With the arrival of spring and the bunnying of Easter, it can be a challenge to set a tone of otherness, especially with our children. This spring, starting on Easter, consider joining The Overflow Project for 50 days of simplifying, changing and giving.
The Overflow Project challenges big and little people alike to take the 50-Day Challenge. Each participant will simplify their life in some tangible way in order to raise funds to provide clean water for those in need. Through education and simple action, the challenge seeks to offer a lasting and impactful change on both the participants and the recipients. This year at the end of 50 days, the savings will be generously gifted to fund a rain catchment system in Olemegili Village, Kenya through Overflow’s partner organization, World Concern.
One of the benefits of such a challenge is its flexibility to be adapted by those participating. This makes it possible to get the whole family involved.
Here are five ways to engage your young children in the challenge:
- Simplify with your child. Help your children identify toys, clothes, books or media they no longer use. These items can be donated, exchanged with friends, or sold in a yard sale or children’s consignment shop. You could decide to give up treats like visits to an ice cream shop, candy bars at the checkout or Easter baskets. Your challenge might also affect the whole family, such as, eating rice and beans (the staple of most of the world’s diet) one night a week.
- Educate yourself and your family on water issues. While locating Kenya on a map, explain that children around the world often walk miles to fetch drinkable water every day. Use coffee grinds to make a water bottle of dirty water and compare it to your own drinking water. Remind your children of ways to reduce your water consumption – shorten showers, every other day tubbies, catching rainwater to water plants, turning off the faucet while brushing teeth, etc. Try making a tippy tap in your back yard.
- Host a Family Night event in your community. Whether it’s your church, your child’s class or a play group, gather some families and provide hands-on ways to get kids engaged in the challenge. Use this Overflow Project resource to get started.
- Collect change to make a change. Even the youngest kids can gather spare change. Use an old coffee can or oatmeal container to make a penny bank. Let your kids decorate it with reminders of the challenge – maps of Kenya, water droplets, Overflow pictures, etc. Every time you use cash, let your kids keep the change and add it to the container. They could even do extra chores to earn some more change or collect returnables from neighbors.
- Model the behavior. Even if your children don’t get very involved themselves, you can still plant a seed of change by modeling simplicity and generosity. Tell your kids what you’re giving up and why. Follow through. Let them help you count the donation at the end. Just watching you make changes in your life helps them make changes in the future.
Join our family by taking the challenge today!