A Creative Look at Building Character

Our guest blogger today is ANN SAYLOR. Ann is a nationally recognized speaker and author who helps youth and adults play, live, and lead with purpose.  She writes books, develop resources, and lead workshops to empower educators, youth workers and families in character, service and leadership (www.TheAssetEdge.net). She also publishes resources to help families stay balanced, healthy, frugal, creative, and closely knit on her blog. She and her husband Dan have 3 children (ages 11, 8 and 6) and enjoy playing games, laughing, reading, and serving together in Tennessee.

A Creative Look at Building Character

How do you present complicated lessons about character to a 6-year old?  How do you get a group of young children to think about respect, integrity, or decision-making?  You start by entering their world through reading, drawing and play, and while they’re busy having fun, you ask the questions that help them think and shape positive values. 

When parents get down on a child’s level with the purpose of shaping their character and they stay committed over time, children will learn to navigate the world with positive values such as integrity, honesty, responsibility, and compassion. 

Intentional parents can turn a conversation about music, fashion, sports or celebrities into a deeper talk about values.  Take time to ask about moral decisions while exercising, playing ping pong, carpooling, or baking cookies. 

Exploring literature is another outstanding way to weave character lessons into a child’s life.  You can use books as a way to jumpstart explorations of the character traits you want to focus on.  I co-authored a book that is filled with almost 100 books that you can use to teach character lessons through follow-up conversations and activities.  For example,

  • Read The Great Fuzz Frenzy by Susan Crummel together, then talk about friendship and selfishness before proceeding to make up your own stories about the silly adventures your ball might take. 
  • Read Dog Breath: The Horrible Trouble with Hally Tosis by Dav Pilkey, then talk about how Christians should relate to people that are different than we are.  Wrap up the character lesson by making a card for someone who seems sad or lonely.
  • Read Kevin Henkes’ book Wemberly Worried to help children talk about fear and courage, then memorize your favorite verse about overcoming fear. 
You can find Building Character from the Start: 201 Activities to Foster Creativity, Literacy and Play in K-3 by Susan Ragsdale and Ann Saylor at your favorite online bookseller.  Also click here to see more lists of books that build character.  We would love to hear about YOUR favorite books and activities that build character!  You can share in the comment box below.

Of course the most powerful way to shape a child’s character is to pray.  Make a list of all the traits you hope to nurture in your child.  Post the list where you will see it often, and let it remind you to be intentional in your parenting and intentional in your prayers.

What are some things you've done to build your child's character?


Milan Tomic

Hi. I’m Designer of Blog Magic. I’m CEO/Founder of ThemeXpose. I’m Creative Art Director, Web Designer, UI/UX Designer, Interaction Designer, Industrial Designer, Web Developer, Business Enthusiast, StartUp Enthusiast, Speaker, Writer and Photographer. Inspired to make things looks better.

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