Songs and Activities that Teach Patience

It’s hard for most preschoolers to stand in line, share favorite things or wait their turn! If you’re looking for songs and activities that teach patience, consider the following …

Song # 1 – “I Am Learning Patience”
(Tune: Ten Little Indians)

I have learned to wait my turn,
I have learned to wait my turn,
I have learned to wait my turn,
I am learning patience!

I have learned to sit and listen,
I have learned to sit and listen,
I have learned to sit and listen,
I am learning patience!

I have learned to stand in line,
I have learned to stand in line,
I have learned to stand in line,
I am learning patience!

Song # 2 – “If You’re Patient and You Know It”
(Tune: If You’re Happy and You know It)

If you’re patient and you know it, stand in line! (Clap, clap)
If you’re patient and you know it, stand in line! (Clap, clap)
If you’re patient and you know it, then here is how to show it,
If you’re patient and you know it, stand in line! (Clap, clap)

If you’re patient and you know it, wait your turn! (Clap, clap)
If you’re patient and you know it, wait your turn! (Clap, clap)
If you’re patient and you know it, then here is how to show it,
If you’re patient and you know it, wait your turn! (Clap, clap)

Activity #1 – “I Try to Be Patient”

Talk with children about how it’s hard to wait when we really want to do something. Give them examples, and then have them respond with the word patient each time you pause at the end of the following statements. You may wish to include other sentences that deal with your particular classroom needs.

When I must wait for someone to fix my food, I try to be ____.
When I have to wait my turn for a game or toy, I try to be ____.
When I wait for my teacher to call my name, I try to be ____.
When I wait in line for a drink at the fountain, I try to be ____.
When I’m buckled up and waiting to go in the car, I try to be ____.

Activity #2 – “Time to Take Turns”

Collect some of the preschoolers’ favorite toys and books and have children sit in a circle. Tell them, “We are going to practice taking turns with things we really like. When we wait for our turn nicely, we are using patience.” Start by handing the toy (or book) to the child next to you and have them keep it until you say, “Time to take turns!” Give each child about 10 seconds to hold the item.

They must then pass it on to the next child, who will hold it until you say again, “Time to take turns!” This continues around the circle once or twice. The beauty of this activity is two-fold: The child who is next in line is learning patience by waiting his or her turn. The child passing the toy on is learning patience in waiting until he gets another turn!

Activity #3 – “The Patience Package”

Bring a gift box or bag full of goodies to class and set it just out of reach where it will still attract attention. Some children will be content to stare at it in wonder. Others will tiptoe to see if they can touch it. Still others may persistently ask, “What is it? Can we see it?”

This is a good opportunity to display patience in dealing with their impatience! Smile and quietly tell them you will show them what’s in the package later, but they must wait patiently until that time.

You might tell them you will open it “right after we sing our morning song” or “after snack time,” or whatever time you choose. If they continue to ask, remind them that when we are patient, we don’t keep asking again and again. We wait – patiently.

This is not a cruel game at all – on the contrary, it’s actually a learning experience. There will many times in their lives your students will have to wait for something they want. When the appointed time comes to open the package, gather them around the table or sit in a circle on the floor. If one or more children were especially patient in waiting, acknowledge that and commend them for it.

As you untie the ribbons, discuss that it is sometimes necessary to wait for things we really want. By using the words “patient” and “patience” in your conversation, children understand its context. After you open the package, hand out the goodies and let the children enjoy a few moments with their long-awaited surprises!

Because preschoolers are active, songs and activities about patience are a perfect way to teach this important character trait. Consider this – if you as a teacher display a pleasant and patient attitude while teaching patience, the impact of your lesson is doubled!