Giving Your Preschooler the Gift of Giving

Teaching giving to preschoolers

During the holiday season, preschoolers are showered in Santa, cookies, parties, trees and “what do you wants”. It is easy for the little ones to have a hard time figuring out who exactly Christmas is celebrating. There are a lot of ways you can help your preschooler understand that we are to be cheerful givers, not just through the holidays but all year long.

Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. – 2 Corinthians 9:7

There is no joy like the joy you see when a preschooler presents someone with a handmade gift. Focus their tender hearts on giving during this season now, and as they grow older, that joy will only multiply.  Spend some time learning about great givers. Learn about the real Saint Nicholas and how he gave to others as a follower of Christ. Find fun ways to spread joy and love. Here are a few suggestions for teaching your preschooler about giving.

  • Find a fun Preschool appropriate Advent study to help your preschooler learn more about our Savior and His journey. Make service projects part of your Advent. Ornaments and cookies are fun to make and give and there are many ideas for handmade gifts most preschoolers can make with assistance online.
  • One tradition we have is keeping a Nativity set (that is not breakable!) under the tree for the boys to see and play with and as a reminder for us to stop and be thankful during the bustle of this season.
  • Let your child pick out a toy for Toys for Tots or an Angel Tree.
  • Adopt a grandparent or needy family through your church.
  • Do a random act of kindness just because. Leave a $5 gift card for the person behind you in the drive through,  write a note of encouragement and leave it in tucked behind a book when you are shopping for gifts, let your preschooler help with ideas!
  • Take cookies and make time for a visit for a neighbor who does not have family locally.
  • Help put food boxes together or serve food at a shelter as a family. Preschoolers can hand out rolls, clean up dirty plates and bring lots of smiles to those in need.
  • On Christmas morning, have a birthday cake (or pancakes) for Jesus and pick out a gift from Samaritan’s Purse, World Vision, Compassion International or a local organization that your family can give to Him. Do this before opening your gifts!
  • Try to incorporate at least one service project each month throughout the year for your preschooler to really see how important giving is.

There are many wonderful ways to encourage joyful giving, but by far the best is to demonstrate it for your preschoolers.

So when the baking gets overwhelming, the to-do’s get to be too much and the thought of going to one more get-together makes you want to hide behind the Frosty balloon in your neighbor’s yard, pray for someone special to be laid on your heart. Then make time to take them a card, give them a call or surprise them with their favorite cookie or coffee and a prayer.

Train your children in the gift of giving, and it will bless you both!


Saint Nicholas teaching giving to preschoolers If you don’t know much about Saint Nicholas, he is a wonderful godly man who has a special place in the Christmas season that is often overlooked or replaced by Santa Claus. Here is a printable page about his life and deeds, his gift that led to the tradition of stocking and shoes being filled with gifts, and a fun geography game for you to play with your preschooler. Have a very blessed Christmas!



lara headshot Lara is help meet to John and mom to Teddy and Frederick. Before her two bouncing blessings, she was a helper to another homeschool mama. You can find Lara sharing homeschool preschool fun, encouragement, printables and Apraxia awareness over a cup of tea at Lara’s Place and a Cup of Grace.