* NOTE: Picture above is not final product. Apparently, this needs to dry for 4 days until I bake it for final results.
“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity to sin; but through love serve one another.” – Galatians 5:13
It’s the “helpfulness” week at Meaningful Mama. “What can I do to help?” is music to my ears. Wouldn’t any mother agree? I love having a week to focus on this important skill. If you aren’t familiar with my character development series, I encourage you to look under the character development tab and start looking around. You will find the “helpfulness” tab, which will have 8 activities, including this one. We still have our helpfulness necklace in play from last year. The girls have really responded to having this acknowledgement of the ways I see them aspiring to be helpful.
What I have created in this lesson is another post about positive reinforcement. What we want to establish are good habits. With kids, it is often times an act of helping them repeat the behavior that is desirable. Acknowledgement in words and rewards will continue to draw out the behavior until it because a natural part of who they are and how they behave.
Today we created a coin jar. It is a simple craft with an important purpose. The idea is that this jar receives a coin every time a child helps without being asked. There are three lines on the jar with three rewards growing in desirability. Once the coins reach the first level, the kids get to decide if they take that reward immediately or if they keep working toward the higher goal. I would encourage you to make this gift more about time. Offering fancy toys isn’t as effective as offering yourselves. It may cost a bit of money or it may not, but even when kids cannot verbalize it, what they want more than anything is you. We decided to make the first level a drive-thru Starbucks and trip to the park. The second tier will be a trip to our favorite frozen yogurt store. The third tier is a dinner date to Chuck E Cheese. The money collected in the jar will help pay for whatever reward they get. You can make it not about money at all too. You could put in Cheerios or legos – anything that can build up toward an acknowledgement of how helpful they are becoming. I am definitely pro-reward though. Yes, you want them to learn, intrinsically, that it just feels good to do the right thing. You want them to see a higher purpose in following God’s ways just for the pleasure of glorifying God. There are times when rewards are not necessary. I don’t think a child should expect something every time they do the right thing. However, in the real world there are physical rewards as well. If you work hard at your job, a promotion may be in sight. There are appropriate times to reward children with something tangible. I have heard it said, “You get what you celebrate.” I thought I had written a post on that, but I can’t find it, so you might receive that post in the future. It’s a quote I have heard from one of my mentors, the Pritchards. This activity is a way for us to celebrate successes. It’s a great way to turn around the atmosphere of your home. Encourage the phrase, “What can I do to help?” to become a more used term in your household.
For this project you will need glass paint, a jar, paint brush or paint sponge, paint pen (optional), and painters tape.
I put painters tape on the upper and lower part of the jar so that Kenzie could paint the center section.
Once the middle layer dried, I pulled back the tape and helped Kenzie paint the upper and lower quadrants.
After those layers dried, I used my glass paint pent to write on the rewards on the different layers. You can write them down or leave them blank so that you can have other options in the future. I liked the thought of painting with a more transparent glass paint so we could see the money building up.
You can go to Welsh Purple Tree to see how glass paint dries. We didn’t get a final product today because apparently it takes 4 days for this paint to dry before you can bake it. Who knew? Excited to see the final product, but in the mean time we will work on encouraging our kids to build up those coins.