Games to Teach Kids to Give Compliments

Teach your students to praise their peers.

Everyone likes receiving a compliment. A simple praise has the amazing ability to make the recipient feel warm and appreciated. While giving compliments may seem like a basic skill, it is not something that necessarily comes naturally. Teachers can help their students develop their compliment-giving skills by engaging them in games that involve the giving and receiving of compliments. Not only will students enjoy the interactive nature of these games, but they will also develop their praise-giving skills while they play.

1 Compliment Match-Up

Students pair their peers with appropriate compliments in this fast-paced match-up game. To prepare for this game, write student-specific compliments on index cards. Be as specific as you can in the composition of your compliments to ensure that student players can match the compliment to the intended recipient. For example, if you have a student who is always dancing, compliment his skills. If another student has bright red hair, explain how much you appreciate this distinctive trait.

When students arrive in class, ask for volunteers to receive compliments. Select five volunteers, and ask these individuals to come to the front of the room. Move through the index cards, and pull out the compliment cards you created for these specific students. Ask for another student volunteer. Give this volunteer the index cards containing the compliments. Ask the student to read each compliment silently, and give the card to the student for whom the compliment was intended as quickly as possible. Time his efforts. After the student has matched the cards, allow the compliment recipients to read the cards that they were given. If the compliments were all distributed appropriately, record the student's time.

Select new volunteers and repeat the process. Reward the student who matches the compliments correctly in the shortest amount of time with a special prize.

2 Compliment Bean Bag

Students pass around compliments as they toss a bean bag in this game that improves both complimenting and eye-hand coordination skills. To prepare for this game, acquire a small bean bag. When students arrive in class, place them in a circle. Give one student the beanbag. Tell the student holding the bean bag that he must select a peer, give the peer a compliment and then throw the bean bag to that person. Pass the bean bag around the circle repeatedly in this fashion, allowing students to catch and throw the bean bag while they give and receive compliments.

3 Compliment Candy Swap

Sweet compliments and candy are both traded in this game. To prepare for this activity, attach pieces of candy to index cards. Write each student's name on five of the prepared index cards. Mix up the cards together.

When students arrive in class, give each student five of the prepared cards, taking care not to give the student a card that contains his own name. Ask the students to look at the names on the cards, and write one compliment for each of the students whose cards they possess. Encourage students to be creative and original, selecting compliments that are specifically appropriate to the recipient. Once the students have filled out the cards, allow them to get up and trade them, giving the candy cards to the students that they selected.

Once all of the candy has been distributed, allow the students to read the compliments that they received aloud while they enjoy their sweet candy treats.

Erin Schreiner is a freelance writer and teacher who holds a bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University. She has been actively freelancing since 2008. Schreiner previously worked for a London-based freelance firm. Her work appears on eHow, and RedEnvelope. She currently teaches writing to middle school students in Ohio and works on her writing craft regularly.