Teaching kids the value of loyalty is essential to their social and emotional development. Loyalty activities offer a dynamic and engaging platform for parents and educators to impart this crucial life skill. By incorporating various interactive exercises, discussions, and creative projects, these activities make the concept of loyalty tangible and help children understand its significance in fostering positive relationships.
Definition of Loyalty for Kids
Loyalty entails faithfulness and devotion to a person, group, or cause. In the context of children, loyalty develops through secure attachments to primary caregivers during infancy. As infants experience consistent care, love, and responsiveness from their caregivers, they form a sense of trust and emotional security. This foundation sets the stage for growing loyalty as children age.
The Importance of Teaching Loyalty to Kids
Teaching kids loyalty is critical to their development because it helps foster strong, healthy relationships with others. Understanding the value of loyalty enables them to form more meaningful connections with parents, friends, and teachers, improving their social well-being [*].
In addition, it instills a sense of commitment and responsibility as children learn to honor promises and stand by others in positive and challenging times. When they persevere, they improve their integrity and character.
Furthermore, loyalty fosters empathy and community, encouraging children to appreciate the significance of supporting and being there for others.
15 Playful Loyalty Activities for Kids
Teaching loyalty to kids can be done through engaging and interactive activities emphasizing values such as trust, commitment, and support. Here are some loyalty activities to try.
1. Play Trust Games
Simple trust games like trust falls and blindfolded obstacle courses push children to put their faith in others and expect the best. After wrapping up each game, take time to reflect. Ask your child questions like:
- Was it easier to support the other person or to receive the support? Why?
- Did you trust the other person to support you? Why or why not?
2. Volunteer for a Community Service Project
Involve children in community service projects where they can see firsthand the impact of loyalty and support within a community. This could include volunteering at local shelters, organizing charity drives, or helping neighbors.
3. Read Books About Loyalty
If your child is a voracious reader, introducing children’s books that explore themes of loyalty can be fun! Some classic favorites include “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein, a timeless book about the selflessness of a tree that provides for a boy throughout his life. It’s a beautifully illustrated tale of unconditional love and sacrifice.
Another fantastic example is “Winnie the Pooh” by AA Milne. Pooh’s adventures with his friends in Hundred Acre Wood illustrate themes of friendship and loyalty. They also sensitively explore more complex topics like depression.
4. Write a Loyalty Pledge
Develop a loyalty pledge or oath that children can recite together. Your pledge might include promises to be supportive, trustworthy, and loyal friends. For instance, you might write, “I promise to be a good listener, and I promise to appreciate being heard.”
Create a visual representation of the pledge they can decorate with family photos, drawings, and quotes.
5. Create a Friendship Tree
Like a family tree, a friendship tree illustrates your child’s circle of peers. Paste photos of each friend, writing their names and a positive message about how your child values their friendship. Write what their friends have done to showcase loyalty and care.
6. Build a Loyal Friend
To be a loyal friend, children must know what it entails. Facilitate a build-a-friend activity by asking each child to write three to five characteristics of a good friend. Put these traits together to build a well-rounded and loyal friend
Use our All About Loyalty poster to give your child more perspective.
7. Host a Loyalty Awards Ceremony
Children need to feel recognized. Validation can go a long way toward their emotional well-being, improving their self-compassion and making them more empathetic [*]. Recognize their efforts by hosting a loyalty awards ceremony, pointing out specific traits like “Best Listener,” “Best Team Player,” or “Most Supportive Friend.”
8. Exchange Friendship Bracelets
Making friendship bracelets is an excellent activity for fostering creativity—and it’s fun! Instruct your students to gift these bracelets to their peers as a symbol of loyalty and say a few words of affirmation.
9. Play Loyalty Bingo
Create bingo cards with loyalty-related behaviors and actions, like being a shoulder to cry on, keeping a promise, or watching a friend’s sports tournament. As children observe these behaviors in themselves or others, they can mark them on their cards.
10. Paint Kindness Rocks
Kindness rocks make for an enjoyable arts and crafts activity for an indoor display or garden arrangement. Encourage them to paint images and words they associate with loyalty. Ensure you display this in a communal space where others can remind themselves about the value of loyalty!
11. Play Cooperative Board Games
Cooperative board games are a great way for kids to work together towards a common goal, fostering teamwork and communication. Games like “Outfoxed!” instill new skills like cooperative deduction and problem-solving, while “Hoot Owl Hoot” fosters strategic thinking.
12. Write in Loyalty Reflection Journals
Give children small journals and encourage them to write or draw about experiences where they felt loyalty or observed loyalty in action. This reflective activity allows them to internalize the concept and articulate their thoughts on loyalty.
13. Discuss Loyalty Dilemmas
Present hypothetical scenarios involving loyalty dilemmas and ask children to share their thoughts on handling such situations. For example, you might present a situation where your child makes a new friend interested in different activities from their old friend. Discuss how your child can balance spending time with both friends without making either feel neglected.
14. Roleplay Conflict Resolution
Sometimes, children may appease their friends out of loyalty—but this isn’t a healthy expression of loyalty. Equip your child to become better conflict resolvers by roleplaying sticky situations and exploring more productive options. Encourage them to express themselves while being active listeners for their peers.
15. Raise a Pet
Raising a pet is an enormous responsibility, especially for children. However, dedicating time to caring for a pet can be enriching, fun, and a wonderful way to learn the ins and outs of loyalty. Create a schedule and provide guidance whenever necessary.
The Bottom Line
Being loyal won’t always come automatically. It’s normal for children to get frustrated with their peers, teachers, and parents. But using loyalty activities to foster communication and togetherness can instill essential life skills like perseverance and problem-solving.
Explore our character education posters to help your child understand what it means to be well-rounded.
- Lythcott, H. “How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success.” Google Books, 2015.
- Lambie A and Lindberg A. “The Role of Maternal Emotional Validation and Invalidation on Children’s Emotional Awareness.” Wayne State University Press, 2016.