There are so many awesome and free printables created by Kid Bloggers around the web. Many are focused on academics or fun, but can also be adapted to enhance character education. In this post I am featuring five printable activities created by other bloggers which our family has enjoyed… with our own character building twist.
1. Dress-Up Glasses
Learn about Optimism
This sweet printable from Picklebums gives you 4 sets of glasses to cut out and decorate (plus wear when you’re done!). While decorating our glasses, I talked to the boys about how we can choose to see everything in a happy or sad way. If we see the good in something, we are being optimistic.
I asked the boys about several situations, such as if they are given a new food they don’t think they will like. The first thought may be, “I don’t like that, yuck!” But if we put on our “Optimistic Glasses” and choose to see the good in the situation, we may say something like, “I’ll take one bite just to try something new… this will be fun!”
We had fun creating the glasses, and then doing several role plays that helped us discuss what “being optimistic” means.
Download your own set of glasses here.
2. Go Outside Activity Cards
Learn about Cooperation
I printed out these cards from Creative Family Fun when we had a family reunion a few months ago – so the kids could take turns picking them out when they needed a distraction/new activity. After cutting them up I simply took out the ones that I did not think the kids would relate to (or that we did not have materials for) since all children are different. There are tons of fun ideas in these!
In our house I use them as “cooperative games.” When the boys are starting to get in each others’ space too much, we can break up the frustration by picking out a card and doing something together. The only rule is that they have to cooperate – helping each other with the activity and working together. (For example, for “Look for pictures in the clouds” they can help each other find the shapes or give each other ideas.)
Download your own set here.
3. Healthy Foods Plates
Learn about Discipline
I just love this set of printable foods from The Craft Train. Children are invited to create several different “plates” of food depending if the food is a healthy food or a junk food. Kate actually had her children glue the foods on paper plates, which was super cute! However we didn’t have any paper plates around, so we drew a few circles – green for “green light foods” (eat as much as you want), yellow for “yellow light foods” (eat only occasionally as these slow you down), and red for “red light foods” (these do nothing good for your body).
While we were pasting the foods on, we talked about how sometimes we really want to do something but it is not good for us. We have to be disciplined to do what we know is right or best. This is very true in eating healthy foods and not eating too many junk foods… so it was an easy way to learn what “discipline” might mean.
Download this printable (which includes several other pages and activities!) here.
4. Superhero Games
Learn about Service
I am a big fan of using superheroes to help my boys develop a passion for helping others; since they want to play superheroes anyway, I figure why not make the most of it. 123 Homeschool for Me has created an incredible packet of superhero materials, several of which we have enjoyed during superhero play.
While using the printables and playing superheroes, we simply talk about how true heroes are people who use whatever they have to help others. Whether it is using their strength, knowledge, tools, or compassion, heroes do their best to help everyone around them. There are so many play scenarios to use in this way!
Pictured above is a superhero bowling set which also teaches numbers, coordination, and more…
Download the superheroes pack here.
5. Little Red Riding Hood Puppets
Learn about Obedience
These puppets from Learn Create Love are adorable. While we acted out the story of Little Red Riding Hood with our homemade puppets on our felt board, we discussed the concept of obedience – and how if Little Red Riding Hood was obedient to her mother (stayed on the path and did not talk to strangers) then the wolf would not have been a threat to her grandmother or herself. (In our story the grandma is hiding in the closet, and does not get eaten! And the wolf is only scared away – and not killed – by the hunter.)
Download your set of puppets here.
And lastly, here is one more bonus printable I published a few months ago: a homemade place mat to teach manners at the table.
I hope you enjoy these fun printables to teach values! If you know of another great printable activity that can help kids learn about a character trait, feel free to add a link or idea in the comments!