Little Guests in My Home

We can do no great things, only small things with great love. ~Mother Teresa

A while back I helped out a friend, picking her son up from kindergarten. I don’t mind helping out a friend in need, especially with a child who is self-sufficient and can just hang out and play (while I work!) Part of being a hospitable person is looking for unique ways to give of myself.

Kids love the kitchen
This particular afternoon, while my kids were in school, we did slip away into the kitchen to do this

And why not let him do this

And help with this

And then of course, the best part is this

Kids love to help
I often look around in my kitchen to find a job. Kids always love to help – even if that means organizing my silverware box!

And Kids love to play
And most kids that we host in our home pull these out of the closets (or they play video games, ping-pong, swim, play soccer, Littlest Pet Shop, Polly Pockets - you name it!) I often shop at garage sales for toys and bikes - to make our house fun! And I've stored in closets some of my kid's favorites!


Betty Spaghetti

The all-time girl favorite

Night-night, dollies

Bring your kids in to help
And then if my daughter is home and gets involved, she tends to end up in the kitchen with the little ones, doing this

Each person gets to participate

Little helpers are the best

The end result is this (recipe coming up – Abby’s BEST Banana Bread!)

Find a need and say Yes
It’s good to be open to helping others out, or to be available if a family needs to drop their little ones off for a few hours, or to even spend the night. And I have learned to look for a need that is easy for me to fill.

In this season of life, I have few hours of “volunteer” time. But when I’m in my home I try to be open and available. It’s also a great lesson for my kids to learn that babysitting in our home is not about money. It’s not about pay. It’s about sharing, giving, helping and being hospitable - finding a need and saying, “yes!”

What kinds of toys or activities do you have in your home for when you have “little” guests?

Do you teach your kids about what it means to be hospitable in their home?

(Up next on RE: NO FLOUR Barney Butter Cookie Recipe and GIVEAWAY!)


julie isa said...

I loved this! I, too, am always looking for ways for our children to learn the art of willingness and generosity. It's important. In our home, our 5 year old is responsible for making sure that every "guest" who pops over or comes to visit is greeted with a smile and offered something to drink. It's the little things. I love your blog, thanks for sharing your talent and thoughts.

LuLu said...

Thanks for sharing this... helping out is so important. i know it has meant the world to me when a friend helped watch our other children when we needed to be at the hospital with our oldest... i will never forget there kindess... I have toys arts and crafts for all to enjoy too etra scooters etc for children to use.

edie said...

My favorite pastor says it this way, "Where am I and who is my neighbor and what is my neighbors' need?" Therein is the will of God.

Love your blog!

Rindy R said...

My girls are 9 and 11 and I was just telling my hubby that I don't think I will ever be able to give away our play food! When any age child comes over they all gravitate toward that play food! They either set up a restaurant or play house - I love that play food!

Sandy Toes said...

Oh how fun!!! I have little ones so I have tons to do but I do have a bin of toddler toys for the little vistors!
-sandy toe

Melanie said...

For my little nieces - the American Girl Dolls and accessories, especially the hair rollers and brushes are a hit.

When our neighbor's little boy comes over, he likes to play the drums (the real thing).

Betsy said...

Let me guess...the little guy baking cookies....it was those LONG eyelashes that you couldn't resist! :)

Helen said...

Just love your blog... everything you write is just so great. thanks for taking the time to share. I chose your blog as one of the ones I find encouraging and awarded you the Lemonade Award.
thanks Helen

Christy A. said...

Hi Sandy thanks for dropping by my blog!

Oh wow, there's a lot of cooking going on in here! Will come back again for sure. xx

A Bite of Country Cupcakes said...

Oh I am in love with your blog and have spent far to long reading all your older posts today...Lol!
I wish I had some such person such as you near me.
With three lil ones under 5 I sometimes just need someone for half hour or an hour....Never long but the help would be immmense.
You are right lil people are the best helpers:)
I will be back.
P,s thanks for popping by my blog!

Anonymous said...

I like that you let them in the kitchen, Sandy!

piles of scrap paper and colored pencils; office supplies, coloring books

Dress-up clothes and jewelry

Legos, Polly pockets and Little Ponys, AG & baby dolls with clothes and strollers,

jig-saw puzzles and card games

swings, rollerblades, scooters and bicycles,

basketballs, soccer balls, whiffle balls and bats,

sleds and lots of extra gloves

water baloons and hose (summer)

shovels, buckets

sidewalk chalk, jumprope

deb meyers

Ivy said...

Just stopped by from the Cupcake Blog to say hello. You're blog is lovely as are the posts. Wow recipes too. Love trying out new recipes...it tempts me to cook!

Have a delightful day.


Nadine said...

I guess you don't have to be a grandma to have a box of cool toys for kids to play with when they visit. Great ideas.

Heather said...

What a great post! kids love to be in the kitchen helping with the baking and cooking. I really feel like we don't do that nearly enough anymore like we used to with our moms and grandmas!

sarah abeachcottage said...

funny because I helped another mum by doing a couple of days of her school runs, meant I had six kids in the car and it was full on but she and her hubby got to go away for the weekend...its nice to help out isn't it

great post Sandy


Anonymous said...

How fun! I am sure you had a fabulous time. We regularly have children over whether it be for playdates or I may be babysitting. Quite often I invite them into the kitchen to help make cookies, pizza's and to even slice up veggies for a salad. They always love it! As for toys, we have the wonderful delights of Barbie and baby dolls, legos, matchbox cars, and the all time favorite dress-up box!
It is so important to let children know that they are important. Sometimes it is just easier to let them be instead of being with them!
Loved your ideas!

Jen - Balancing beauty and bedlam said...

I love this....you read my mind. I just downloaded pictures for my EXACT same post (don't worry...same ideas, not pictures - I'll leave you to your kids, and stick with my mine. :)
Teaching/training them young is such a blessing!

Deidre said...

You just opened my eyes! I often feel bummed during 'this season' feeling as if I have nothing to offer because we don't get out much. I have a lot to offer within these walls! Thank you.

~amy~ said...

You are so sweet! I want to be more open to letting my kids help in the kitchen... you have inspired me:) Thank you

Vintage Girl at Heart said...

What a sweetheart you are!!!
I love your blog and have added you as a favorite to mine. Your recipes are amazing!!! I think the Mango Chicken will be on my menu for tomorrow's dinner!!!
You have a lovely Family!

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Hi, Sandy, I am so excited that you are coming to Blissdom & we'll get to meet in person! Can't wait! And no, Whistlestop Sandi won't be coming this time.