Every adult knows that kids often find it challenging to wait for things. This is a struggle not only for the child, but also for the adult who wishes to teach their children how to be more patient. As difficult as it may be, it is not impossible; teaching patience activities can do wonders to your child’s need for instant gratification. Here, we’ll talk about how to teach kids patience, why it is so important, and some of the activities that you can do together.
Definition of Patience for Kids
Simply put, patience is the ability to wait for something without getting upset and maintaining a positive attitude. Kids who are patient remain calm, even if they feel quite impatient that things are taking longer than they expect. Patience involves some degree of acceptance and tolerance, and it is often easier to practice when there is a goal or reward to look forward to.
The Importance of Teaching Patience to Kids
The importance of kids learning patience is that it teaches them delayed gratification. This is the lesson that you must sometimes wait to get what you want; it does not always come to you immediately. This in turn helps them with their health, relationships, and other benefits in adulthood such as career success and fulfillment.
10 Teaching Patience Activities for Kids
Teaching patience to kids can be somewhat challenging. Here are some of the best patience activities that you can try with your kids:
1. Taking turns
Taking turns is a great way to practice patience with your kids. Whether you are taking turns holding a toy or another activity, this will help teach kids that sometimes it’s okay to wait for fun things. It will also let them get used to others having fun while we wait. You can also keep patience handouts around the house to remind your kids of why this lesson is important. This is a great activity for kids aged 4 and above.
2. Egg and spoon walk
The egg and spoon walk is often done as a race. Instead, instruct your child to walk carefully from the start to finish line so as not to break the egg. After the game, emphasize how walking slowly and carefully allowed them to finish the game without breaking the egg. You can also ask them how it felt to move slowly despite wanting so badly to get to the finish line. This is a great activity for kids aged 5 and up.
3. Catch the drizzle
The next time it rains or drizzles, ask your kid to get a deep jug or bowl and place it on the windowsill. Instruct them to wait until it fills up with rainwater. They might get antsy waiting for the jug to fill up, but it is a great way to teach them how to be patient if they want to see the results they want. You can do this with kids as young as 4 years of age.
4. Pass the parcel
Another way to teach patience to your kids is through a game called pass the parcel. Wrap a gift in as many layers as you can. Pass it to your children, who should each unwrap a layer before passing it on to the next person. This will teach your kids to patiently wait until the last layer is removed before they can finally see the gift. This can be done with kids aged 4 and up.
5. Grocery shopping list
It is never too early to show your child how to buy things in a grocery store. Involve them by asking them to make their own list. The objective is to keep your child occupied and waiting impatiently while you shop. As your child makes their own list of things to buy, they will also learn the different names of the fruits, vegetables, and other products at the store. When the time comes to pay at the counter, hand your child the money (under close supervision, of course) and let them be the one to pay the cashier. Involving them this way will prevent them from getting bored and impatient. You can do this with your 5 year old or older kids.
6. Cooking and baking
One of the activities to teach patience to kids that you can take advantage of right at home is baking and cooking. There are so many chances for your kids to develop patience when they are in the process of creating food. You have have them stir a mixture or wait for the dough to rise. Cooking and baking requires a lot of patience that will still keep your child engaged. This is great for kids 6 and up.
7. Jigsaw puzzle
Puzzles may frustrate your children at first, but they are excellent tools for improving focus, concentration, and patience. It takes time to find the right pieces, figure out where they fit, and then finally complete the entire picture. You can start with smaller puzzles, and then as your child begins to get better at them, slowly move on to more complicated puzzles. There are puzzles suitable for all ages.
8. Make a terrarium
Doing any activity that requires watching something grow is a great way to develop patience in your child. A terrarium is a sealable ecosystem that your child can make. They have to wait for plants to grow, so it will certainly test their patience. You can take this opportunity to talk to your child about the importance of waiting, especially for things to grow. Children at 6 years old can start to make their own terrarium with your guidance.
Similar to creating a terrarium, children can get engaged with gardening to learn patience. Teaching your child the consistent effort needed to care for plants in order to watch them bloom and bear fruit can be a rewarding experience, making the waiting process worth it. Allow your child to plant some seeds, water them every day, then see the sapling grow into a plant that may even bear fruit or flowers. Gardening can be done by kids aged 5 and up.
10. The silence game
This activity is simple enough to do at home or in the classroom. Dim the lights and ask your child to sit with you on the floor and be as quiet as they can for as long as possible. Sit with them in complete silence. After a few minutes, break the silence and ask them how it felt. Patience often requires us to sit with our feelings quietly, and this is an excellent way to practice it. You can do this with kids as young as 4 years old; just vary the amount of time that you stay quiet depending on your child’s tolerance for waiting.
The Bottom Line
Teaching patience to a child is no easy task. The best way to approach this is to provide your kids with an environment that is both predictable and stimulating. This will help them exercise more self-control and patience since they know what is expected of them in different situations. These activities teaching kids patience can also be supplemented by character education posters, which teaches them other related values, like fairness and gratitude.