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Conflict Resolution for Kids: Fun Games and Activities

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Learn conflict resolution skills with fun games and activities for kids.

Conflict resolution skills are essential for children to learn. Not only do they help prevent social problems, but they can also help kids resolve small squabbles that end in a peaceful solution.

When kids know how to handle disagreements and arguments, they have less chance of becoming bullies or being bullied.

This article will discuss several conflict resolution activities and games that can be used in small groups.

These games are fun and engaging, teaching kids the importance of communication and compromise.

What is Conflict Resolution?

boy and girl fighting, conflict resolution training

Conflict Resolution is a process for solving disagreements between two or more parties. This process can resolve disputes in:

  • relationships
  • families
  • organizations
  • communities

There are different approaches to conflict resolution, but all involve communication, negotiation, and problem-solving.

The goal is to reach a mutually satisfactory agreement that meets the needs of all parties involved.

Mediation may be necessary to assist the parties in reaching an agreement. However, full-blown disputes can be prevented by applying conflict resolution techniques.

People can often find productive solutions to their differences by learning how to communicate and negotiate effectively.

Why Children Need to Learn Conflict Resolution Skills

Conflict is a part of life. Everyone experiences it, whether it’s between siblings, friends, or even countries.

While it may be tempting to not deal with the conflict, avoiding it doesn’t make it go away.

Learning how to resolve conflict is an important life skill that can make a significant impact in your child’s life.

Not only will it help them in their relationships, but it will also equip them to deal with larger-scale conflicts in the world.

There are many ways to resolve conflict. The best way will vary depending on the situation.

However, some of the most important skills that all children need to learn in their everyday life includes:

  • active listening
  • empathy
  • compromise

By teaching children these skills, we can help them build a foundation for a lifetime of successful conflict resolution.

Different Conflict Resolution Strategies

boy and girl fighting, conflict resolution training

Conflict is a healthy and regular part of any relationship. However, it’s essential to teach kids how to resolve conflict constructively. The following strategies can be used in any situation:

  • Avoidance
  • Confrontational
  • Compromise
  • Collaborative

Avoidance is when one person completely ignores the conflict and hopes it will disappear. This is usually not an effective strategy as the problem will likely still be there when they try to address it later.

Confrontational approaches involve directly confronting the person with whom you’re in conflict. This can be effective if done respectfully, but it can also escalate the situation if done aggressively.

Compromise involves each person giving up something to reach a middle ground. This can be a good solution if both parties are willing to change their position.

Collaborative approaches involve finding a creative solution that meets everyone’s needs. This is often the best strategy as it creates a win-win situation for all involved. However, it requires good communication and problem solving skills.

Teaching kids these different strategies can help them resolve conflicts healthily and constructively.

Conflict Resolution Benefits for Kids

The benefits of this most important skill for kids are many.

  • prevents violence
  • develops positive social-emotional skills
  • learn how to manage their big emotions
  • understand different points of view
  • resolve conflicts in a peaceful, creative way
  • build self-esteem and confidence

These benefits are essential for kids as they grow up and navigate the world around them. By learning how to resolve conflicts peacefully, kids can set themselves up for success in all areas of their lives.

Conflict Resolution Games and Activities for Kids

When kids are taught how to resolve conflicts peacefully, they can avoid a lot of the arguments and hurt feelings that can happen between friends.

Games are one of the best solutions to teach kids about conflict resolution lessons, as they can provide a fun and safe environment for kids to practice these skills.

The following are some of the easiest activities for teaching conflict resolution.

I Statements

In this game, each player makes an “I statement” about something bothering them. For example, “I feel frustrated when you take my toy without asking.”

Or “I feel left out when you exclude me from your games.” The other players must then listen carefully and try to understand the strong feelings behind the statement.

The other players then respond empathetically, saying, “I’m sorry you feel that way. I’ll try to include you more in the future.”

This activity helps kids to express their feelings and to understand the perspective of others. Then the group can brainstorm possible solutions to the problem.

Walk in Someone Else’s Shoes

2 girls hugging after conflict resolution

This is another game that can teach healthy ways to resolve conflict. How to play:

Each player pretends to be someone else in a difficult situation that involves a conflict. 

For example, two kids are arguing over a toy. Each player would take on the role of one of the kids in the argument. 

The players would then have to resolve the conflict from their character’s perspective. 

This game can help kids see both sides of an argument and find common ground.

What I did Wrong/What I Can Do Better Game

Try this fun game the next time your little ones disagree. It’s a great way to teach them how to resolve conflict without resorting to name-calling or hitting.

Give each kid a piece of paper and a pencil to play with. They should draw a line down the middle to divide it into two columns on their paper.

The left column is labeled “What I Did Wrong,” and the right column is labeled “What I Can Do Better.”

Then, each child takes turns describing a recent conflict with someone else. After they finish, they look at their paper and decide what each person could have done differently.

They discover how to avoid the argument altogether or to resolve it more effectively. It would be helpful to come up with and suggest different real-life scenario to keep the conversation going.

