10 BIRTHDAY GIFT IDEAS FOR THE CHILDREN IN YOUR LIFE

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Kids have too much stuff. There, I said it—someone had to. Kids have way too much stuff and it’s weighing down their imaginations and ability to think for themselves. With television, video games and other forms of technology becoming more and more present in the lives of people of all ages, there needs to be a more well established balance. When your child, sibling, niece, nephew, or best friend’s kiddo has an upcoming birthday, it is an opportunity to nurture what children are losing: the ability to simply be a child. Below are ten ideas for birthday gifts that the children in your life will adore.

1. Gift Certificate

Gift certificates are one of the best gifts that can be given. A gift certificate is a gift of a memory, rather than a dispensable item. Give them a gift certificate for your local zoo, roller-skating rink, restaurant, or any other fun spot that you or their family can take them. By giving the gift of fun and memories, you avoid adding to the clutter of too many toys and encourage the child to make time for play.

2. Gardening Tools

Giving a gift of gardening tools is wonderful! You can pair them with flower seeds, veggie starts, or a book about gardening. This is a gift that teaches children a sustainable skill, while simultaneously encouraging them to get outside and work with their hands. Gardening teaches hard work, patience, and offers a worthwhile (and tasty) reward as the season progresses.

3. Box Subscriptions

Box Subscriptions are always a good idea!  Children love to get mail and open packages.  There are several great subscriptions available for children. Some focus on art, science, clothes, and cooking. Our favorite is the Get it Going box which delivers activities to promote kindness. Boxes are filled with “Top Secret” challenges making the doing part of kind deeds more fun. Check out other subscription boxes at crate joy.com

4. Art Supplies
One of the best ways for children to get creative in play and express themselves is through art. A gift of paints, crayons, colored pencils, or other art supplies are always great “go to” present ideas.

5. Baking Supplies

Cooking is a skill that ought to begin from an early age. Cooking is rewarding and highly enjoyable, so a baking bowl, whisk, and set of measuring cups is the perfect gift for any child. Pair baking supplies with a kid-friendly cookbook like one of these: http://dailyparent.com/articles/the-15-best-cookbooks-for-kids/.

6. DIY Science Kit

Many kids love science and learning through cause and effect. Being able to put something together themselves or witnessing a reaction is tons of fun! Check out this list of DIY science kits for children: http://nontoygifts.com/top-11-diy-science-kits-for-kids/. Another great resource is the Science & Discovery Toys section on the Toys”R”Us website: http://www.toysrus.com/products/science-and-discovery-toys.jsp.

7. Musical Instrument

Learning a musical instrument is exciting! It takes patience, practice, and hard work, but leaves them with a creative skill that can become a lifelong hobby or, perhaps, even a career. A musical instrument can be paired with an instructional book, DVD, or prepaid series of classes at a local music shop.

8. A Gift From the Heart

One of the most special gifts that can be given are those from the heart. A handmade card or self-composed and performed song, dance, or poem are all very thoughtful. Another idea is a book of photos of you and the child. Regardless of what it is, a gift that you make will be memorable and kind.

9. Books

Children, or adults, for that matter, cannot have too many books. Reading expands the mind and encourages analytical thinking, as well as empathy for people different than oneself.

10. Journals
A journal is a simple, yet thoughtful gift. This can be given on its own or along with a special pen. You can personalize it by giving a list of journal prompt ideas. For journal prompt inspiration, check out this link: https://www.journalbuddies.com/prompts-by-grade/elementary-writing-journal-prompt-ideas-for-kids/.

Let us know which of these birthday gift ideas you went with, in the comments section below.

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FIVE RECIPES THAT YOUR CHILD CAN HELP MAKE

Cooking with your children is not only an excellent learning and bonding experience, but it’s also an opportunity to practice kindness. Below we have found five recipes that kids love to eat, as well as make.

1. The Spaghetti & Meatball Cupcake by Wilde in the Kitchen

http://wildeinthekitchen.blogspot.com/2010/11/cupcake-24-7-spaghetti-meatball-cupcake.html

2. Easy Chocolate Fudge with Pretzels by Martha Stewart

http://www.marthastewart.com/852402/easy-chocolate-fudge-pretzels

3. Summer Zucchini Bites by Circle of Moms

http://www.circleofmoms.com/recipe/summer-zucchini-bites

4. Mini Turkey Burgers by Martha Stewart

http://www.marthastewart.com/268626/mini-turkey-burgers

5. Baked Parmesan Zucchini by Damn Delicious

http://damndelicious.net/2014/06/21/baked-parmesan-zucchini/

With cooking comes the obvious result of food. To bring the teaching of kindness into your cooking lesson, you could take the finished product to local friends or those in need. Sharing edible homemade creations is an expression of love and giving.

A great way to introduce cooking with your children, while simultaneously teaching and practicing kindness is through Get it Going Now’s monthly kindness box. Each month, Get it Going Now subscribers receive a box which contains instructions, materials and cool souvenirs that result in a project to perform a good deed. By subscribing to Get it Going Now, you will feel inspired by your monthly opportunity to practice kindness and you just may get some ingredients to make a great treat!

Learn more about Get it Going Now here: https://www.getitgoingnow.com.

Let us know what your child’s favorite recipe was in the comments section below.

TEN TITLES ON NETFLIX THAT TEACH KIDS KINDNESS  

Teaching kindness is an important aspect of raising compassionate children. One way of doing so is through witnessing others who are successfully practicing kindness. Below are ten Netflix titles that display kindness through friendship and standing up for what is right. Visit www.netflix.com to begin your first month free.

The Fox and the Hound

This film has profound messages of friendship and teaches the importance of appreciating the differences in those separate from our selves.

Mulan

This movie teaches children to never doubt or limit themselves.  The overarching theme of girl power brings an important gender expectation focus to the table, as well.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

This movie teaches kids not to judge people by their appearance. This film encourages standing up for what’s right and wanting to brighten others’ lives.

E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial

This film is all about friendship and being selfless. It teaches children how rewarding it can be to be a helpful and giving person.

Zootopia

This film defines stereotypes and displays the negative side of playing a role in stereotyping others. It also inspires children to be kind and stand up for others.

Babe

This movie exhibits the difference between right and wrong and the prominence of resistance. Themes of friendship, compassion and more have a large presence in the film, as well.

Finding Dory

This movie focuses on differences and disabilities. By increasing awareness and empathy, children are more likely to understand and accept and be inclusive toward the peers that they don’t have too many similarities with.

Home

This movie concentrates on diversity and why it ought to be valued.

Kindness is Contagious

The title of this film gives away the importance of viewing it. This movie played a huge role in the inspiration of this list.

Bully

This is a film that we would suggest showing to your older kids, as it is rated PG-13 and handles sensitive, emotional subjects. It is a very moving, important film, but we suggest that you pre-screen it yourself before you decide whether or not it is age appropriate for your child to view.

To bring the teaching of kindness into your movie night, you can conclude the night by discussing the global themes and lessons learned from watching each feature.

A great way to make a habit of practicing kindness is through Get it Going Now’s monthly kindness box. Each month, Get it Going Now subscribers receive a box which contains instructions, materials and cool souvenirs that result in a project to perform a good deed. By subscribing to Get it Going Now, you will feel inspired by your monthly opportunity to practice kindness.

Learn more about Get it Going Now here: https://www.getitgoingnow.com.

Let us know what your child took away from these Netflix titles in the comments section below.