Children's Games & Activities to Learn Humility
Learning to have humility or to be humble means learning to focus more on the work accomplished or the team effort than on individual accomplishments. Being humble is a complex set of skills that includes being able to focus on needed tasks, team effort and acknowledging the work of others, without highlighting personal contributions or skills. Games to encourage humility include cooperative play, team sports and role-play. Activities can include community service events.
Cooperative play focuses on having fun rather than on winning. "Sardines" is a game similar to "Hide-and-Seek," except that "it" hides instead of the other players. When the child who is "it" is located, the finder snugs into the hiding place. Repeat until all the children have found the hiding players. "Rigamarole" or "Continuous Story" is a good game for long vehicle drives. One person starts a story, and other players add to it. The story can continue a set number of times around the group, for a set amount of time or until the players feel that it is finished.
Small children role-play when they "make-believe." In order to use role-play as a teaching device, an adult leader or teacher will need to set up a situation or framework for the activity. Two often used devices are to plan for a wagon-train traveling west or to plan a journey into space. To teach humility, students need to plan for needed roles for the event, such as scouts, hunters and food gatherers for the wagon train or pilot, hydroponics engineer, cook and cleaning crew for the space ship. Discuss what might happen if someone failed to accomplish his job.
Cooperative Team Games
Even though team sports are played with victory in mind, you can use ordinary team sports to teach humility. Encourage good players to assist weaker players to improve their skills. Brainstorm with team members to find ways to use each player's strengths, rather than focusing on weaknesses. Emphasize playing by the rules, acknowledging others' accomplishments and practicing good sportsmanship at the end of a game regardless of whether the team wins or loses. Make it a practice to thank parents, sponsors and any other members of support groups who make the team possible.
Regardless of their age, children are part of a community. Doing things to make their world better is a valuable part of humility. Some ideas for this might include doing one chore at home without being asked and without bragging about it afterward, taking a walk or hike as a class or organization and collecting trash along the way, participating in a food drive or serving a community meal to those in need.
- Barry Austin/Photodisc/Getty Images