One Easy Way To Teach Honesty to Preschoolers

How do you respond when you notice a child is experimenting with lying? 

Young children are:

  • Building their moral compasses which will guide them through life.
  • Trying to make sense of the difference between make-believe and reality.
  • Realizing they can make others happy or sad and challenged by dealing with disappointment.

As a child manages complex feelings, lying presents a quick and easy solution. But through play, you can help children learn to value honesty – even if it is the harder choice.

Here’s how:

Through play you can teach children the danger of lying; losing the trust of people you love and care about.


“Imagine if for five days your friend took your snack and ate it without asking. How would you feel toward him? Then today he told you he wasn’t going to take your snack. Would you trust him?”


  • Give each child three cups to put on the floor in front of himself.CupSpoon.jpg
  • Encourage children to turn their backs to you.
  • When children are not looking, steal one cup from a child.
  • Give back the cup and then repeat. Each time say that you are not going to steal a cup (but actually take one.)
  • Finally, ask them to turn around again and tell them you won’t steal a cup. Ask them to raise your hand if they trust you. Don’t take a cup and have everyone turn around.

Life Lessons in Preschool Words

Explain to children that ‘each time someone steals, they might get what they want but they lose something even more important…trust.’

Want more ideas for teaching character traits? Our Experience Preschool Curriculum focuses on a new character trait each month.

Take character education further and implement a daily activity that reinforces positive values as presented in the Experience God for Preschoolers curriculum.