I have heard people say that it is better to give than to receive, but I never realized there was actually a verse in the Bible that states this. Acts 20:35 says "I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.' (emphasis added)" We have been endeavoring to instill this into our children for a while. We don't want them to think Christmas is all about "me, me, me" or just about getting gifts. First and foremost Christmas is about Jesus. We have always said we exchange gifts because the wise men brought presents to Jesus. The children will go to the thrift shop and purchase gifts for each other and for mommy and daddy. So Christmas has been about giving others gifts as well as receiving gifts. While they think this is fun, I do want to make sure they understand why we do this. I was excited to get the chance to receive Corine Hyman's new activity book, Why I Give as an opportunity to "embrace a spirit of giving" not just at Christmas time but throughout the year.
Why I Give is a downloadable ebook full of coloring pages, journal pages, activity pages and craft ideas. It is a companion book to Corine Hyman's picture book, Why We Give Gifts at Christmas Time. While I received a copy of the activity book as a member of the Launch Team, Corine also sent me a copy of the storybook as a thank you. I can't tell you how much we appreciate her generosity!
Why We Give Gifts at Christmas Time is a sweet story that focuses on Evelyn who goes around to all her friends asking why they give at Christmas time. The answers she receives vary from why her friends give, to some actual things they do to give and with what kind of attitude. Each reason is also accompanied by a Bible verse emphasizing what her friend says. Though I love the premise behind this book and the fun, colorful drawings I do I have to say I found it a bit repetitious However, the children have all said they enjoyed it very much and we have read it more than once, so that tells me it is a hit in our house.
The activity book, Why I Give, focuses on each of the reasons given in the story book. Though it is wonderful to have the story to read, you do not need it to use the activity book with your child(ren). As I stated above, there are several different kinds of pages included in this book. I chose to print out the entire book one time so I would have the craft/gift ideas printed out for myself. However, I then only printed out the coloring, journal and activity pages a second time. And then for the younger children I only printed the coloring pages.
Coloring page, journal page, activity page
Craft/Gift Idea pages
I have arranged each child's book in order for now to keep myself organized. By "in order" I mean that the coloring page is always followed by the activity page and journal page.
Each day when we work on the book we start with the coloring page. I also read (or have the older girls read) the top of the page and we read the Bible verse.
The first page they got to color is actually the cover of the book. It is hard to tell from the picture, but it says Why I Give with a picture of a gift and then By:__________, where they write their name.
Here is the first page which states "I give because it reminds me of God giving me the gift of His only son Jesus." This is a shortened version of what you will find in the story book.
For this first journal page they were to write or draw some ways they could give as a reminder of God's love.
So far the only activity page we have done was the first one which was tic-tac-toe, which the girls loved playing with each other and with me. Some other activity pages included are filling in the missing letters to find words to form into what the Bible verse says, matching the shapes of the words to learn the Bible verse, figuring out how many squares are in the picture of a gift, and crossing out letters to reveal the Bible verse. I just love the way we get to focus on the Biblical verses and that the children really get to think about why they are giving and how we can give. Corine Hyman also included a page of ideas to choose from that we may want to try as a family. Also included are Scripture Cards that we can use to play Go Fish or a matching memory type game with by printing out two of each. I figured we would wait until we get through the entire book and then we would be able to play with them to help reinforce what we have learned.
I love that craft/gift ideas have been included. In my opinion the crafts do not really need to be done in any particular order. There are some lovely ideas for gifts to give to loved ones and friends. We actually started out by making Bird Seed Cakes for our feathered friends.
Not only did we make them for the birds, the girls also decided we were going to give some of the cakes to their friends so they could also feed the birds. We gave a couple to our neighbor and some to a friend at story hour.
We are looking forward to making several more of these crafts. I love that she includes the list of needed materials, detailed instructions and a picture of the finished product (for those of us who are visual, that is wonderful). Here is a list of the crafts included:
- Bird Seed Cakes
- No-Sew Fleece Blanket
- Bottle Cap Magnets
- Thank You Extra Hand
- Rock Paperweight
- Personalized Mug
- Heating Pad
- Flavored Popcorn
- Decorated Notebook
- Candle Holder
We are going to continue with this book throughout this month as we prepare for Christmas. When we finish all the pages I plan to staple the coloring pages together to make a book and the journal pages together to make a separate book. I haven't decided whether I will make the activity pages into a book or just include them with the coloring pages or just put them with the children's other school work.
If you would like to instill in your children the importance of having a giving spirit I would highly recommend both Why We Give Gifts at Christmas Time and the activity book, Why I Give. The storybook is $16.95 and the downloadable activity book is only $4.99 and can be used with all the children in your immediate family.
I have been given the opportunity to offer one copy of the activity book to one reader of my blog.
All you need to do is enter in the Rafflecopter form below. There are only 3 simple mandatory entries, with the remainder of the entries being optional. Remember, you do not have to do the extra entries, but they will increase your odds of winning.
This giveaway is now over!
This giveaway is open to US residents 18 and over.
The giveaway runs December 7-13, 2013.
Thanks for stopping by and good luck!
Disclosure: I received the Why I Give Activity Book by Corine Hyman as a member of a Launch Team and in exchange for my honest review. I received no further compensation, though I did receive a copy of the story book Why We Give at Christmas Time as a thank you. I was not required to review the storybook. This did not in any way influence my review. I only recommend products I use personally and feel will be a good products for my readers.