Teaching Perseverance Through Games: A Step-by-Step Guide

In this article, we will explore the power of games in teaching perseverance, and provide you with a step-by-step guide to incorporating this important life skill into your teaching repertoire. Perseverance, the ability to keep going despite difficulties and setbacks, is a crucial quality to develop in children. By incorporating games into our lessons, we can create an engaging and enjoyable environment that promotes perseverance in a fun and interactive way.

The Importance of Teaching Perseverance

Before we dive into the step-by-step guide, let’s take a moment to understand why teaching perseverance is so important. Dr. Jane Goodall, renowned primatologist and anthropologist, once said, “The success of any endeavor requires persistence. Without persistence, obstacles and challenges become insurmountable mountains.” These wise words highlight the significance of perseverance in achieving success in any aspect of life.

Perseverance is not just a trait that leads to success; it is a fundamental skill that helps individuals navigate the ups and downs of life. In today’s fast-paced and ever-changing world, teaching perseverance is more crucial than ever. It equips individuals, especially children, with the tools they need to overcome obstacles, bounce back from failure, and stay motivated in the face of adversity.

Dr. Susan David, a psychologist specializing in emotions and happiness, explains that teaching perseverance from an early age equips children with the resilience needed to face challenges in their academic, personal, and professional lives. Perseverance helps children develop a growth mindset, where they understand that effort and persistence are the keys to improvement and accomplishment. It also fosters a sense of self-efficacy, empowering children to believe in their ability to overcome obstacles and achieve their goals.

Moreover, teaching perseverance goes beyond just academic success. It plays a vital role in shaping a child’s character and preparing them for the complexities of the real world. Perseverance teaches children the value of hard work, discipline, and determination. It instills in them the belief that setbacks are not failures but opportunities for growth and learning.

Furthermore, perseverance helps children develop essential life skills such as problem-solving, decision-making, and time management. When faced with challenges, children who have learned to persevere are more likely to approach them with a positive attitude and a willingness to find creative solutions. They become resilient individuals who can adapt to different situations and thrive in the face of adversity.

Now that we understand the importance of teaching perseverance, let’s move on to our step-by-step guide on how to incorporate games into your teaching to instill this valuable trait in children.

1. Set the Stage

Begin by creating a positive learning environment that encourages perseverance. Dr. Benjamin Spock, a well-known pediatrician, believed that a nurturing and supportive atmosphere is essential for a child’s development. As educators, we can foster this environment by promoting a growth mindset and emphasizing the value of effort and persistence.

In addition to creating a positive learning environment, it is important to provide students with opportunities to develop their perseverance skills. One way to do this is by incorporating real-life examples and stories into the curriculum. For instance, sharing stories of famous individuals who faced challenges and overcame them through perseverance can inspire students to develop their own perseverance.

Furthermore, educators can organize classroom discussions and activities that revolve around perseverance. By engaging students in conversations about the importance of perseverance and how it can positively impact their lives, educators can help them understand the significance of this trait.

2. Choose Games Strategically

When selecting games, look for opportunities to incorporate challenges and obstacles that require perseverance to overcome. Think of games as metaphors for real-life situations, where children can develop problem-solving skills and learn to persist in the face of adversity. Famous obstetrician Dr. Michel Odent once described the process of birth as a journey that requires perseverance and strength. Similarly, games can be seen as microcosms of life, offering valuable lessons in perseverance.

Moreover, games provide a unique platform for students to practice perseverance in a safe and controlled environment. By engaging in games that require strategic thinking and persistence, students can develop their perseverance skills while having fun. This not only enhances their ability to overcome challenges but also fosters a sense of resilience that can be applied to various aspects of their lives.

The Power of Play

  • Games allow children to practice perseverance in a safe and controlled environment.
  • They provide immediate feedback and opportunities for reflection and improvement.
  • Games foster teamwork and collaboration, encouraging children to support and motivate each other.
  • They enhance creativity, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills.
  • Playing games can also help children develop emotional intelligence and empathy as they navigate through different scenarios and interact with other players.
  • Furthermore, games can serve as a form of stress relief and relaxation, allowing children to recharge and rejuvenate their minds.
  • Research has shown that games can improve memory and cognitive abilities, making them a valuable tool for enhancing overall academic performance.
  • By engaging in games, children can learn to set goals, develop strategies, and persevere until they achieve success.