The Peace Bell

To set up the activity, you’ll need a small bell and a piece of paper for each child. Write the word “Peace” at the top of the paper.

Ask the kids to brainstorm ideas for how they can bring peace into their lives. Once they’ve finished writing, have each child ring the bell and share one of their ideas with the group.

This activity can help kids think about resolving conflicts peacefully and feel empowered to make positive changes in their lives.

Once everyone has a turn, talk about some of the suggestions as a group. Ask the following questions:

  • What do you think about them?
  • Would they work in all types of conflicts?

If not, when would they be appropriate? Helping kids understand how to resolve conflict can prevent arguments from escalating into full-blown battles.

This skill will serve them well throughout their lives.

Board Games

Board games provide a unique opportunity to teach kids about conflict resolution. In many games, players are put into competition with one another, which can lead to conflict.

However, kids can learn how to resolve disputes without getting angry or upset by playing games that specifically focus on conflict resolution.

Various board games focus on teaching conflict resolution, and they can be a great way to help kids learn how to handle disagreements.

Games focusing on negotiation, problem-solving skills, and communication can help kids develop the skills they need to resolve conflicts effectively.

In addition, by playing board games that require cooperation, kids can learn the importance of working together to resolve disputes.

By playing these games, kids can develop the skills they need to resolve a real-life conflict successfully.

Here are some board game options that can teach conflict resolution training to kids.

Stop, Relax, & Resolve Conflict Game

This Stop, Relax, & Resolve Conflict Game was created to teach young children to resolve conflict in peaceful and productive ways.

What I love the most is that it is helpful for kids who have difficulty relating to their peers. It helps them learn to deal with teasing, protecting property, handling arguments, bullying, and more.

Junior Learning 6 Conflict & Resolution Games

These games focus on how to recognize conflict, how handle it, and resolve differences.

How I’m Feeling

This game has 54 prompts that get your child to share their feelings and thoughts. Not necessarily conflict resolutions but navigating these subjects can help them in future conflicts.

Games are just one way to teach conflict resolution skills to kids. Other activities, such as role-playing and discussion, can also be helpful.

Teaching kids how to resolve conflicts peacefully can help them avoid many unnecessary arguments and hurt feelings.

Role Playing

Many children have difficulty resolving conflicts with their peers. They may become frustrated and resort to name-calling or physical aggression.

Role-playing is a great way to teach conflict resolution skills. It allows children to practice what they would say and do in a conflict situation.

And it will enable them to try different solutions to see what works best. There are many different ways to role-play.

You can use puppets, dolls, or stuffed animals. Or you can have the kids act out the scenes themselves.

Here are some scenarios you can role play:

  • two friends arguing over a toy
  • two students arguing over who gets to sit in the front of the bus
  • two siblings arguing over TV time

Let the kids take turns being both the aggressor and the victim. After each scene, ask them what they could have done differently to resolve the conflict peacefully.

Through different role-playing scenarios, you’ll help your child learn how to handle disputes constructively.

Another is to provide them with books or articles that deal with conflict resolution in a kid-friendly way. 

Have You Filled a Bucket Today Book

This book is incredibly precious. While it may not help with conflict resolution directly, it helps to get your child’s minds off themselves and onto others.

The premise of the book is that everyone has an invisible bucket. When you do kind and loving things for others, it fills their bucket.

Likewise, you empty their bucket when you are unkind or hurtful to others. This works best with loved ones initially.

But as your child realizes how their actions affect others, it will extend to those outside their loved ones.

Talk and Work It Out Book

This is an excellent book that gets on the children’s level to learn the process of peaceful conflict resolution.

The Art of Conflict Resolution for Kids

This is a step-by-step book on strategies and exercises for resolving conflict for kids. It is free to read on Kindle Unlimited!

Heart Social Emotional Learning Curriculum (SEL)

Many experts believe that social-emotional learning (SEL) is crucial for young children. SEL skills include:

  • understanding and managing emotions
  • setting and achieve goals, feeling empathy for others
  • establishing and maintaining positive relationships

These skills are not only important for academic success, but they can also help children resolve conflicts peacefully.

By teaching children SEL skills early on, we can help them develop into productive, well-adjusted adults.

There are several ways to incorporate SEL into the classroom, such as:

  • using cooperative learning activities
  • providing opportunities for role-playing
  • teaching deep breathing exercises

With a little creativity, teachers can find ways to incorporate SEL into any lesson plan. By doing so, they can help their students build the foundation for a lifetime of success and positive outcomes.

Final Thoughts

2 boys hugging after resolving conflict

By raising awareness of the importance of effective communication and conflict resolution, children will be better equipped to handle difficult situations throughout their lives.

These fun conflict resolution games and activities can help children learn how to handle disagreements healthily.

Not only will these strategies help your child resolve conflicts with others, but they will also learn valuable lessons about communication, empathy, and compromise.

So the next time your child disagrees with a friend or family member, try one of these easy activities to help them work things out.

Do you have any go-to conflict resolution games or activities you use with your children?

Let us know in the comments below!

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