MATCH IDEAS: Case Manager Heather
Updated: Nov 23
Being a Big Brother or Big Sister ISN'T about getting to be the first person to take a Little somewhere. Being a Big Brother or Big Sister ISN'T about spending lots of money on big, extravagant outings. Being a Big is about building a friendship, and you don't need to spend much money to do that! Trying new things is always a wonderful way to spend time together, but don't let it empty your wallet!
Here are some low cost ideas for the Holiday Season!
1. Make a Christmas card for Little's parent or guardian. Use things you find in nature, fabric/paper scraps or acrylic paints and add them to some sturdy cardboard. Making something for your families may spark new conversation about your holiday traditions and family. But no pressure! Don't feel like you HAVE to talk about these things!
2. Work on a Christmas gift for their family. Again, this can be as simple or elaborate as you want to make it, and most of these things can be done outdoors. Gather herbs to make a sachet for mom's drawer, paint a cute saying on wood for her Dad, make a hair scrunchi using fabric scraps and some elastic for Sister, or build a simple birdhouse for Grandma. This can spark conversation, but don't be discouraged if it doesn't!
3. Decoupage something. Thrifted plates covered in pretty tissue paper, ripped strands of newspaper on 25c notebook cover, bird cutouts from an old magazine onto a thrift store birdhouse are all ways to add color and creativity to your project. Decoupage glue can be found in any craft store. When your Little has something else to focus on while you're talking, they don't feel like as much pressure to be "on" for you.
4. Take an adult coloring book out to the park and just color together. You don't need to have deep conversations. Talk about the colors you're choosing and why. Figure out if you want to use crazy colors or true to life colors. RAVE about your Little's creation! Think of yourself as your Little's own personal cheering section! Take some hand sanitizer since you'll be sharing pencils.
5. Make some Holiday Garland. Cut out shapes like bats, Christmas trees, angels or Stars and string them together with yarn. If you want something a little more long lasting, use felt, or glue paper onto a more sturdy cardboard surface. You can also use fabric scraps from an old flannel shirt you’re planning to toss. This works well with decoupage glue too!
6. Build a scarecrow. Grab an old unwanted shirt and pair of jeans and stuff them with leaves, then pop a pumpkin head on top! Bonus if it's a pumpkin head you painted together! 7. Make a "Thankful Tree" with your Little. First, pick a large stick with lots of little offshoots. But not TOO big. Spray paint it a pretty color and then stick it in a pot with some pretty rocks. Or dirt. Or whatever else you like. Just make sure it's standing upright. Next, cut out fun shapes using construction paper. Punch a hole in the top of each one and string some yarn through the hole. Use markers or glitter pens to write the names of each family member or friend you'd like to include. Now, ask your friends and family to write down at least one thing they're thankful for this year. Once you get them back, hang them on your thankful tree! If you keep your cutouts from year to year, it's an incredible memento of your loved ones. 8. For Bigs that are allowed to take their Littles to their own home, try cooking something holiday themed. Make pumpkin bread together or try your hand at pumpkin pie. Have a weenie roast over a fire pit. Teach your little how to make a Thanksgiving turkey by using a Cornish hen as a starter.
9. Check out a leaf identification book from the library and hike in the woods. See how many different trees you can identify together. Or insects. Or flowers. 10. Use all the holiday decorations as a great backdrop for a photoshoot! While some Little's may not enjoy being in front of a camera, plenty still enjoy hamming it up! Look through some magazines to figure out some cool poses before you go! A little research goes a long way in making this one a success! Plus, the holiday decorations will help you remember when you took the picture!
If you are interested in becoming a mentor, visit mentoringkids.org/volunteer.