Many times summer starts and we as parents have all the great intentions of doing multiple new things with our kids, however “normal” daily life tasks just seem to get in the way. One thing that we have implemented in our house over the last couple summers is to pick a “word” that we plan to do activities around so our kiddos learn the meaning of it.
This summer our word is…appreciation!! Often times kiddos go through life without ever knowing the true meaning of appreciation. Before we ever had kids it was my mission that my kids would use their manners right away – “please,” “thank you,” “excuse me” – however I believe that also means showing appreciation for when others do things for you (ex. write a thank you card, draw a picture, bring dinner to someone, get someone a small gift).
So in order to teach my kiddos what true “appreciation” is I decided that visiting the local fire department and bringing them drawings the kids drew and cookies would be a great way not only to thank them for what they do for our community but also have a fun outing. Unfortunately the day we visited the fire hall was also the day the firemen were doing tours for school classes, so touring was not an option for us, though we were able to go into the main office, say thank you to about 3 firemen, the chief and the secretary and deliver our cookies.
The kiddos really enjoyed seeing the “real” firemen. The firemen and chief were so gracious they even gave the kids their own plastic fire hats and coloring books with information about fire safety. After we got back in the car we talked a few minutes about how even though the firemen haven’t helped us directly it’s great to show them appreciation for all they do for our community, plus you never know when we may need their help (of course we hope never).
Although the summer is just starting my hope is to think of a couple other things that we can do this summer to not only have a fun outing but also be able to learn more about appreciation!
Call your local fire station to see if they can accept treats (some can’t) and if you can arrange a tour. Thank them for keeping our community safe, and find other ways to show appreciation for others this summer! What are some ideas you have?