Ideas for Teachers: How to Celebrate ‘The Gift of Nothing Day’ at School

November 21, 2017

The Gift of Nothing Day Ideas for Teachers

Hi, friends! Recently, we invited you to join us in the first annual celebration of The Gift of Nothing Day, and the responses we’ve received so far have been overwhelming (in a great way)!

The holiday, inspired by Patrick McDonnell’s children’s book The Gift of Nothing, will occur on the first Saturday after Christmas — which means in 2017, it’ll take place on December 30. You can read more about the day here.

We’ve heard from MUTTS lovers across the country and globe who are excited to kick-start this new holiday tradition. Among these folks are multiple teachers, who say they’re eager to share The Gift of Nothing Day (and its message of friendship and love) with their students. Some plan to read the book aloud in their classrooms and will help students decorate their own boxes filled with “nothing,” which will be given to loved ones over the holidays. Some have even planned school-wide holiday programs and/or family nights to get parents and guardians involved, too. We’re flattered — and so excited!

Are you a teacher or principal who would like to introduce The Gift of Nothing Day at your school? There are lots of ways to participate. Below are just a few ideas to get you started.

  • Decorate individual boxes of “nothing.” Ask each student to provide an empty box (any size, shape, or color will work). Fill a table with spare gift wrap, stickers, ribbon, markers, tape, construction paper, and other crafty goodies, and encourage students to decorate their boxes however they please! You may also want to host a fun brainstorming session in which the children decide to whom they’ll give their boxes — and what kind of “nothings” they want to fill them with.
  • Decorate one big box of “nothing.” Get a box. A big one. Wrap the outside with holiday paper. Ask your students to fill it with messages of love, or with suggestions about ways to enjoy The Gift of Nothing Day with friends and family.
  • Create a collage. Download The Gift Of Nothing Day coloring page. Make a bunch of copies. Pass them around to your students, and ask them to decorate their own Gift of Nothing pictures using crayons and markers. Then, create a fun collage by hanging them in your classroom or hallway!
  • Tell your own story. Looking for a fun creative writing lesson? Allow your students to tell their own Gift of Nothing stories, using Patrick’s book as inspiration. Perhaps they’d like to tell a version of the tale that revolves around different fictional characters, or is written from a family member’s point of view. (Or for a journaling activity, they may want to describe a memory from their own lives in which they spent a special day with a loved one.)
  • Put on a play. Help your students act out the story from The Gift of Nothing book.

Have other ideas you’d like to share? Planning to celebrate The Gift of Nothing Day with your own students or family? Email us at blog@mutts.com to share your thoughts.

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