Thursday, March 11, 2010

Learning to Give Back

Catnip Mice

I have been trying to come up with ways to help LP understand what it means to help others. She is too young to really understand the meaning behind a monetary donation, so I wanted to find a way to have her dedicate time and work in a volunteer situation. After adopting Max this winter and seeing what a wonderful animal rescue we have just down the street, I thought it would be a great place to start. In a recent magazine I found a project for making catnip mice and decided to give it a try. Alessandro and his mom joined us for the project, the volunteer orientation and the donation.

The kids did a great job making the mice with the stuffing and ear gluing. They filled the toes of the socks with catnip, stuffed the rest of the sock with fill and a little more catnip, then handed them over. I tied them closed and Dori and Uncle Dave colored most of the faces because the sharpies were a little dry I think, the kids were having a hard time getting them to really color on the socks.
(Click on any photo to see it bigger.)

Stuffing the sockShelter Project
Pushing the catnip to the toeShowing off the baby sockShelter Project

A bag of 10 pairs of 6-12 month socks from walmart was less than $7. 20 socks was more than enough for them, they got a little tired of stuffing when there were 4 left. But LP found a bunch of her smaller, mismatched socks and made more for our cats over the next couple of days.
Mischief of MiceProud of their work
The Finished ProjectsFun with Mice

Saturday we took the kids back to the rescue for volunteer orientation. We spent about 45 minutes learning all the rules of the shelter, including which dogs are safe to walk, how to enter and exit rooms and buildings, where to go to talk to the horses and donkeys, and how to act around the dogs. After the orientation we took one of the dogs out for a walk, visited the donkeys for a while, then headed home because the cat house wasn't open yet.

We took the kids back to the rescue today to deliver them. There were 5 different rooms with cats, so we left 5-8 mice per room depending on how many cats there were. Most of the cats were a little skittish of the kids, but there was at least one in each room that started playing with it right away. Max's sister Violet and mother Vivienne are still there. We spent the most time in that room because they weren't afraid of the kids and had a great time playing with the mice and kids together.

delivering mice 041delivering mice 039
delivering mice 047Shelter cat playing with mouse
Shelter cat playing with mouseShelter cat playing with mouse
Shelter cat playing with mouseShelter cat playing with mouse

3 comments:

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Jenny said...

This was a GREAT idea and turned out so well.

So.... did you have the baby yet?!?

Carolyn said...

I am so proud of LP and Alessandro, and you too Mom, for finding such a wonderful way for them to volunteer. "The gift of giving"
Hugs, Nana