Giving Families' Good Mail Challenge for September 2016

While teaching Kindergarten for 12 years, I realized how much my students enjoyed mimicking the actions of adults. As a result, I was constantly looking for ways to use everyday, household items in the classroom.

I quickly learned that empty food containers were popular items in our kitchen center, but needed to be replaced often, and envelopes were in short supply because kids REALLY enjoyed writing letters to their friends, stuffing them in an envelope, and affixing a stamp.  

With the school year just starting, I know parents are eager to support their children's teachers and thought this would be a fun way to do so. After accepting the challenge ourselves, we collected all these boxes and bottles in less than two weeks:

While waiting to donate our items, my two kids - Harper and Frank - had fun sorting everything into different groups (like boxes and bottles), matching lids to containers (which is a GREAT activity for little ones because it helps increase fine motor skills), and practicing their reading skills (as words found in environmental print are some of the easiest to learn).

I also enlisted the kids help to open up our junk mail and remove any of the "Business Reply Mail" envelopes. Between credit card offers, campaign and nonprofit solicitations, and bills that I now pay online, we were able to collect seven. Knowing this challenge was coming sooner or later however, I'd started saving envelopes over a year ago (see below). It's amazing how quickly they add up so if you enjoy this challenge start saving them from now on to donate periodically throughout the year.

We also made a trip to the post office to purchase some 1¢ so we could donate them along with the envelopes. For $2, we were able to purchase ten sheets, or 200 stamps, which is a trick I learned while teaching; not only are they a lot cheaper than stickers, they're REAL...and kids dig that!

By the end of this challenge, we had assembled a pretty nice little package to deliver. The kids and I are excited to go back to their old preschool and see last year's teachers. I'll post photos when we do. We'd love to see your photos too! Please tag them with @GivingFamilies to make sure we do. Thanks...and have fun!

    

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Extend the activity...

Reflect on your experiences by printing off a copy of our journaling page. You can answer the questions on the front, and then draw a picture of you and your family completing the Challenge on the back!

 

  

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