Responsibility for Kids: How to Teach Responsibility Through Play

Messy Play helps children to develop a sense of responsibility and confidence

Wouldn’t it be magical if your kiddos would just clean up after themselves,? Or, know exactly how to clear their plates from the table? Or, actually put their dirty clothes in the laundry bin? It can be so challenging to teach responsibility for kids when all they want to do is play. 

That is why Messy Play Kits has come up with great ideas that integrate how to teach a child responsibility while playing! Here are three lessons that improve your kiddo’s sense of responsibility with Messy Play as the facilitator.

How to Teach a Child Responsibility with Messy Play Kits

Following Rules and Instructions 

So much of life, regardless of age, is about following rules and instructions. In my post about setting boundaries, I talked about the importance of setting and enforcing boundaries. Each Messy Play Kits activity allows you to reinforce healthy rules and boundaries. Following these age-appropriate instructions will also help your child develop a sense of accomplishment as they enjoy the satisfaction of playing and achieving their goal alongside others! See? Activities that address how to teach a child responsibility can be so fun!

Setting Up

Involving children in game setup gives them a sense of responsibility over the play, as well as empowers them while building self-confidence. It also occupies their attention before the Messy Play™ activity starts, which engages them early and stimulates their focus so they aren't distracted waiting while you’re setting up alone! 

So, have your child help you gather the materials you need for the activity, including setting out the dropcloth that goes under the sensory bin. In our Messy Play Kits, we label our materials and instructions to show children how to participate in the setup process! Each activity instruction card and the corresponding materials are labeled with the same colorful shape sticker. So even a young child can help you identify all the materials needed for a particular activity, simply by looking for that particular colorful shape. This builds that sense of responsibility, as well as inspires enthusiasm for the fun that’s about to come! 


Just like helping with setup, pitching in to clean up is empowering for children! It promotes self-help skills and fine motor control. It establishes healthy patterns of cleaning up after themselves in the future. Not to mention, it saves you from picking up the entire activity by yourself! This also can be as much fun as the activity itself: young children often love water play, so let them help wash the paint brushes, or rinse off the sensory bin tongs, or load the dropcloth into the laundry (oohh, they're even helping with chores here!).

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So, if you’re curious about how to teach a child responsibility, turn to Messy Play Kits products like the Dinosaur Dig Messy Play Kit and the Washable Dropcloth to get you started. Then, just follow the instructions above and watch your littles grow!

Gardening Sensory Bin Under the Sea Messy Play Kit

The best way to teach responsibility with messy play is to sign up for a monthly subscription and receive a new activity box each month!

Sign up here!