Planting, Gardening, and Involvement in the Community!

“If children learn healthy habits they can pass them on to their family … to help create a greater, healthier community,” Gillespie said.  Gillespie works for Jim Hill who is a retired San Bernardino County sheriff’s Sgt. and the executive director of Squash-4-Friends Farm.  Last week, children worked together to build a fence for a Squash-4-Friends 2 farm where kids can come together with their family and friends to plant the garden, pick the vegetables and fruit, and take the produce home.

This sense of community allows children to eat healthy and learn about community responsibility and involvement.  As always, if your child or someone you know has been contributing to the community and showing leadership skills, let us know, and we will feature them! To read this entire article, click here.

RidgeProject gets kids and tractors involved in cleaning up!

The organization RidgeProject cleaned up their biggest project to date on Saturday with over 200 kids recruited to help!  Football players used their strength to help bag and throw away heavy loads of trash. There were over 500 trash bags that were donated by Walmart, and four large waste containers filled to the brim!  Everyone’s efforts helped clean up the north and south of China Lake Boulevard.

Community service is what helps our environment stay clean, as well as, brings family, friends, and our community closer together.  If you know a child who has been involved with giving back to their community, let us know, and we will feature them in our Random Act of Kid-ness!  To read this entire article, click here.

Kind-hearted Kids Honoured at the Fourth Annual “Kids Helping Kids” Celebration!

Toddlers and teens excitedly celebrate at a party in Calaway Park organized by the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation. More than 300 kids helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to help injured children in their community! Together they will be celebrating this incredible achievement with games, prizes, and awards.

The foundation will announce “The Hero Award,” which is a “heartwarming distinction granted to a Kids Helping Kids participant who exemplifies a sense of community.” At the Zimmer Children’s Museum we love to see our toddlers, teens, and even parents involved in contributing to their community.  If your child, or someone you know has inspired those around him/her in their community, let us know and we can feature them in our Act of Kid-ness blog!

Random Act of Kid-ness: Fresh Lemonade!

This week’s Random Act of Kid-ness comes to us from Sioux City, Iowa, where community members are setting up lemonade stands to raise money for their local Children’s Museum.  Children around the area are invited to participate and set up their own lemonade stand to get their community involved with this random act of kindness.  Stands were located in front of the Hy-Vee on Gordon Drive.

We love reading about community involvement and the efforts made towards creating a new, educational environment for children.  You can read the full article here. As always, let us know if you know a kid who has done a Random Act of Kid-ness, and we might feature her or him next week!

Spread Light. Give Love. Make Joy. : A Special Blog Post from Our Museum Director

Whether you and your family celebrated Diwali last week or are now making preparations for Hanukkah, Christmas or Kwanzaa, this is a time of year where people around the world seek ways to bring light to the darkness of winter. While many of us will be lighting candles, exchanging gifts and enjoying sweet treats, we at the Zimmer Children’s Museum encourage families to carve out some time (and a bit of your budget) to be Joy Makers outside the walls of our own houses.

As parents, you have the brightest source of light there is. Kids! So as we approach the shortest day of the year, here’s our challenge to you: use your children. To spread light, give love and make joy, that is. 🙂

On Thanksgiving morning, I was out with my own 2 year-old son on a neighborhood walk. He was so excited that the day had arrived that he wished (okay, nearly accosted) every person we passed with “Happy Thanksgiving!” Without fail, he got responses. Delighted, grateful responses. I didn’t know any of those people we met that day. I don’t know if any of them were really moved by his sweet smiling face, but I also don’t know that they weren’t. Maybe someone was spending the holiday alone and needed that excited reception that so many of us look forward to on holidays. Maybe he helped someone to just stop, put down their phone and have a real-life human connection. Maybe. Or maybe not. But what I do know is he only made their days better even if in the smallest way. And that it made him so happy! Win win.

Our friends at Hasbro have a great catalog of ideas for you and your family to be Joy Makers this season. Whether the recipient is a neighbor, a stranger, a soldier or even a furry friend, what’s important is that our children know that being a Joy Maker need neither be expensive nor difficult. And that the return is always great for the giver. And thanks to Hasbro, this year the return is even greater because for every act of giving entered on their website, Hasbro will donate a toy this holiday season to a deserving child. Win win win.

So maybe this year, instead of a gift exchange, have each person/family bring $10. When they arrive tell them they have 30 minutes to spend that on a good deed for someone who isn’t expecting it. No limits. No rules. Just make someone’s day brighter. Then reconvene for those sweet treats and share your stories.

Or pick a project and ask families you know to participate. Collect gently used clothing or canned goods to donate. Send small stuffed animals to deployed soldiers to give to children as peace offerings. Play games at a senior center. On just stand on the corner and give compliments. The possibilities are endless.

And like anything, kindness takes practice but can develop into a habit. There’s no better time to start than today.

With Joy,

Julee Brooks

Museum Director

Zimmer Children’s Museum

PS — Please share with the Zimmer what you’ve done! While we encourage selfless acts, we also think that we can inspire each other!

Random Act of Kid-ness: Mitzvah Chefs

This week’s Random Act of Kid-ness comes to us from the Bay Area, where first through eighth graders at Peninsula Temple Sholom prepare and deliver meals to local residents in need. This program, called Mitzvah Chefs, is based on the ideas of mitzvah, meaning charity or good deed, and tikkun olam, or helping/repairing the world.

The temple’s Youth Director Yael Zaken says,

“It’s really important to start within your own community. And [we teach them] for it to be not only the people of your religion or ethnicity or race. We make sure we have a discussion about the best ways to make the world a better place.”

That sounds familiar, doesn’t it? At the Zimmer, every single one of our exhibits focuses on learning human values such as respect for others, helping those in need , generosity, and making the world a better place. We are focused on the BIG IDEAS of global citizenship, community responsibility, and cultural sensitivity.

Click here to read more about Mitzvah Chefs.

What can you do to make the world a better place? Why not start by playing your way to a better world at the Zimmer?

Random Act of Kid-ness: Love in the Mirror

This week’s Random Act of Kid-ness comes to us from Long Beach, CA, where 7 year old Jonas founded Love in the Mirror. Love in the Mirror is a charitable organization that “strives to inspire young people to make a difference through their volunteer commitment of providing needy and homeless youth basic necessities such as food, clothing and learning materials.” Jonas founded the organization in 2009 to help kids in need by collecting items that he felt they should not live without.

Jonas says:

I want to help kids because they don’t have food, clothes, toys and some don’t go to school. I want to help them out so they can feel happy for themselves and thankful for people like me. It makes me feel happy that I am helping and that is why I wanted to start Love in the Mirror. 

I chose the name because it reminds me of a song and the song makes me think of people who don’t have toys and clothes and because every kid should look in the mirror and love themselves.

Check out the events that Jonas and Love in the Mirror have planned, and let us know if you’ve been inspired like we have!

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“Once you begin to acknowledge random acts of kindness – both the ones you have received and the ones you have given – you can no longer believe that what you do does not matter.” -Dawna Markova