We are often asked whether Advent of Change is suitable for children, and this got us thinking about the different ways we can teach children about helping those in need and giving to charity at Christmas. Here at Team AoC, we think it is really important to help little ones understand the concept of giving back – and we’d love to help families to do this using Advent of Change.
By setting an example of helping others and “doing good”, we can encourage the next generation to be kind, compassionate, and aware of key social issues and how they can make a difference. We think the festive period is the perfect time to start a conversation with children about helping those who are less fortunate than ourselves – it is the season of goodwill after all!
There are several ways in which you can introduce the subject of charity to children. The amount of detail you go into will, of course, depend, but we would suggest the following tips as starting points:
Use softer language – Take care to discuss charity in a sensitive way with children, so they aren’t frightened by the topics raised. The prospect of navigating difficult subjects can seem overwhelming, so by using gentle language, you can break the subject down and help your children understand it. For example, instead of talking about donating to a charity to help fund chemotherapy treatment for cancer patients, you could talk about someone being poorly, and how, by giving to charity, they can help pay for the medicine to make them feel better.
Make it relatable – Where possible, use examples of charitable giving which children can understand, for example, by giving a toy to a child whose family can’t afford one. This will help youngsters develop empathy for others and also gratitude for what they have – traits which are essential for adult life.
Empower your children – Talking about charity will mean explaining to your children that there are bad things in the world, but by emphasising that they can help make a difference, it will empower them, and encourage them to want to support causes which are important to them throughout their lives.
Make it fun – Fundraising for charity as a family will add a fun element, and will keep children engaged. Why not raise money with a bake sale, teddy bears’ picnic, talent contest, pancake race, or Easter egg hunt?
Focus on the reason why we give to charity – When talking about charity with children, remember to focus on the reason why. For example: “We are giving money to a wildlife charity TO HELP keep wild animals safe and happy in their homes.”
We want Advent of Change to be enjoyed by families, as you discover how you have made a difference as you count down to Christmas together.
That being said, the wording in Advent of Change has not been written specifically with children in mind, so you might wish to think about how to explain each donation to your child, using the tips above. A full list of the charities we represent can be found here – this will give you an impression of the subjects that will be covered in the calendar.
By including charities across different causes, we believe our unique advent calendar raises several important issues for children to learn about, including the protection of the environment, animal conservation and helping children who are less fortunate.
And by breaking down the donations into £1 segments each day, Advent of Change is relatable for children as it could be compared to ‘pocket money’ - showing them that they have the power to change lives across the world.
If you are planning are share Advent of Change with children this year, and would like to know more information regarding what is behind each door and the topics that are covered please do contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we would be delighted to help.
*Photos are of Oscar, aged 10 with his very own Advent of Change and were kindly sent by his mummy, Gemma.
“Here at Advent of Change, we think Christmas is the perfect time to talk to children about charities and the causes they represent. It might sound clichéd, but children really are the future, and by helping them to understand kindness and empathy towards those who are less fortunate from a young age, we will build a strong, compassionate generation who want to make a difference to the world they live in.” – Rachel, Head of Copywriting.