Responsibility is one of the character traits most frequently included in character education programs for kids. Teaching kids to take responsibility for their actions and to responsibly perform tasks is a key step toward character maturity and success. Kids learn best when they're having fun, so games are an effective way to teach responsibility.
Whodunit is a board game designed to teach responsibility for kids in grades two through seven. In this game, players try to solve a mystery by figuring out who is performing acts of good behavior at school. Each player receives a checklist and cards that tell them part of the solution to the mystery. The top secret envelope holds the answer and is opened when a player believes he has solved the mystery.
The Responsibility Game
The Responsibility Game is also a board game designed to teach responsibility. This game is simpler than Whodunit and can be played by children in grades one through six. Players move markers around a track, and different boxes on the track require them to perform different actions related to the theme of responsibility. Some actions involve role-playing; others involve answering a question about what the most responsible action would be in an imaginary situation. After completing a task, the player gets a letter card. The first player to collect fourteen letter cards that spell out the word "responsibility" wins.
Almost any team building activity can be used to teach responsibility if it is set up and debriefed with that trait as a focus. Team building games that require different members of the group to play different roles and take responsibility for each other are especially useful for this. In the game Plane Rescue, the group imagines they have been in a plane crash in the mountains. They must travel across a designated space in order to reach the pick-up point where they will meet their rescuers. However, different members of the group have received different injuries in the crash. One person may be blind; another may be unable to use her hands; a third may be completely paralyzed. The goal of the game is for the entire group to get to the rescue point together.
Great Egg Drop
Team building activities that require the group to take care of a particular object are also good for teaching responsibility, since the outcome of the group's actions has real consequences. In the Great Egg Drop, players are divided into several teams, and each team receives a raw egg and a selection of materials, such as paper and tape. For younger children, there should be more materials--such as old pillows or cotton balls. Older children can try this game with fewer materials. Each team works together to build a protective structure that will allow their egg to drop from a designated height without breaking.
Lisa Baker has been a professional writer since 2001. She has published articles on parenting, environmental issues and religious topics in a variety of print and online venues, including "HomeLife Magazine" and "Pink & Green." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Sweet Briar College.