July is National Make a Difference to Children Month. Looking back on your childhood, try to remember who made a positive difference in your life. Can you be a person that will make a positive difference to today’s children? Of course, you can! As early childcare educators, you have amazing opportunities to make these positive differences every day with the children in your classrooms. Along with offering these positive differences, you can also support and create learning opportunities for children to make a difference in their world.
Four ways to offer these learning opportunities to children in your classrooms include:
Acts of kindness can increase one’s sense of control, happiness, and optimism. Additionally, these acts could inspire others to carry out the kind deeds they themselves have performed, building a better classroom community.
- Create “kindness cards” or decorate “kindness rocks” to hide in fun places.
- Read books about kindness such as Be Kind by Pat Zietlow Miller or watch educational videos such as Color Your World with Kindness.
- Record children’s acts of kindness daily by using a classroom kindness tracker.
Planting a garden:
With the summer weather here, what a great time to plant a garden to help teach children the importance of the earth and learn to appreciate the environment.
- Find a space: even if you do not have a yard, there are countless options you can use around your classroom.
- Decide what kind of garden you would like to plant. Sunflowers or cherry tomatoes are easy summer plants to grow!
Gratitude helps others experience more positive emotions, improved health, and build strong relationships.
- Try including moments of gratitude into circle time to discuss what the children are grateful for.
- Join children in a gratitude scavenger hunt and allow them to search for things they are grateful for.
Help children find their voices by sharing some of the social and environmental issues that impact our world. Then, allow children to volunteer in projects in your communities that can help solve these issues. Here are some other ways to get children involved:
- Volunteer at local animal shelters or nursing homes.
- Write and send letters to local community workers.
- Start a donation drive to be delivered to local shelters.
Enjoy this summer making a lasting difference in children’s lives and allowing them to make a positive impact in the world!
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Written by Dominique Harris, BS, QMHP-C (Qualified Mental Health Professional), Trauma & Resiliency Specialist at ChildSavers.