Responsibility is an important lesson for children to learn early on and all the way into adulthood. But this skill doesn’t just develop overnight. Children need the practice that comes with doing responsibility activities in order to become more responsible people. There are many ways that we can show responsibility, such as practicing self-control when unpredictable things happen, taking accountability for our decisions, and committing to finishing what we started.
Here, we’ll talk about what responsibility is, why it’s important, and some activities that you and your children can do together.
Definition of Responsibility for Kids
Responsibility is an often-used word for kids and adults, but what does it really mean? At its core, being responsible means doing the things you are supposed to do and accepting the consequences of your actions, whether positive or negative. Teaching responsibility to children also means helping them learn how to make good decisions.
The Importance of Teaching Responsibility to Kids
Taking responsibility allows children to become familiar with making decisions. They also learn self-discipline, empathy, and the consequences of actions. Kids learn that everything they do influences themselves and the people around them. By being responsible, kids can learn how to feel trusted, valued, and more self-reliant. This in turn boosts confidence and self-esteem.
10 Best Responsibility Activities for Kids
One of the best ways to teach responsibility to children is by doing activities that will teach them how to incorporate responsible actions into their daily lives. Here are some of the best activities to teach responsibility:
1. Simon Says
Simon Says is a classic game where a leader (“Simon”) yells out commands quickly to a group. Only commands beginning with “Simon says” should be followed. Those who do not follow these rules will be eliminated from the game. What makes this game a great activity for responsibility is that it motivates kids to think before taking action. It also teaches them that not listening is irresponsible and has certain consequences, such as getting eliminated or looking silly in front of the group! This activity is great for kids aged 4 and up.
2. Goal setting
This activity works well for students in class settings. Together, create a list of ways that students can be more responsible in the classroom. Allow your students to choose one and set their goal to complete it for the week. At the end of the week, have your students revisit their goals and how they took responsibility for them. Let them choose another task to be accountable for the following week. This activity teaches kids how to take responsibility for things they say they will do. You can do this activity with children aged 6 and up.
3. Learning when to say sorry
Part of learning about responsibility is knowing when to apologize for the negative consequences of our actions. Teaching kids when to say sorry through worksheets or apology wall art that you can hang around your home will reinforce how important it is to apologize and take responsibility for what we did wrong. This is suitable for kids aged 4 and up.
4. Follow my lead
This is another excellent class activity. Have your kids divide up into pairs. The first partner will look at a picture you will show for 15 seconds. When you say “go,” the student who saw the picture will describe to their partner the image in as much detail as possible. After one minute, the students who drew the picture will come up to the front to compare their art to the original. This game is great because both team members are responsible for one another to try and meet the goal together. This is a good activity for children aged 7 and up.
5. Word search
When your children start reading, you can add word searches with responsibility-themed words into your activities. You can use an online word search generator and input words such as the following:
By finding and circling words to do with responsibility, it is more likely that it will be reinforced in your kids’ vocabulary. This is a great activity for kids 5 years and up.
6. Flip the blanket
A fun activity that can really encourage teamwork and responsibility is flipping the blanket. Kids can be arranged into small groups of pairs. The goal is to stand on a blanket and then flip it over without having anybody in the group step off onto the floor. If they fail, then they must start over again. This teaches responsibility because your kids will need to be honest about staying on their blankets and making sure that everybody makes it. It helps to process the activity afterward by asking students how they felt, emphasizing how they used responsible behavior and decision-making during the game. This game is great for kids aged 8 and up.
7. Classroom jobs
This simple activity has been tried and tested. Each student should be assigned a job in their classroom. You can also do this at home by assigning your child one or two jobs to do. It should be something they can be responsible for and successfully accomplish on their own. You can create a job board and change their roles regularly. This activity can be done as early as 5 years old and up.
8. Choices and consequences
For students that are just starting out in class, a great way to reinforce responsibility is to discuss classroom rules together. Students should be involved by brainstorming possible rewards and consequences for following or breaking the rules. You can discuss how choices can lead to positive or negative consequences with your students afterward, and how being responsible means taking ownership of our choices. This can be great for children 8 years and up.
9. Compass walk
Group your kids into pairs and give one member of the team a blindfold. The partner who can see must guide their teammate through a series of simple obstacles, such as walking to the end of the hallway and back without bumping into any cones or chairs. This teaches responsibility both ways. The blindfolded partner must listen carefully, while the one giving directions needs to provide accurate instructions to help their partner succeed safely. This is a great activity for kids aged 8 and above.
10. Grow a plant or care for an animal
Learning how to keep something alive is one of the biggest responsibilities you can teach anyone, whether adult or child. Whether at home or in the classroom, having your kids learn how to take care of a pet or a plant can teach them the most fundamental responsibility skills. Children as young as 4 can start doing this activity.
The Bottom Line
Teaching responsibility activities for kids can really build their socio-emotional learning and can improve their academic learning. Doing these activities can really help children apply what they have learned through acts of responsibility. This can increase their self-esteem and general confidence about what they can do and how to take accountability for their actions. Most of all, you are building skills that will serve them for the rest of their lives.
To learn more about responsibility and other skills that build character for your kids, check out our character education posters.