7 Kids Gifts that Give Back



Clockwise from top left:

  1. One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference, by Katie Smith Milway A great book that introduces children to other cultures and the power of giving. Best of all, this book can be found at your local bookstore (great to support local small businesses!) and can be given along with a microloan from Kiva.org or give some chickens to a family through World Vision.
  2. Tegu Made with sustainable materials, these magnetic wood blocks are rooted in giving. Tegu created an independent toy factory in Hondoras in order to provide employment and fair wages for the community. In addition, they partnered with a local school that educates many of the children of the families that work at the city trash dump.
  3. Uncharted Play The SOCCKET Original is a portable, power generating soccer ball designed to promote physical activity and spread awareness about the global energy problem.
  4. Wudy Werks, a veteran-owned, Made in America small business, handcrafts these enormous 3D Double X T-Rex puzzles.
  5. Laugh Brand With every purchase, Laugh gives back 30% of profits to fight human trafficking and exploitation.
  6. Plan Toys Fully transparent with their sustainable materials (such as wood from rubber trees & formadelyhyde-free glues) and sustainable manufacturing, Plan Toys gives back with their reforestation program and programs for children in the community.
  7. Yoobi – For every item bought, Yoobi donates an item to their Yoobi Classroom Pack, which is then distributed to classrooms, as determined by Kids in Need Foundation.


Oof. The year I totally forgot about Operation Christmas Child.

Operation Christmas Child shoebox

Oof. Operation Christmas Child boxes are due this week. THIS. WEEK. (What is Operation Christmas Child? Not only does it help children, but it’s a great giving activity with kids. The boys and I put together shoeboxes last year – see it here!) See, I have this blog about giving. And I’ve been consumed with my little startup. And what happens? I let everything slide. Like what?

Giving. This blog. Making giving a priority.

See, I get it. We get busy. Consumed with other things.

But it’s okay. The sweet, wonderful people at Samaritan’s Purse understand. They must really love me. Because let’s be honest, my heart sank when the boys realized it was Operation Christmas Child week. They said “Ooohhh! I can’t wait to do that again this year!” And I realized, but you’re in school all day, and I missed out on shopping with you this weekend, and this week is already looking crazy….

Guys. Samaritan’s Purse made an ‘Build a Shoebox Online‘! They made an interactive process where you can go through, pick out what you want to include in your shoebox, pay a fee and you’re done. They do the rest.

And yes, creating a shoebox online takes away from all those moments when you can walk through the store with your kids, pick out items, pack them up and pray for the child that will receive them.

But I’d so much rather a child receive something than nothing. To know they are loved and cared for. Despite my inability to prioritize our time right now.

For those you who are able to pack a shoebox for a child in need, they must be delivered this week: November 18-25. Find a dropoff location here. Wondering how to pack a shoebox?

Operation Christmas Child Processing

Who knows, maybe I’ll get my act in gear this week. But I’m thankful that even if I don’t, I can build a shoebox online. I encourage you to do the same.

Teaching kids to Share, Save & Spend

Do you give away 1/3 of your income?

Can you imagine all the good that would happen if you did? (I know, I know, foreclosure on your house and inability to pay bills is not what qualifies as “good”…)

Our triplets turn 5 today (which still amazes me) and one gift they will each receive is a Moonjar. We are hoping to teach our children about money (how to think about it, how to be generous, how to share) by using the Moonjar. This modern day piggy bank contains three separate sections: Save, Spend and Share.

(source Moonjar.com)

What a great way to teach kids that if they receive or make money, they will get to save 1/3 of it, spend 1/3 of it and share 1/3 of it with church or a charity of their choice.

Spending money? No one needs to teach children (or adults for that matter) to spend money.

Why should we teach children to share their hard-earned lemonade stand money? It is important for children to know that what they have is a blessing from God. And He does not give it to us to hoard or spend recklessly. He wants us to bless others with His money. And what a great activity to be able to sit down with our kids to talk about how they can bless others!

Why should we teach children to save? It is important to learn to delay gratification and differentiate between needs and wants. Do they really neeeeeeeed that toy or lollipop or whatever? Probably not.

Will our 5 year olds really “get” these lessons? Probably not. But they never will if we don’t introduce it. We’ll see how it goes!