Adventure Challenge: Week 3! Making Smiles

by Mary on April 24, 2012

Time for week 3 of the adventure-a-week challenge! This week’s adventure is a little bit different and at first glance might not seem as obvious as an adventure. However, it did certainly feel like an adventure to my 4 year old! :) And it fits all the rules as outlined in the first post. Specifically, that it must be enjoyable, but doesn’t necessarily have to be entertainment based.

I think we do ourselves and our kids a discredit if we think that enjoyment needs to always come in the form of entertainment. The entertainment industry tries to pump that into us, and I know I’m definitely guilty of it sometimes. But this week’s adventure was certainly enjoyable, and was service related, not entertainment related. And my little one loved it!

All you need for this adventure are your little kids, some blank unlined index cards, and art supplies.

Have your kids decorate the index cards to become bookmarks. If your kids can draw easily on a smaller space, you can cut the index cards in half lengthwise. If you want, you can punch a hole in the top and tie on a ribbon. Just let the kids have fun making the bookmarks, and explain that you’re going to make some new friends and be giving out the bookmarks to people who might be kind of lonely.

Pack everyone in the car and head to a local nursing home. My little one wanted to carry her pictures in a basket to be able to hand them out easily, which I thought was sweet. We had a talk ahead of time about how to behave because I didn’t walk her to walk in and announce “Hey, you’re old, here’s a picture!” Not that I expected that, but you never know what kids might say. I also told her she would need to speak up when talking, because some of them might be a little hard of hearing, and we practiced projecting-without-yelling on the way over. :) I talked it up about how nice it would be to visit some older people who might be kind of lonely, and that making these new friends and making them smile was going to be our adventure. She was gung-ho for it!

Think about what time of day you’ll be going. Maybe even call the nursing home and ask what time of day would be best as far as when the most residents might be out in the public visiting area. We went around 3 or 4 in the afternoon, which was a rather unfortunate time of day … we wanted to visit one gentleman in particular who we know in that nursing home, but he was resting, as it seemed many other people were also resting at that time of day. I think next time we do it, we might go at meal time, and actually have lunch with them, and give little one the chance to visit a little more. Still, even at an apparently nap-ish time of day, there were still several people in the visiting area, and they were happy to see a young face, and my daughter was happy to see them.

Some of the people she visited with had books with them and were able to put their bookmarks to use right away. But really, while its fun for kids to make pictures and such, it’s less about giving the bookmarks themselves than that the bookmarks make an easy way to start a conversation, so your kids can visit with the residents and cheer their day – and so your kids can get into the habit of thinking of others, not just themselves. Definitely an enjoyable and fulfilling adventure to make new friends and make some smiles!

Visit my blog, TheFlourishingAbode, for more creative projects and ideas!

See Earlier Weeks Below:

Adventure Challenge: Week 1! Pirate Nature Hunt

Adventure Challenge: Small Town Explore ~ Week 2!


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