I'm trying to teach the kids about service. Especially serving one another in our own home to try to cut back on some of the arguing. I feel like I spend the entire day stopping arguments, yelling for them to stop bickering and just getting frustrated and arguing myself. Everyone being sick for so long hasn't helped...I have less patience and understanding when I'm not feeling well and tired all the time. So anyway, we decided that December would be a month of service.
We have a warm fuzzy jar that the kids try to fill each day. This is to get them thinking of ways to help and be kind to others. They did great job the first couple of weeks. Then my sister-in-law and her family moved in for 2 weeks and her 1 year old loved to eat the warm fuzzies so we put them away, then we were out of town for Thanksgiving and we've just had a hard time getting back on track. So basically, each kid has a certain color of warm fuzzy and when you they do something nice (share a toy, say 'yes' instead of 'no' to a sibling's request, let the dog out, play with the baby, put away laundry) then they can put a warm fuzzy in the jar. At the end of the day if the jar is full then they get to do something they all can agree on (so far, they've requested to go to 7-11 to get candy nearly every night). We tally the daily warm fuzzies and whoever has the most at the end of the week gets a special prize (one week it was a really cool Lego flat bed truck and trailer).
Another thing we're doing is a service for someone outside of our house each day. Today was our planning day. We made a list of people we want to do things for and some special little decorations to add to a plate of cookies or a loaf of bread. We had to have this preparation day because I can usually only handle one project a day. So if we make a loaf of bread then there is no cutesie decoration going with it, just plain bread. We cut Christmas shapes out of felt and added jewels and furry stuff to dress them up a bit.
Today we're going to make sugar cookies for a person on our list.