Activities to Enforce the Golden Rule in Toddlers

By Zora Hughes
Teach your kids the moral lessons behind the Golden Rule.
Teach your kids the moral lessons behind the Golden Rule.

The Golden Rule -- "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" -- is commonly associated with the Bible, but a version of it can be found in the texts of most religions, and it has also been adopted as a moral code by many, including secular people and groups. Whatever your beliefs, you can use the Golden Rule to remind your kids about the importance of treating others how you want to be treated.

Read About the Golden Rule

If you are of a Christian background, you can teach your child about the Golden Rule by using the Bible. Give your child a kid's Bible and show her where the verse comes from, which is Matthew 12:7 and Luke 6:31, and discuss it from a Christian point of view. You can also find plenty of secular books that teach the Golden Rule, including "The Golden Rule," by Caryn Sonenberg, for kids ages 5 and older. The book tells the story of a little girl celebrating her birthday and the lesson she learns from a friend who is attending. Another book for that age group is "Helping Others: The Golden Rule," by Reggie Read, about applying the Golden Rule in helping out your friends.

Golden Rule Star Chart

Encourage your children to practice the Golden Rule by creating a chart with stickers. Tell the kids you will add a golden star next to their name each time they are observed treating each other kindly, sharing their toys, and saying sorry when they are wrong. Congratulate the children for every sticker they earn, but be careful not to offer a big reward so that they understand that the "gift" of the Golden Rule is the rule itself.

Make a Golden Ruler

Help your child make a giant Golden Ruler to display in his room. Cut a long strip of poster board to look like a giant ruler. Let your child paint or color it golden yellow, then add measurement marks to resemble a ruler down the length of one side. On the other side, write out the Golden Rule, "Do to others what you would have them do unto you," in black paint. When it dries, hang it up as a reminder for your child to look at in his room.

Volunteer Activities

Show your children how to use the Golden Rule in helping others outside of their friends and family. Discuss with your kids about how some people are in tough circumstances. Perhaps they don't have a home or a child doesn't have a warm coat for winter. Ask them whether they would want help and comfort if they were in those circumstances. Arrange for your children to participate in an age-appropriate volunteer activity where they are giving back to those less fortunate in the community. This could range from working in a food kitchen to starting a coat drive for children to have coats in the winter.

About the Author

Based in Los Angeles, Zora Hughes has been writing travel, parenting, cooking and relationship articles since 2010. Her work includes writing city profiles for Groupon. She also writes screenplays and won the S. Randolph Playwriting Award in 2004. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in television writing/producing and a Master of Arts Management in entertainment media management, both from Columbia College.