My crew and I took a field trip to the mall and I would have to say that it was one of the most fun trips ever.
Some years we buy Valentine’s Day cards and other years we make cards. Last year’s cards were thumbprint faces and animals. This year we made potato stamped cards. I carved out some hearts and flowers and some random designs and let the kids stamp away. I knew my two-year-old wouldn’t be want to stamp for very long so I stamped a bunch of cards for her. I guess I got a little carried away, because we ended up with lots of leftover cards.
I kept thinking about what to do with the extra cards. I could have save them, but trying to ensure that I could find them again this time next year was not the best idea. All my “safe places” seem to be forgotten. I could just throw them away, but I spent forever gluing little saying on each card. The sayings were the following: God loves you! Jesus loves you! You are cool! I like you! You are awesome!
For a week I toyed around with the idea of passing them out to strangers at the store or passing them out to people at our church. I even had one of the kids take them with us when we went to the store but we forgot them in the van. The kids only had two parties, one at our Christian Homeschool Co-op and the other at my sister’s church, and there was not really anything about the cards that made them for Valentine’s Day only.
I finally decided to ask the kids what they thought about passing them out at the mall. Everyone wanted to go to the mall, but only my five-year-old wanted to pass out the cards. On the way to the mall, I asked the kids why we should do nice things for others and they all answered that God wants us to be kind.
The five-year-old took the cards and started giving them to people. After she had given 6 or so cards away her sister joined in. I let them choose who they wanted to give cards to and I stood back and watched. The longer we spent giving cards away the more the other kids wanted to join in.
It was fairly early in the morning so there were several people walking the mall. The kids gave cards to people walking by, to shoppers, and to workers. Mostly people smiled and thanked the kids for the cards. One said, “Thanks, I like you too!” Another said, “Thank you so much! You are awesome too!”
There were a few people who we ran into a second time that stopped to talk to the kids. One lady asked if we made the cards at school and we told her that we made them at home. She told the kids they did a nice job making the cards. She told me that she used to work in the schools. One of the girls handed a card to a lady who was on the phone and she said, “God loves you too, sweetheart.” When she passed us again later and told us, “God loves you!” One guy was given a card and when he read it card he exclaimed, “I believe that!” and when we passed by again he asked if we know Jesus. He smiled when we answered that we do.
There was a man maybe in his 30’s with downs syndrome who was walking with a lady and when the girls gave them cards he was very excited about it and looked at it for a while before putting it in his wallet. One of the girls gave a card to a man who was paying for his purchases and to the two cashiers in the store and when the man finished paying he stopped to say, “Thank you. You made my day so far!” Only a few people did not accept a card but no one was mean about it.
It was so much fun to share this experience with my kids. They were grinning ear to ear, and giving me a thumbs up while getting smiles and comments from people. They didn’t discriminate in who they gave cards to in the same way that God doesn’t discriminate in how He loves us all. I would call our “field trip” a major success.