I get so excited to see daffodils in bloom. Whilst not my most favourite flower, those little yellow heads pop up every year without fail to greet us and let us know Spring is here! They are a sign of warmer and longer days ahead after the drag of winter. They brighten the world and just make everything look better after it has died off in winter, and they are strong little things that usually survive the random March/April snow showers we usually encounter too.
I think this is why Marie Curie chose it as a symbol for their annual “The Great Daffodil Appeal”. A true sign of strength, reliability, and a little bit of colour, life and hope in a dull and cold season of life.
Having suffered our own loss due to a life limiting illness, we understand the pain and difficulty that comes both with a diagnosis and the grief and pain following. We appreciate those who work to help comfort, walk the journey with you, offer end of life care, and try to alleviate some of the suffering. Marie Curie asked us to reflect on this and to share with you how we can teach kids about the work charities do, and thus inspire them to want to do some good in the world to brighten it for others.
Teaching the work of Charities and Making the Daffodil Appeal work with kids
My children, like most kids have selfish tendencies and get lazy, they are by no means saintly (okay maybe sometimes haha) but on the whole they do have a charitable nature. For a start we shop regularly in charity shops and I always explain to them how our “pennies” will help others. They understand from so many visits to the hospice during my pregnancy and since, that because of the generous donations of others we can enjoy its facilities, and be helped by the lovely people at the hospice. They always nudge me when we see a homeless person and always want to give £1 and help. These things are now our norm and easily in our reach. They are not by any means going to change the world anytime soon, but they are easy ways to help others and teaching them how to give.
I have noticed that kids usually do want to be kind and almost see it as an exciting thing to be able to help others. It makes me happy to see this as we have tried incredibly hard to teach them this both through church and at home. For us I guess we have first hand experience of being on the receiving end of charity work from both the hospice and then SANDS too. They have helped us show and talk to them about charities in action, and so I think choosing a charity to focus on with your kids and explaining it in a way they can understand really helps to plant charitable desires within them.
When thinking about Marie Curie and how we can help them in their appeal this Spring, it therefore only seemed natural that we would too incorporate an idea that is part of our norm like the other ways we have shown charity. I again wanted to show the kids how everyday things can easily help others. We decided to take the symbol of the daffodil, Spring, our love of the outdoors and came up with the idea of a Nature walk. Its a lovely thing and far less strenuous than the last time I raised money for charity.
There are so many lovely places to explore and I bet there are some fab places right on your doorstep. We headed to the park and did a spring-time scavenger hunt, whilst chatting about daffodils and the Marie Curie Charity.
If you would like to do something similar, then plan a manageable route with lovely things to see and find. It might be around a lake/reservoir, some woodland, the beach or like us the park. If appropriate then the Kids could take bikes and scooters too, pack a picnic and away you go. And then, if you felt inclined to support the Daffodil Appeal this year there are 2 ways you can make it work to raise money.
1. Have the people who attend dress in yellow, and pass a pot round at the end for generous donations.
2. Have people pay 50p- £1 each to attend and have a scavenger hunt printed for the kids to do, and of course dress in yellow too if they wish.
Then have fun together. Enjoy nature. Chase nature and talk about its beauty and changing seasons. Chat to the kids about the beauty of the daffodils, their little heads bopping away, and how they can help others see colour and hope in a difficult season of illness.
Ideas to hunt for:
1. Daffodils of different colours
3. A grey stone
4. A bird feather
5. A stick
6. Something yellow
7. Something edible
8. A clover
9. A dandelion clock
11. Snow drops
12. A bug
13. A snail
14. Animal Tracks
15. A puddle
My kids love scavenger hunts, they love to collect natures treasures and they love to know they are helping others too. Things like this bring it down to their level. It simplifies the act of giving to charity and would certainly help them raise money in a way that is easy for them, enjoyable for them and something that they can easily ask their friends to be involved in too.
I Hope we have inspired you to have a blooming great time on a spring nature walk and raise a few kids for those facing terminal illness in the process!