Children's Activities on Fairness

Children who understand fairness play better together.

Teaching children fairness is a pivotal part of their development into well-rounded adults. While fairness is sometimes a difficult concept for young children to understand or appreciate, incorporating classroom activities that teach the skill will help them to develop a sense of fairness and equality.

1 Make Rules

Have each student in the class write a list of five rules that are required for playing fair, such as sharing books and telling the truth. When they finish, compare each of their lists to find the five or 10 most common rules the students agree on. Post the list on the wall for everyone to see.

2 Play Without Rules

Allow students to play a board game or something as simple as tic-tac-toe with a partner. Ask the students to play the game without following any of the posted rules or the rules of the game. For instance, they can take more than one turn at a time or lie about how many spaces they jumped. When the game is over, or just before anyone gets too frustrated to continue to play, have the students stop and recount to you as a class if it is possible or fun to play without fairness.

3 Writing Assignment

Have students write down a situation in which they were not fair or someone was not fair to them. Ask them to describe how the situation felt to them and what they could do to keep themselves fair in the future.

4 Recognize Fairness

When children are being fair and treating people nicely, it is important that they are positively recognized for such behavior to reinforce that behavior. Make a poster on the wall with students' names on it who have been recognized by the teacher or other students for being fair. Alternatively, choose one child per day who showed fairness, and give them a spot on the wall that day in recognition.

Scarlett Reine has been a freelance writer since 2008. Her work includes gardening and home improvement articles, as well as political projects for an advocacy network. Reine is studying brain psychology at Boise State University.