8 Hands-on Activities To Teach Patience To Your Child

Patience isn't a virtue that kids are born with. However, we can tell you how to teach kids patience. Try these eight hands-on activities and transform your bundle of impatience into a calm child.

By Kumudam Berkin

8 Hands-on Activities To Teach Patience To Your Child

In today's fast-paced life, patience is a scarce commodity. Being patient and responding patiently to situations is a skill which most of us, especially children, struggle with. Nevertheless, it is an important life skill and must be taught to children from a very young age.

But, how to teach kids patience is a question that most parents do not have an answer to.

It is not so difficult. We can teach our children to be calm, accommodating and understanding.

How to Teach Patience to Kids

While some children develop patience early, some need to be trained for a longer time. The thumb rule is that we should not expect kids, toddlers or preschoolers to start behaving like mature adults.

Here are a few interesting ways Pulkit Sharma has been teaching patience to his daughter.

Hands-on activities to teach patience to children

Some children are a little more energetic than others. Parents should not expect such a kid, toddler or preschooler to be as patient as others around him.

If your child is a restless bundle of energy, then here are 8 activities that teach patience, and would keep him busy too:

  1. Catch the drizzle
  2. Await your turn
  3. Finger on the lips
  4. Pass the parcel
  5. Use creative waiting strategies
  6. Practise taking turns
  7. Engage your child in shopping
  8. Take up gardening

Teach patience to your child through 8 patience-building activities

1. Catch the drizzle

The next time there’s a drizzle or light shower, ask your child to place a deep jug or bowl on the window-sill and wait for it to fill up with rain water. Waiting for the entire vessel to fill will be an interesting way to teach your little one patience.

2. Await your turn

Teach your child that she cannot interrupt you when you are conversing with someone. This holds good even more while you are on the phone. Here’s an interesting way of teaching this - when you are on the phone and your child needs to talk to you, then ask him to tap on your hand and you can tap his hand back. This means I hear you and I will get back to you once the call is over. This can be made a fun activity by practising fake calls. It also makes for good pretend play.

3.Finger on the lips

Silence is an important part of patience. Therefore, it is a good idea to play what is called ‘the silent game’. You can set a timer and tell your children to sit silently. Monitor them if they get fidgety and urge them to sit still. This can prove to be a true test of patience for your little ones!

4. Pass the parcel

Wrap a gift in multiple layers (as many as possible) and pass it on to your children. Ask them to take turns and unwrap the gifts slowly. This will teach your children to patiently wait until the last layer is unwrapped to finally take a look at the gift.

5. Use creative waiting strategies 

You can teach your children various strategies whenever they are forced to wait patiently. You could tell your children to get their creative juices flowing by coming up with an interesting story or poem. They could also be told to sing a song while they wait. These strategies will ease the tension of waiting and teach your children patience.

6.Practise taking turns

You can set a timer or a sand clock and play games with your children. For example, if there is a toy that needs to be shared, then you could use the sand clock to teach one child to wait while the other plays with the toy. This can be a great lesson on patience.

7. Engage your child in shopping 

It is never too early to teach your child how to shop at a grocery store. Engage him by asking him to make his own list. The idea is to keep him occupied and keep his mind off the whole process of waiting while you shop. Making a list of his own will not only keep your 3-year-old busy but also help him learn the names of the vegetables and other items available in the store. The most trying time for children is waiting at the billing counter. The best way to handle this is to hand over the money to your child (under supervision, of course) and ask him to make the payment. Engaging your child in such activities is the key.

8. Take up gardening

Most of the activities our children engage in give results in a very short time. As a result, they start expecting everything to happen quickly. To avoid this and develop patience, engage your child in gardening, where his efforts will bear fruit slowly. Let him sow some seeds, water it every day, and see the sapling grow into a big plant.

The best way for parents to teach patience to children is to provide them with an environment that is not just stimulating but also predictable. Letting them know consistently what is expected of them in various situations and going through the rules repeatedly will help them learn how to exercise self-control and be patient.

About the author:

Written by Kumudam Berkin on 3 April 2017. Last updated on 29 April 2020.

The author is a professional German translator, interpreter, foreign language instructor for schools and visiting faculty for colleges and corporates.

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