February 19, 2008

Help Your Child Make Her Mark

I found a great website called markmakers, created for children to leave their mark on the world via charity. As we teach our children about preserving the planet, it's important to involve them in the process as opposed to just telling them about it. One of my writing teachers used to say, "Show, don't tell," when it came to writing, and I think that's an ideal way to parent as well.

markmakers invites children to shop around with a pre-purchased gift card, and to spend their money on whichever charity they choose. The "Protect Animals Shop" gives them several options including providing shelter for abandoned animals and protecting whales and dolphins. The "Protect the Environment Shop" allows children to protect the rainforest or coral reefs, or help clean up American rivers, etc. Other shops include "Fight Hunger & Poverty," "Kids in Need," and "Peace and Justice" shop. They can choose a price to pay in many instances, so this activity will also teach them about the value of money. Even spending a dollar can teach them simple math and give them the satisfaction of helping others.

Let your child climb into your lap and do some online shopping that will deliver the goods where they are needed the most. This empowering gesture will sew the seeds of charity that will last a lifetime.

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