5 Acts of Giving for the Toddler Whose Favorite Word is MINE


Goodbye, cute yard ghosts and squishy rotted jack-o-lanterns! We’re going to miss the copious amounts of Reese’s-shaped pumpkins. What I am not going to miss is my spy-like toddler screaming MINE when he senses my hand in the vicinity of his candy bucket. I can’t sugar coat it; I cringe when the word mine flies out of his mouth. He’s almost 3 so naturally, he’s in the non-sharing phase. As we say goodbye to Halloween and enter the giving season, what better time than now to teach him about giving.

It may possibly be the first holiday season he clearly remembers.  So this season of life would be the best time to start instilling the importance of sharing and giving. I put together 5 giving activates that he can actively participate in.

Giving Season: 5 Acts of Giving for the Toddler Whose Favorite Word is MINE

1. Blessing Bags

Take a trip to Target and graze down the travel-size toiletry items. Let your little one pick out a variety of shampoos, deodorants, toothpaste, and toothbrushes. Next, make your way down the snack aisle and pick non-perishable goodies and water bottles. Grab gallon zip-lock bags and have your toddler pack one of each item. Keep the bags in your car and the next time you’re out with your kids and see a person in need, hand them out. This is a great year-round activity not only for the giving season.

2. Clean Out the Toybox Black Hole

We’re all guilty of buying the toy to avoid a tantrum at Target. Those tantrum toys get about a week of use and wind up in the toybox black hole.  Have your kiddos dump out the toy box and pick 5 toys that they no longer use. This may cause a ruckus, but take the time to talk about the importance of giving. As a family donate them. Here are several organizations to consider donating to in El Paso:

3. Food Pantry Donations

Another simple giving season activity is food donations. Bring out the mini shopping cart and have your toddler shop in the pantry for cans they would like to donate. This is the perfect time to teach about food insecurity. Toddlers understand when they are hungry and can communicate it. They can understand a lesson on the importance of donating food to the local food pantry like the El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank.

4. Bake Cookies

Who doesn’t love a warm chocolate chip cookie?  Pull out the baking supplies and get to baking with your little chef. Talk to your toddler about baking these cookies for their neighbors. Have them decorate a box to gift them in. The giving season is a perfect time for a random act of kindness like sharing a sweet treat.

5. Give a Book

My little man has duplicates of several of his favorite bed time books. We separate them and save them to donate any chance we get. If you haven’t heard, the United Way of El Paso has opened a Book Nook in Sunland Park Mall. This spot is such a great space for all ages to stop and enjoy a book. It is one of our favorite spots. The United Way Book Nook gladly takes book donations to share with the community. The donation of a book during giving season is thoughtful and thought provoking. A donated book can spark the imagination of a child that may have not had the opportunity otherwise.

Toddlers love big, and are self centered at the same time! How could they not be? One minute we give them all they want. The next we are asking them to share it. The hope is with these 5 simple activates I can begin to instill the importance of giving.  At the very least the hope is that the toddler who’s favorite word is “mine” turns into the toddler that loves to give!

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Vickie Enriquez
Victoria Enriquez is known to her family and friends as Vickie. She was born and raised in El Paso and spent some time away after grad school launching her career in engineering. By day she is an Environmental, Health, and Safety Engineer, and by night mama to Emiliano, Emi for short. She has been married to her husband Roger since July of 2015. She is a coach’s wife and loves every second of their sports-filled, busy lives! In the fall, you can find her and Emi in the football stands, and in the spring, you’ll find them on the baseball diamond cheering on their #1 guy. In 2018 she became a mom to a perfect rainbow baby, Emiliano. He is a true miracle in her and her husband’s life, and he is the center of their world. Her husband and son are the greatest joys. Vickie spends her free time volunteering with the Junior League of El Paso giving back to her community. She wants her son to grow up in a life of service and giving back, teaching him kindness and compassion. Follow Vickie on Instagram here.



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