3. Reflect and Discuss

After playing a game, take the time to reflect and discuss it with the children. This is an opportunity for them to explore their thoughts and feelings, while also reinforcing the importance of perseverance.

Reflecting on their gameplay experience can help children develop a deeper understanding of their own abilities and strategies. Encourage them to think about the decisions they made during the game and how those decisions affected the outcome. Did they try different approaches? Did they encounter any obstacles or challenges along the way?

Dr. Carol Dweck, a renowned psychologist, suggests that feedback should center on effort rather than outcome. This means that instead of focusing solely on whether the child won or lost the game, we should emphasize the effort they put into it. By praising children for their persistence and highlighting the lessons they learned from their challenges, we can encourage a growth mindset and instill the value of perseverance.

During the reflection and discussion session, ask open-ended questions to encourage children to express their thoughts and feelings. For example, you could ask them how they felt when they faced a difficult level or when they made a mistake. This can help them develop emotional intelligence and learn to cope with frustration or disappointment.

Additionally, discussing the game as a group can foster a sense of community and teamwork. Encourage children to share their strategies and insights with each other. This can create a supportive environment where they can learn from one another and celebrate each other’s successes.

Remember, the goal of reflection and discussion is not to criticize or judge the children’s performance, but rather to encourage self-reflection and promote a growth mindset. By focusing on effort, perseverance, and the lessons learned from challenges, we can help children develop resilience and a positive attitude towards learning and personal growth.

4. Model Perseverance

As educators, we have the power to inspire and influence children through our own actions. By modeling perseverance in our own lives, we provide a powerful example for children to follow. Famous pediatrician Dr. T. Berry Brazelton once said, “Children learn more from what you are than what you teach.” When children see us facing challenges with resilience and determination, they are more likely to develop these qualities themselves.

Perseverance is not just about never giving up; it is about having the courage to face obstacles head-on and finding creative solutions. When children witness us tackling difficult tasks and persisting even when things get tough, they learn that setbacks are not the end of the road, but rather opportunities for growth and learning.

Imagine a classroom where the teacher models perseverance in every aspect of their life. Whether it’s trying a new teaching method, learning a new skill, or even facing personal challenges, the teacher’s unwavering determination becomes a source of inspiration for the students. They see that success is not always immediate, but with perseverance, it can be achieved.

One way educators can model perseverance is by sharing personal stories of their own struggles and how they overcame them. By opening up about their own failures and setbacks, teachers create a safe and supportive environment where students feel comfortable taking risks and embracing challenges. These stories serve as reminders that everyone faces obstacles, but it is how we respond to them that truly matters.

Furthermore, educators can incorporate perseverance into their curriculum by highlighting the stories of famous individuals who have overcome adversity. Whether it’s historical figures like Thomas Edison, who failed numerous times before inventing the light bulb, or modern-day heroes like Malala Yousafzai, who fought for girls’ education despite facing life-threatening challenges, these stories serve as powerful examples of perseverance in action.

It is important for educators to remember that modeling perseverance goes beyond just words; it requires consistent action. When faced with a difficult situation, teachers can demonstrate problem-solving skills, critical thinking, and a positive attitude. By showing students that challenges are not insurmountable barriers, but rather opportunities for growth, educators empower them to develop resilience and determination.

In conclusion, modeling perseverance as educators is a powerful way to inspire and influence children. By sharing personal stories, highlighting the achievements of others, and consistently demonstrating resilience in our own lives, we create an environment where students feel motivated to face challenges head-on. As Dr. T. Berry Brazelton wisely stated, children learn more from what we are than what we teach. Let us be the role models of perseverance that our students need.


Teaching perseverance through games is a powerful way to help children develop this important life skill. By creating a positive learning environment, choosing games strategically, reflecting and discussing, and modeling perseverance, we can empower children to overcome challenges and achieve their goals. As educators, we have the opportunity to shape the future by instilling in children the belief that perseverance is the key to success in all aspects of life.