Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Autumn Activities for the Family

Autumn is the perfect time for making memories with your family. From engaging outdoor adventures to creating beautiful fall crafts, there’s no shortage of fun to be had this season. Take a look at some of our ideas for some fun autumn activities for the whole family:

Get Outside
Now that it’s the peak of autumn, it’s the perfect time to take your family for an outdoor adventure. Go on a nature walk and encourage your kids to take up a curiosity and passion for the outdoors. One great way to do is to bird watch. Encourage your kids to spot and identify as many birds as they can. Continue this curiosity at home by building a birdhouse or bird feeder together.

Collect Leaves
Another great way to encourage their interest in nature can be through leaf collecting. Encourage them to collect leaves throughout the season, identify which trees they come from, and write that information down in a leaf log. Preserve their favorite leaves between contact paper and show them how to make fun leaf rubbings, prints, and stamps.

Go Camping
Fall can be a wonderful time to go camping. Just pack your car with some vital supplies, and find the perfect setting to pitch your tent under some stunning fall foliage. Take this opportunity to make some wonderful memories. Teach them to set up a tent, build a campfire, how to fish and catch dinner, and how to roast the perfect marshmallow. Now that the days are shorter, it’s also the perfect time to stargaze. Grab a stargazing scavenger hunt (like this one) and start planning your trip.

Staple Fall Activities
If you haven’t already, treat your family to a classic fall weekend. Go apple picking and pumpkin carving, and bake delicious treats from your harvest. Explore a corn maze, fall festival, or haunted house for a thrilling weekend adventure.

Fall Crafts
Autumn is also the perfect time for crafting. Just make some hot cocoa or apple cider, light some pumpkin scented candles, and engage in an afternoon of arts and crafts with your family. Knit some new hats and scarves with older kids for when the temperature dips even lower. Have the whole family decorate the house with fun Halloween and Thanksgiving crafts.

Here are some more ideas for fall crafts:
  • Collect some leaves, pinecones, and fabric to make a new front-door wreath
  • Paint pumpkins for the front porch
  • Make homemade Halloween costumes
  • Paint some mugs with your favorite fall themes and colors
  • Explore Pinterest for adorable ideas like Pumpkin Apple Stamps, DIY Twig Candles, or an Autumn Handprint Tree

Bonding with some different autumn activities will help you reconnect as a family from your busy fall schedules, while time spent outdoors hiking, camping, and exploring your community will revitalize you.

With an abundance of fun and adventure left to be had this season, start making wonderful memories that will last you a lifetime today. For more ways to celebrate the season and to start celebrating the holidays early, visit Gifts ‘N Things today.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Asking For Donations Safely and Effectively

With the school session upon us, many parents are reminded that fundraisers are an integral part of the year. Whether your kids need to raise money for new sports equipment, uniforms, transportation costs, or supplies, fundraising is important to many school programs. Parents, however, tend to dread the fundraising season because they fear having to ask friends and family for donations—much less strangers. Here are a few tips to help ease you through your school’s fundraiser and make the fundraising experience more fun for you, your children, and your potential donors:

Do Your Research
When it comes to family and friends, it is rather easy to know what interests them. Focus on items that you know they will be using and will be interested in. If your brother or sister isn’t very adventurous, help your child steer their eye towards something for the home. If your aunt and uncle love cooking and baking, show them the newest kitchen gadgets that will make their time in the kitchen easier and more fun.

Image by arrathoonlaa via Flickr

Practice Makes Perfect
As with any presentation, it is important to know what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it–especially if your kids are the ones presenting. Sit down with your children and have them rehearse their presentation while pretending that you are their audience. Fumbling over words and phrases will distract your potential donor, while a well-spoken delivery may just snag an extra donation or two. Let them know that a few mistakes are okay and that confidence will go a long way.

Make It Fun
While your delivery may be well rehearsed, it shouldn’t sound like an automatic proposal. Switch up your delivery method to keep the mood light with smiling, involved parties, or throw in a joke or two to break the ice with more walled off individuals.
Image by Mike G via Flickr
Involve The Donor
If you notice that the donor is eyeing up a particular product, ask them what their opinion is on that item and LISTEN. People often want to have their voices heard and this is especially true when in a sales pitch. Find a common ground on items and ask them to speak their mind. This is an important lesson to teach your child not just to successfully fundraise, but to become better communicators.

Asking for money from friends and family is not often easy. Asking for money from strangers can be downright uncomfortable, but if you and your child follow these steps you might find that some of the stress is lifted and fundraising is more fun. Your child may even come home with a few extra prizes because of their success!

Look to Gifts ‘N Things for your next fundraising program. We have many different programs to choose from, you’re bound to find one that fits your needs.