Lesson Ideas and Activities
Outdoor Play Activities That Teach Children About Responsibility
Children who are accountable and capable, who look after themselves and others can build their self-respect, have a sense of responsibility. Taking responsibility for their actions and possessions, leads to a strong work ethic in adulthood, meaning it is a key skill to be taught in schools today.
Responsible children will likely contribute to their school and home environment in a positive way.
Below we have outlined 4 entertaining outdoor play activities to teach children to take responsibility for themselves. Once they start doing this, it’ll be a great investment in self-worth as they mature.
1. Team Sports
Outdoor group sports, such as football, netball, basketball and hockey, are an outstanding means for teaching children to take responsibility for themselves and others as their team mates are reliant on them to deliver.
Being part of a squad outlines the importance of the discipline required to practise their chosen activity each week and to continue trying, regardless of how much energy and time is required to improve.
While ‘practise makes perfect’ might not convey the correct message, as perfection is questionable, it will likely teach them that determination leads to rewards.
Team sports also teaches children accountability for their actions and equipment, for instance to keep the MUGA in the same state that they found it for others to use. Similarly, they are expected to respect and obey the game rules, just like their teammates.
Children love games and they also love to help- though cooking outdoors comes with a variety of issues. The Mud Kitchen offers a perfect make-believe alternative and allows you to demonstrate how to ‘cook’.
They can use the mud kitchen to prepare food and serve ‘the fruits of their labour’ to friends. Afterwards, there’s tidy-up time, too. This type of role play imparts an important lesson in taking pride in your work and will stay with them in adulthood.
3. Tidy Up Time
As adults, there is nothing more frustrating than not knowing where things are. Clutter and general untidiness can be exasperating when trying to locate items, toys and belongings.
A great way to teach children responsibility is to assign chores and jobs. To make this fun, they can even have their very own job titles, at the end of the week they will swap with classmates so that everyone can reap the rewards.
Tidy-up time can be fun: the assigned pair can put the toys away into the Self-Selecting Stores, they can even separate them by colour and size, too. The supervising adult can offer lots of encouragement and praise and this will build children’s self-esteem.
Likewise, another child can be accountable for the welly rack and ensure that all the boots are on the rack in pairs. Explaining that because of their actions, children are less likely to slip and fall over the wellies and their friends will be able to find them easily, can be a source of inspiration for teaching responsibility.
Taking pride in their work will also stay with them as they grow up.
4. Taking Care Of Living Things
“If you want a child’s mind to grow…you must first plant a seed.”
What’s not to love about planting? Children love getting dirty; mud offers new sensory experiences for them, but more importantly planting brings lots of excitement and learning.
Using the Playground Planters, children can watch their seeds grow into plants, they can be responsible for taking care of them and learn about what is needed for them to grow well, such as air, water and sunshine. Children can make little labels out of wooden sticks to label their plants and to proudly display them to others.
Children are like sponges - they are fast at picking things up and absorbing new information and lessons taught, which they will take with them on their journey into adulthood. As adults, it is our job to create new learning experiences for them.
Teaching responsibility requires patience and good organisation, whilst offering lots of reward for positive behaviour with smiles, praise and words of encouragement, so that their actions become lifelong habits.
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