Help your child step into the shoes of a child that does not have enough food to eat.
A few weeks back, my younger two kids were playing at a park that has one of those fake mountains for climbing. You know, one of those that’s perfectly suited for the 4-6 year olds who climb it carefully and don’t give their parents mini heart attacks like when the younger kids attempt the climb or when older kids bound over it fearlessly. At one point a few older kids had taken control of the mountain. Each was focused on how to beat the other kids and be higher than everyone else. It reminded me of an episode of National Geographic where the lion cubs are fighting to determine the pecking order.
I do not believe that empathy is something that comes naturally to kids (or many adults for that matter). Yet, empathy can reduce stress, anxiety, and the desire to get to the top as it helps kids realize that they are already at the top in more ways than they realize. It helps them really appreciate what they have and builds compassion within them.
Do you want your child to realize how fortunate they are? Try this empathy exercise –
- Get your kids excited!
Tell your kids that you’re super excited to do a fun project with them! That today you’re going to learn about a charity that helps kids their age that are hungry. One of the charities that does this is called Blessings in a Backpack. They give students in need a backpack of food to take home on the weekends during the school year.
Ask your kids if they’d like to watch a video of two of the students they’ve helped. Press play-
- Chat about what they saw. Here are some questions to help –
- What do you think it’d be like to be in their shoes?
- How would it feel to be hungry?
- Do you think you can learn if you’re hungry?
- Can you tell by looking at someone that they’re hungry?
Use these questions to talk about what it’d be like; what it’d feel like to be hungry and how it’s important to be nice to all kids as you cannot tell what challenges they may be facing.
- How can we help?
- Reinforce what you’ve learned –
- Print this coloring page – (click to link to the coloring page)
- Ask your child to write down three things they learned and then color the backpack
We hope you’ve enjoyed this activity with your kids.
Sign up for our newsletter using the sign-up function on the right-hand side of this page and we will email you when other similar activities or information are posted to I Support Community.