Character Education Activities for Kids - Helping Kids Become Healthy, Whole Adults

High quality character education activities for kids supercharge kids to learn values that will serve them, their families, and the communities they live in as adults.

Answering the question, "What is character education?", might sound simple to you. And though it is simple to define individual traits that make up character education, it's wise to deepen our perspective and understanding.

For example, as a United States citizen, brought up in a traditional conservative family, I was exposed to values far different than kids brought up in Spain under the dictatorship of Franco.

Thus, people from countries around the world have different, distinctive mannerisms and outlooks on life that often contradict the values of another country.

Meaning that character education activities for kids in the USA may not be valuable for kids from other countries unless the character education activities have universal truths and values relevant to all people.

The following are some examples of character education activities for kids:

  • playing together with other kids at recess;
  • playing on sports teams, when winning isn't the only path to enjoyment and fun;
  • helping mom with daily chores around the house;
  • having a paper route;
  • finding bottles and cans to recycle and make extra money;
  • going out of your way to welcome a new kid or family in the neighborhood;
  • remaining friends with a good friend through the hard times friendships often go through.

Here's an extensive list of character traits from which you can createyour own character education activities for kids.

Definition of Character Education

Here's one definition of character education that answers the question, "What is character education?":

"Character education involves teaching children about basic human values including

  • honesty,
  • kindness,
  • generosity,
  • courage,
  • freedom,
  • equality, and
  • respect.
(Quoted from ASCD, For the Success of Each Learner).

Here's a second definition of character education and the traits involved.

Both definitions are excellent and useful. However, almost all educators neglect a crucial element of character education.

When they speak about character education in schools or character education activities or just character education in general, they assume that kids can be taught to learn these values and traits.

And they're right: kids can learn to be honest, to be caring, to take responsibility and the like.

However, and this may startle, surprise, even shock you (and you may not believe me), when I share what I consider is the necessary first ingredient to all character education activities for kids.

We've witnessed a similar problem with health care for adults in the USA.

Think about it for a moment. Here in the USA the vast majority of people have

  • enough money to buy healthy food,
  • enough time to exercise,
  • a roof over their heads,
  • adequate work and wages,
  • a supportive community, and
  • sufficient information about what it takes to create a healthy lifestyle.

Yet, statistically, the USA ranks as the 23rd healthiest nation in the world.

Why is this?

From 25 years of research and experimentation, from talking with hundreds of people and studying what makes people tick, I've come to the conclusion that most people won't become healthy until they have a deep and profound love for self. (I'm not talking about arrogance, selfishness, non-caring for others).

Self-love is the starting point for everything.

You might be thinking, "Why is it so important for kids to love themselves before they can learn about character education?"

Character education activities for kids may prove unsuccessful until self-love is given an important place in your child's development.

Let me share with you what I've learned. I speak from extensive experience of having poor character values and lousy character traits as a young person.

I used to

  • steal money from my dad so I could gamble playing poker,
  • regularly get drunk as a teenager,
  • steal steak and lobster from grocery stores,
  • set the all-time high school record for missing classes (the school revamped the whole policy after our class).

You have to love yourself enough to be willing to hear what good values and good traits are.

When you don't love yourself, you often feel depressed, doomed, woe is me, the world is a horrible place, I'll always be a failure and the like.

How can kids with these depressing thoughts ever be willing to consider character education activities? For kids or adults to learn or change, they must feel good about themselves.

It all starts with self-love.

Self-love is not the same as self-esteem, though the two are closely related. For a further discussion on the importance of self-love, see health education for kids.

ATTN Moms: Here's Part 1 of my Free e-Book Series on Self-Love.

After you've read it, (it's geared for adults), if you like it, request the remaining 4 parts, which will be sent every 5th day.

This Self-Love e-Book may serve you well in creating or finding character education activities for kids. Visit list of character traits if you would like to study an extensive list as well as examples of the individual character traits.

My Promise: I dislike spam as much as you. I promise never to share your personal information with anyone. Thanks for your trust.

Self-Love e-Book

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Treat us as you would treat family and friends. Gratefully, Harvey