Teaching children the importance of commitment builds academic confidence and strong self-esteem. Team-building activities that are fun and introspective help to bring the concept to life. Engaging children in games that emphasize commitment helps them develop positive habits and jump-starts their dedication to the idea of sticking with something until it’s finished. Start each commitment game with a summary of expected outcomes and be sure to finish with reflection to reinforce learning points.

Tied up in Knots!

Karen Amundson/Demand Media

Have children stand in a circle and close their eyes. Ask them to reach across and grab hands with two different people. Tell them to untangle the human knot they’ve created without speaking or unlocking hands. If you sense they’re about to give-up, encourage them to work together until the task is completed. After the activity, ask them to discuss what it felt like in the beginning and the end. Stress the importance of sticking with a task, even if it seems impossible. Help them celebrate their accomplishment with positive words and reinforcement.

Reading Race

Karen Amundson/Demand Media

Build a commitment to learning by creating a reading game for children. Create a book list and assign points, depending upon the number of pages and level of the book. Create a chart so that children can see their progress as they complete each book. Provide incentives along the way and a big reward at the end of the race. Rewards can include extra playtime, a home-baked treat or watching a movie. Each week, review the chart to see who’s in the lead. Provide some kind of reward for each child that participates. Ask each child to share the stories they read and what it felt like to complete the reading race.

Cast Your Vote

Karen Amundson/Demand Media

Give each child a piece of green and red paper. After discussing the definition of commitment, begin sharing scenarios with the group. Some should reflect a commitment and others should not. For example, Susie says she’s going to walk the dog each day, but she only follows through on the weekends. Or, David practices piano each day after school so he’s prepared for his lesson. Have children vote with green if the scenario demonstrates commitment and red if it doesn’t. Split the group into two and have them create scenarios for the next round. Ask each child to share one way they’ll be more committed to something in their life.

Goal Buddies

Karen Amundson/Demand Media

Ask each child to write down one goal that can be accomplished in 30 days. Have them write down how the goal will be easy and what might impede their ability to accomplish the task. Have children get in pairs and ask them to share their goals. Tell them that they now have a goal buddy and that weekly, they will provide encouragement and a reminder to stick to their goals. At the end of the goal month, have each child share their progress with the group and how their goal buddy helped them through the process. Discuss the importance of commitment, dedication and perseverance when tackling personal goals.