Our annual food and toy drive was bigger and more fun than ever this year! We were joined by the Kindness Elves (including 3 baby Kindness Elves) and Pete the Cat. We were also joined by a baby (my 9-month-old grandson, Caleb), and a toddler (my 12-month-old granddaughter, Sophia). My other granddaughter, Zoey, is now 5 years old and ready to take on more duties in our food and toy drive.
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The Kindness Elves and Pete the Cat Are a Fun Way to Encourage Participation in a Food and Toy Drive
We started participating in food and toy drives with Zoey three years ago when Zoey was 2 years old. The Kindness Elves met Pete the Cat and had a note that said “Let’s go to the food and toy drive with Pete the Cat and give it our all!”
“Give it our all” refers to a special message from Pete the Cat Saves Christmas. I love the message and song that runs through the book. While the book isn’t that understandable for babies and young toddlers, the song from it is still perfect:
“Give it your all, give it your all.
At Christmas we give,
so give it your all.”
You can listen to and learn the tune for the song at Harper Collins sing-along version of the book.
We continued to use Kindness Elves and Pete the Cat in our food and toy drive in 2016.
Our Pete the Cat Saves Christmas Doll joined us again in 2017 with the Kindness Elves (now a family with a baby). In addition to focusing on Pete the Cat Saves Christmas, we read books about hunger and poverty to give Zoey a deeper understanding about why we do the food and toy drive each year. (Update: The Pete the Cat Saves Christmas Doll is no longer available, but you could probably use a Pete the Cat plush doll with a cat or dog Santa hat if you want a Christmas version of Pete the Cat.)
Our 2018 Food and Toy Drive Is Joined by the Kindness Elves, Pete the Cat, a Baby, and a Toddler
Zoey and I had already participated in an Angel Tree through our church this year, but our family continues to have our own food and toy drive each year, too.
This year, I felt Zoey was mature enough to choose the toy for our toy drive. Younger children might have a difficult time picking out a toy when they aren’t getting one themselves. I was so impressed with Zoey’s attitude. She picked out a LEGO Friends kit that she felt a girl would like.
Then my daughter, Christina (Zoey’s aunt) suggested we add a book this year. I loved the idea, so we asked Zoey to choose a book for a girl. She happily chose 5 Minute Princess Stories, a book Zoey loves that a friend of hers had given Zoey for her birthday. It isn’t a Montessori-style book, but it is one that a girl will be very happy to receive.
Both Zoey’s mom and dad (my daughter-in-law, Chea, and my son, Will) were able to join us in our food and toy drive this year, too! After Zoey packed her toy and book gift bag, she helped her dad put the food for the food drive in another gift bag at the checkout.
Sophia, Zoey, and Caleb were all happy to have a turn with Pete the Cat.
We had 3 baby Kindness Elves this year. Every now and then, the Kindness Elves shop includes a baby Kindness Elf with your order. If you follow the Bits of Positivity Facebook page and Living Montessori Now Facebook page, you can find out when those special sales are held. Zoey was so excited that we had 3 baby Kindness Elves in addition to our regular Kindness Elves! The baby Kindness Elves are a bit small for babies and young toddlers, so Zoey was entrusted with the babies this year.
Will took a photo of Chea, Sophia, Christina, Caleb, Zoey, and me turning in the gifts at the Salvation Army Christmas table.
Every food and toy drive has been fun, but this year was extra fun. I’m looking forward to future years with our growing crew! 🙂
The Ultimate Guide to Kindness Elves
I’ve collected Kindness Elf activities and ideas since they first came out in 2013. You can find all of my Kindness Elf posts in my Ultimate Guide to Kindness Elves.
I’d love to hear if you’re participating in a food and/or toy drive!
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