“Oh, who are the people in your neighborhood?
In your neighborhood?
In your neighborhood?
Say, who are the people in your neighborhood?
The people that you meet each day!”
Friday September 23 not only marks the beginning of Autumn but it is also a day to celebrate “Good Neighbor Day”. Being a good neighbor is part of developing a good moral character in children. Even so much so that Sesame Street made a catchy song about getting to know the people in your neighborhood for children to remember. Knowing the people in your neighborhood creates opportunity for friendships to blossom as well as increases safety awareness and security among neighbors.
Being a good neighbor can involve making a little welcome basket full of treats to a new family that has moved in, or helping a neighbor do a physically challenging chore. In the days where most are tempted to keep their windows closed and their doors locked and stick to themselves, there is a disadvantage that is created for the younger generation. Children may not have a chance to bond with an older adult that lives next door and learn good, wholesome wisdom that has come from fruitful life experience. Children may not learn about respecting others and others property, or about having sympathy for a neighbor who may be sick or going through a difficult time. Let this Friday be the beginning of teaching children what it means to be a good neighbor. Here is a great activity to get started.
This activity will help small children become familiar not only with the people they live next to, but also the older generation within their community. It will also teach them the joy of making others happy:
What To Do:
1. Pick four houses on your street to deliver cookies to, preferably someone unknown. Have the children make a small card to accompany the treats.
2. Call a local nursing home and arrange a time to bring the children for a 30 minute visit.
3. Talk to the children about what they might see at the nursing home. Mention that some of the people there might not hear or see very well, and might be in wheelchairs. Remind the children that the people in the nursing home were children once long ago. Emphasize friendliness, smiles and warmth.
4. On the day of the visit, have the children make pictures or cards to pass out to the people at the nursing home.
5. Have children pass out cards and cookies to the residents (check first about dietary restrictions.)
From: the GIANT encyclopedia of theme activities for ages 2 to 5