Monday, 4 August 2014

Making it Real for my Son

Before I start with my actual entry, I want to recommend the following blog entry, written by Hannah Hinojosa, to those who haven't read it yet. 

Involve Your Small Children In Child Sponsorship

This post of hers got me thinking for sure. Until reading it, I hadn't really thought about how to involve my own two-year-old-son more actively in child sponsoring.

I did tell him about the kids at times and I write letters when he is around, but because of his age, I never really asked him if he'd like to help.

After reading Hannah's entry, this changed completely.

I copied her idea about a photo book and Finn loves it. I add a "soundtrack" to the book.

We have a really cute and short German song for kids about you going some place on the train, but of course going alone is boring, so you add a friend's name to the verse, which you then repeat so many times until everyone joins in on the train ride.

 The song goes like this:
"Tuff Tuff Tuff the Choo Choo train, who wants to go to the zoo with me? Don't want to go alone, so I ask ........ to come with me."

Finn loves trains and that song especially; he can sing it for hours. Now we often sit down with the photo book and go through it and sing the song over and over again, adding all our Compassion kids to the song. He's learning the names of all the kids rapidly now.


While Hannah's son loves drawing and painting,  Finn isn't much into artwork - at least not all the time, so sending coloring pages he did to our kids isn't possible at the moment. Still I found ways for him to help me: by decorating with stickers.

He helps me add stickers to the letters or chooses coloring pages to send to the kids. For July though we made something special. I got a few simple cards and asked Finn if he'd like to add his hand print to all of them. He totally loved the idea.

I spread the "work" over a couple of days to keep him interested in the artwork and that worked out just fine.

When I sent the cards off, I told all my kids just how special those cards are to me, because it was the first time that Finn actually helped with their letters.

Sadly I only took a photo of the first four we made.



To make our Compassion family a little "more real" to Finn, I had the following idea:

I used a rainy day for another artwork afternoon. I got a world map and a bigger cardboard, as well as stickers with the photos of our kids on them. Finn helped me glue the world map onto the cardboard and we spread the stickers of our sponsor and correspondence kids around the map. Finn pointed out where he wants to have the stickers and we placed them there together. While we did that, I kept pointing out where each of the kids live. Since we have "only" twelve kids in total, one side beside the world map was left free so I added the countries and the kids' names to finish the whole map off.

Once we finished our work, Finn asked me to hang the poster up in his room. So now our little piece of art is hanging on Finn's wardrobe, where he can see it from his bed.


Yesterday I started writing the first Christmas letters to our Compassion kids while Finn played on the balcony. He came over every few minutes to see what I was doing, eventually he wanted to sit down beside me and draw.

With this blog I want to thank Hannah so much for inspiring me to involve Finn more into the sponsorship and the letter writing. I will continue to ask Finn to help me more when I write to the kids, to add stickers, or to choose coloring pages or paper goodies to send. I will make sure to tell him even more about his Compassion siblings. And I hope to post more ideas how to involve young kids in the coming months.




3 comments:

  1. I loved your post!! I'm so glad that what I shared inspired you. And thanks for sharing your thoughts…now you have given me ideas for Juanito!!!!

    I love the idea of the train song!!! Juanito loves singing long, repetitive songs like that…my mum taught us a similar one about going on a picnic with everyone's names… I think I might teach Juanito the song and put the kids' names!! He'd love that!!

    And your map came out so neat!! You reminded me of a velcro map that my mum gave us for Christmas for when the kids get bigger. There are velcro animals that can stick to the appropriate continents. I should put velcro on the back of the kids' photos and add them to the map too. Now I'm excited to go dig it out!! Would you mind if I blog about the map once we make it? And if I shared your post as my inspiration?

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    Replies
    1. I wouldn't mind that one bit. And I'd love to see your map!

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  2. I love that you have started involving your son! Blessings to you

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