Helping children develop a strong moral character is an ongoing task, but it is one that is an essential part of raising children to become respectful adults who are both personally and professionally successful. Regularly incorporating crafts or hands-on educational activities into your child's playtime can help him learn to develop positive character traits like gratitude, kindness and self-control.
Fruits of the Spirit Memory Game
Galatians 5:22-23 says, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." Help your child bring this Bible verse to life by making a memory game that pairs pictures of various types of fruit with each of these words. Have each player give an example of the listed character trait whenever a pair of matching cards is found.
Homemade Thank You Notes
Making thank you notes can teach young children about gratitude, creativity and thriftiness. Thank you notes can be sent for gifts your child has received or for special favors that someone has done. For example, a child could send a thank you note to Grandma that shows appreciation for the plate of chocolate chip cookies she sent over as an unexpected treat. Encourage your child to make homemade thank you notes using recycled materials such as old wrapping paper scraps or pretty pictures cut from junk mail you've received. Your child could also decorate his thank you notes with hand print art, such as a hand print heart made by overlapping two red hand prints.
Acts of Kindness Jar
To encourage kids to be kind, make an acts of kindness jar from a clean glass jar and some strips of colored construction paper. Write one example of an act of kindness on each slip of paper. Acts should be age-appropriate, but could include tasks such as helping a neighbor rake leaves, washing the dishes after dinner without being asked or drawing a picture to send to a relative who lives far away. Every day or two, let your child pick a strip from the jar and complete the activity. Put a colored marble in a second jar each time your child finishes an act of kindness. When the second jar is full of marbles, plan a special family outing to celebrate.
Character Trait Puppet Shows
To teach your child about character traits in a fun and entertaining way, consider putting on a puppet show where he can demonstrate ways to show specific traits. You can either base your puppet shows on popular children's books or make up new stories together. For example, a puppet show about compassion and sensitivity could feature a dog who goes out of his way to become friends with a cat after the other dogs in the neighborhood try to chase the cat away. A puppet show about responsibility could feature a boy who takes pride in taking care of his baby sister by making sure that she doesn't accidentally choke on one of his toys.