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Gifts For Your Helper: What Your Child Can Make Or Do

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May is Helper Appreciation Month and we would love to show our helpers just how grateful we are for them. How about asking the kids to make or do something special for these wonderful women (and men)?

It’s common to have a helper in India, and over time, they become part of your family: attending family gatherings, weddings, having long conversations with the grandparents and so on. So when I moved to Hong Kong, the idea of helpers was not as surprising for me as it often is for expat families. When I gave birth to Isha (and went through an emergency, life-saving surgery), hiring a helper became an absolute necessity in our household. My helper has been with us for eight years now and needless to say, Auntie Melissa is very special to us. My artsy daughter loves making things with her and for her. Read on for ideas of what you can get your kids to make or do for your helper.

Read More: A Hong Kong Helper’s Honest And Heartwarming Story

personalised photo gifts for your helper

Personalised Photo Gifts For Your Helper

When Isha was younger, she was always making something for Melissa – from hand-drawn cards with a personalised message to trinkets made from beads and bracelets made from rainbow loom. As she grew, she started using technology! On one occasion, Isha browsed through my phone and selected photographs of her and Melissa, created a collage of both of them and printed it out. We picked a pretty frame and that’s become one of Melissa’s prized possessions on display in her room. There are plenty of places that will create photobooks and personalised photo gifts for your helper.

Read More: Where To Print Photos And Get Personalised Photo Gifts In Hong Kong

Gifts For A Craft-Loving Helper

If your helper enjoys spending her free time making things, then I have the perfect gift idea. Check out this enterprising woman’s business on Facebook selling cross stitch designs that can be customised with your own photos. The process is simple – share your photo and you will get a printed canvas in different colours with the numbering and letters to match the colour. It is a perfect gift for your crafty helper to de-stress and decorate her room with a family portrait. Full disclosure – this isn’t my idea! Melissa gifted a portrait of Isha to me on my birthday and I think it’s a great gift idea for your child to make with your helper.

Read More: The Most Useful Classes For Helpers In Hong Kong

tie and dye sets for helpers

Making Things For And With Your Helper

As Isha grew older, her artistic capabilities, in both ideas and implementation, went up a notch. A dear friend gifted her a tie-dye set, and after we got plain white T-shirts, Melissa and Isha spent a fun evening with music and laughter making tie-dye t-shirts for each other. These tie-dye kits are quite easy to use and you can make anything from t-shirts to hair ties and bandanas. A word of caution – things do tend to get messy, so use plastic covers to prevent spills and don’t forget to wear gloves!

Read More: 7 Messy Play Ideas – Get Your Kids’ Hands Dirty With Sensory Play

birthday party gift for a helper

Plan A Surprise Party For Your Helper

Every year, excitement for Auntie Melissa’s birthday is quite high in our household! Last year, as social distancing rules eased up, Isha wanted to organise a surprise birthday party for her. It had been ages since she got together with her friends. Isha used her investigative skills and found out all the names and number of Melissa’s friends (who knew snooping was such a useful skill?!). She then designed an e-card and sent it to Melissa’s friends. My role was easy – all I had to was book the party room in our building and order the food. Isha planned out every last detail and the party (and the surprise!) was a super success. It touched Melissa a lot and it was great to see Isha taking the initiative in party-planning.

Read More: Party Venues – Where To Book Your Kid’s Next Birthday

ocean park hong kong

Celebrate Your Helper’s Birthday At Ocean Park

This year we decided to do something different. Melissa had never been to Ocean Park in the nine years she’s been in Hong Kong, and Ocean Park offers free entry on your birthday. Initially, the plan was to send Melissa with a friend, but she ended up picking Isha. I let Isha take the day off from school (I hope her teachers aren’t reading this!) and they spent the day at Ocean Park. They had such a good time that I’m wondering whether we should make it an annual ritual.

Read More: A Guide To Ocean Park Hong Kong

I often tell Isha that Auntie Melissa is like her second mother as I see her take personal and genuine interest in her school assignments, classes, piano practice, etc.  It’s such a lovely feeling to see the bond that Isha and Melissa share. I hope as she grows, Isha continues to show her love and gratitude to Melissa, making and doing something special for a woman who has brought so much into our lives.

Read More: How To Show Gratitude To Your Helper

  Main image by Sassy Media Group with images courtesy of Tarana Desai Shah, images 1, 3 and 4 of Tarana Desai Shah, image 2 courtesy of Josie Stitch via Facebook, image 5 courtesy of Getty

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