 and up)
Children who have taken a stand to make our world a better place star in this nonfiction book. With themes like social equality, world peace, and eco-consciousness, each story inspires and empowers kids to make a difference. If fifth-grader Dwaina Brooks, just one of the 12 community-minded children featured, can rally her classmates to help feed the homeless, your child can too. Practical suggestions for social action pair perfectly with these accounts of what can happen when one person cares enough to make a difference.
The Berentain Bears’ Trouble With Money by Stan and Jan Berenstain - $4.99 (ages 3 and up)
When Brother and Sister Bear ask Papa Bear for money to play video games, Papa Bear suggests they earn their own money. This story shows young readers how the energetic bear siblings become little entrepreneurs and, more importantly, what they decide to do with their earnings.
The Giver by Lois Lowry – $6.99 (ages 9 and up)
At the heart of this Newbery Medal-winning novel, a 12-year-old boy named Jonas who lives in a utopian society is chosen to receive a very special gift: the memories erased from all but one person. Known as The Giver, this elderly man trains Jonas to experience—and bear—memories of pleasure and pain. The young protagonist and his thought-provoking journey will entrance readers. Lowry asks us all to consider what we give and receive.
Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney - $7.99 (ages 5 and up)
This endearing tale highlights the worldly adventures of Miss Rumphius. With the word of her grandfather echoing in her ear, she sets out to do something that makes the world more beautiful. She finds a unique, simple way to give the world something very special and encourages future generations to do the same.
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein – $11.55 (ages 1 and up)
This timeless tale of selfless giving depicts the relationship between a tree and a little boy. The loving tree bestows upon the boy multiple gifts as he grows up. Written by the insightful, intelligent and prolific poet Shel Silverstein, this book invites children and adults alike to contemplate generosity.
Serving as a guide to daily happiness for young children, this book also introduces the joy of giving to your little ones. As a prequel to a series by Carol McCloud, an early childhood specialist, this colorful volume uses “bucket-filling” as a metaphor for both self-fulfillment and doing things for others.
The Keeping Quilt by Patricia Polacco - $7.99 (ages 4 and up)
Venerable author-illustrator Patricia Polacco weaves the story of her family’s journey from Russia to the United States. The focal point of her story, a brilliant quilt, is the product of family members’ contributions to a special keepsake. More than a memento, this “keeping quilt” demonstrates the potential of giving a little bit to something larger than oneself.
The Mangrove Tree: Planting Trees to Feed Families by Susan Roth and Cindy Trumbore - $13.57 (ages 6 and up)
Verse, prose, and vibrant mixed-media illustrations tell a true tale of innovative philanthropy. Set in a village in Eritrean, a tiny African country, the story shows how scientist Dr. Gordon Sato helped a struggling ecosystem begin to thrive and helped its people overcome impoverishment.
Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle by Betty MacDonald – $11.20 (ages 11 and up)
Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle (every parent’s best friend) prescribes specific proactive solutions to change troublesome children’s sundry bad habits. Pay special attention to chapter 4. Here she describes the most selfish of kids, Dick Thompson. The lessons are sure to hit home for any reader trying to avoid greed and embrace the concept of sharing.
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