family fun

Family Activities and Life Lessons: Teaching Kids the Simple Joys in Life

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Life Lessons—The other day I looked out my back window and saw this beautiful sight. Yes, it is a dump truck unloading dirt.

I couldn't wait to tell my kids when they got home from school that we had received 25 loads of precious dirt. I decided to text a few of them instead. "Guess what surprise came to our house today?" Now you might be asking, why is this family so happy about something as simple as dirt? What you need to know about us is that we love dirt biking. Our kids have built a mini race track in our back yard and spend hours building ramps, turns, and jumps. They are on the quest to build the perfect track. The day our dirt came the kids played for hours in the mounds of rich, dark soil. Who knew that free dirt could bring so much happiness?

I have thought a lot about this day, especially with the holidays right around the corner. I am already starting to wonder what I should buy the kids this year. Then I stop and ask myself if they really need anything? In an effort to scale back on Christmas, a few years ago we started a new tradition. Each child could have four presents.

  • Something You Want
  • Something You Need
  • Something You Wear
  • Something You Read
We try and limit how much we give our children. We want them to focus on the true meaning of the season. Together as a family, we think of who we can serve or help. In the past we have had fun buying Christmas for a less fortunate family, going to a local nursing home and sharing our talents, and served food at a homeless shelter. There are so many things we can do to help our kids focus on the give instead of the get. I am happy to do away from the page long wish lists. There is so much joy in the simple things, some of which don't cost any money. For my family, we will remember that we can be happy with anything, including dirt!

What are some of your favorites gifts that don't cost money? What does your family do to focus on giving instead of receiving?

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