Guest post from Sarah Aadland of Big-Hearted Families –
The less you isolate service projects and acts of kindness into their own once-in-a-while calendar slots, the more generosity simply becomes a way of life. The research continues to pour in: kids who develop a strong sense of empathy are more likely
- to be cooperative,
- to be helpful,
- to have higher quality social relationships, and
- to be better at resolving conflict.
Big-Hearted Families is full of tools to help your family practice empathy and make a difference, all while creating wonderful family memories!
Here are 4 of our favorite, incredibly simple ways to add big heart to your Kids Cook Monday routine.
- Double the Recipe & Share: Since you’re already in the kitchen, double your batch and drop dinner off for a busy or ailing neighbor. Or, if you’re in the mood for a party, invite friends for dinner and share a service project after you eat. Make greeting cards for kids in the hospital or check out our project ideas to choose one that suits your interests.
- Table Talk: Print our simple placemats and use them to inspire big-hearted dinner conversations. Once you get in the habit, discussing big ideas as a family will be second nature.
- Adopt a Food Shelf: Make it a habit to pick up a few extra groceries (especially good staples when they go on sale) each time you go to pick up your KCM ingredients. Decorate a dedicated box, and add to it whenever you can. Once a month, take time as a family to deliver your box of donations and start a conversation with your kids about who you are helping… and why.
- Join the Big-Hearted Families Book Club with Kids Cook Monday!: We’ve made it even easier to transform family time into a fun, book-centered kindness practice. Each month, we send our subscribers a wonderful picture book, carefully crafted discussion questions, a kindness activity, and a recipe from The Kids Cook Monday. Subscriptions make wonderful gifts and beautiful family memories.
While occasional volunteer projects in the community are wonderfully rewarding, everyday habits of kindness will empower our kids to become lifelong volunteers and will impact our communities for generations to come. Make Mondays the tastiest, most big-hearted day of your week!
Sarah Aadland is the voice of the Big-Hearted Families blog and director of theBig-Hearted Families program of Doing Good Together. Her own family of five provides sample inspiration and field-testing for the ideas, stories, and links she shares. While they may be covered in glue, glitter, and grass clippings most of the time, she keeps her grade-schooler, preschooler, and toddler steeped in lessons of kindness and empathy amid the dizzying pace of family life.