While there are many books and websites devoted to helping parents teach their kids to have high self-esteem, humility often gets overlooked in the modern world. From simple ideas to do at home to fun humility games and cool humility crafts, engaging children in activities and lessons on the idea of humility helps them learn this valuable character trait.
Activities for Younger Children
Teach your kids humility through fun, engaging activities. They might wear their humility or even tell everyone thank you.
I Can Be Humble Today By...
Children need daily reminders to develop character traits. Use an old calendar or print a blank calendar page and write at the top of it "I can be humble today by..." Help children fill in each day of the month with an example of humility. Examples of humility may include helping someone learn something new, holding open a door for someone or saying "thank you" to a janitor.
Cut a large star out of yellow or gold poster board and tie yarn on it so it can be placed around a child's neck. Explain that wearing the yellow star represents being prideful and place it around the child's neck. Then, take off the yellow star and give the child a small star sticker to wear and explain that the smaller star represents being humble. Alternatively, provide a chart where your child can place small stars to show a humble act.
Thankful for Thankless Jobs
There are many people who perform thankless jobs that make your child's life easier. This could be a homeschool teacher, janitor, librarian or someone who organizes a community event. Start by helping your child identify these selfless people. Next, provide materials for your child to create thank you cards to give to these people. Helping your child see how they benefit from others humility, can help them become more humble too.
Activities for Older Children
Older kids need more of a challenge for learning about humility. Allow them to try out humility through role-playing or random acts of kindness.
Present children with a series of scenarios where they can choose to be boastful or humble, such as winning a game, getting an A on a test or giving someone a gift. Have children give a boastful response and a humble response to the scenario. For example, a child could pretend to brag about winning the game to demonstrate boastful behavior and say "good game" to the other players to demonstrate humility. Talk about how everyone involved would feel for each scenario to emphasize why choosing to be humble is the better option.
An Arrogant Person
On a large piece of paper, draw a stick figure or outline of a person. Label the figure Mr. or Miss Arrogant. Draw on clothing or accessories to represent arrogance, such as a crown, a foam finger saying, "I'm #1" or a shirt that says, "I Rock" or "I'm with stupid." Draw thought bubbles around the figure and fill them with suggestions from children about what an arrogant person would say. Children may include phrases such as "I'm better than you" or "Ha ha. I won!"
Random Acts of Kindness
Random acts of kindness are small acts that are done with no motive and, usually, without recognition. Have kids brainstorm some random acts of kindness they can do, such as sending a birthday card to someone without a lot of family or using some of their allowance to buy a few groceries for someone who does not have a lot. If kids need help with ideas for random acts of kindness, a set of Boom Boom Cards comes with multiple ideas.
Humility Games for Littles
Little kids can have a hard time with humility. Games can make it fun and easy for them to understand.
Pictures can say more than words for kids. It can also help them to understand humility and pride. In addition to a couple kids, you'll need:
- Images of people being prideful and humble
Playing the game is easy.
- Split the kids into two teams.
- Show an image.
- The first team to answer with pride or humility wins the point.
- Go to 10 points.
This is a version of tag where you help each other out. It will require a large group of kids. You start with one 'it' person. The 'it' person must tag another person and say something nice about them. Now, there are two 'it' people. You continue to tag and say something nice about everyone tagged until there isn't anyone left.
This game is great for a few kids. With sidewalk chalk or something similar, write humility in large letters. Each letter should have its own box similar to hopscotch. One child should stand on the H and the other in front of the H. The one in front of the H needs to crawl under the legs of kid on H to get to U. The kid on H will then crawl under the legs of the kid on U to get to M. The kids will continue helping each other until they spell humility. The point is to make sure they are helping each other to every letter. If they struggle or fall, they must work together to help each get up and start again.
Games for Older Kids
For older kids and pre-teens humility is a hard concept to put into play. It's not that they don't understand humility, it's just hard for them to do it.
Find Your Friends
For this game, you'll need a large area and 5-10 kids. Have one child volunteer to be 'it'. Another kid will be chosen to be the helper. The 'it' person will be blindfolded then count to 10 while the other children run. After 10, all the kids should stop. The helper will then give the blindfolded 'it' person directions to find everyone. When a person is found, they should compliment the 'it' person on how well they did.
Name that Person
This is a great game for pre-teens and teens. You can do it with a few kids or several. Split the children into two teams. They should stand in two lines. One person needs to be the go and timer person. Set a timer for 10-20 seconds. On your go, each team needs to name as many famous humble people as they can in the time limit (e.g. Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln, Mother Teresa, etc.). The team with the most named after the time limit receives the point. Then, the next person in the line will go. Continue until everyone has gone. There should not be repeats of famous people.
Get out your markers and art supplies. It's time to make some humility crafts.
Little kids love to color. Allow them to spark their creativity with paper plates. Provide little kids with plates, markers, paints, etc. On the plate, the kids should draw or create something that is more powerful than them.
This is a craft that allows older kids to clean up the community. Have kids collect trash from around their house, community, park, etc. After washing the trash, they should use it to create a mosaic of a humble figure.
Humble Comic Book
Older kids love comic books. Allow them to create one on humility. Staple 5-10 pieces of paper in the center and fold them into a book. Children should use crayons and markers to create a story that shows humility. Little kids might create a superhero story.
Additional Tips for Instilling Humility in Your Children
While lessons and activities for kids on humility can be a great starting point for discussing the concept with your children, the following tips will help reinforce the idea on a regular basis:
- Create an atmosphere in which children ask instead of tell.
- Don't tolerate disrespectful speech, even among very young children. If your child says something inappropriate, answer with "I beg your pardon?" or "Excuse me?" or "Would you like to try that again please?" until your child's behavior is corrected.
- Strive to be humble in your own actions. Discipline and correct your child without insults or harsh words.
Humility is a great lesson to teach children of all ages. It can be learned through games, activities, and crafts. Consistency, constant modeling in your life, and a lot of praise for when your kids do show humility, all will go a long way.