Jul 12

Get the kids involved for 67 minutes of kindness

Your kids might not yet know who Nelson Mandela is, but it is important that we teach them about this great leader, his values and all he did for South Africa! We celebrate Mandela day every year on the 18th of July and you might not be sure how to get your child involved, so we came up with a couple of ideas:

Get details of 3 charities close to you or charities that your children would be interested in (my kids would love the SPCA or any animal shelter for that matter). Show them pictures and read some statements to them so that they can make an informed decision. Decide as a family what you would like to do there. 67 minutes with small kids at a charity might not be easy, so make sure to invite a few extra family members with on the day.

Better yet… Let’s make it 6 to 7 Days of Kindness!

13 July: Make a few sandwiches and pack some old magazines – hand it out to someone in need. Play with the numbers 6 and 7 – try packing lunches for 6 or 7 people. If you have older kids, ask a few mathematical questions and timetables using 6 and 7 while driving around in the car.

14 July: Let each family member donate 6 or 7 items to the nearest orphanage. These items can be clothes that no longer fit, toys that they don’t play with or everyday items that they longer use or need. Get everyone involved when selecting the items. Arrange to spend some quality time at the orphanage. (Boardgames or colouring books can be gifts that keep on giving).

15 July: Make a veggie garden on your sidewalk with a sign saying, “Please help yourself”. Or plant the vegetables in your yard and hand out the veggies to the less fortune once there is a harvest available.

16 July: Pack a few care packages containing toiletries, it doesn’t need to be expensive and keep them in the car for when ever you drive past a someone in need! This can teach the kids that the things we use daily, is a luxury for someone living in the streets.

17 July: Take the kids to visit an old age home or hospital close by. It is sad how many of the elderly are neglected in our country or people that are in hospital without any visitors coming to see them. Arrange with someone in charge beforehand, to avoid any disappointment. The kids could have their own 46664 concert at the old age home.

18 July: 67 Minutes of Kindness and bake a cake, have the kids decorate it and celebrate the wonderful man Mandela was. Make this a fun, yearly tradition.

19 July:  Spend some time investing in your own community – take the pram out for a stroll and pick up litter in the streets or clean up the nearest park.

Swop the days around or tweak the activities a bit to make them age-appropriate for your kids, but let us get down and dirty and show are kids how important it is to “fight poverty and promote peace, reconciliation and cultural diversity” as stated on Mandela’s behalf for the Mandela Day campaign. 

Other activities include:

  • Make a list of qualities Mandela had and show them examples of where they could “Live like Madiba”. If we can install his values from a young age – just imagine the bright future of our beloved country!
  • Download your favourite version of Viva Madiba song and have the kids dance to the song.
  • As per ‘The Mpumalanga News’ Mandela loved samp and beans, oxtail, sweet chicken, dumplings and ice cream with custard for dessert. Cook some of his favourite dishes and enjoy it as a family during the month of July, while telling them about the role Mandela played in South Africa.
  • Mandela spent most of his 27 years in jail on Robben Island. Get a map and show them pictures of the island, explain what an island is and why Mandela was arrested in the first place.

One of Mandela’s favourite quotes was “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”, so let’s educate our young ones this Mandela Day!

Article by Zanje Kromhout

English