When children are bored and you have a lot to do, use a game to teach them how to serve others. Start with a salute and say, "Captain, I have a mission for you. Will you accept?"

Children salute back and say, "I accept your mission." For four- to five-year-olds, verbally tell them their mission. For six- to seven-year-old readers, write their mission on an index card and seal it inside an envelope.

Once you’ve used the ideas below, come up with your own.


  • Go to your room. Find every sock, including those in drawers or on the floor. Tuck, stuff or tie them to your body. Do not leave one behind. Report back to me when your mission is complete. (Remove dirty socks from children and put them in the laundry basket. Have children put all the remaining socks in a safe place – in their sock drawer.)

  • Take a spray bottle filled with water and attack the germs on the sliding glass door (or window). Spray, and then wipe away the germs with a towel. Also, put a towel below the door (or window) as germs may be trying to escape. Report back to me when your mission is accomplished.

  • Fill the laundry basket with red objects retrieved from the floor (toys), without letting anyone see you do it. Report back to me when your mission is accomplished. (Then you can empty the basket of toys in the toy box and have them find another colour.)

  • Crawl to the baby’s room, but don’t let her see you and don’t make a sound. Watch what she is doing. Then report back to me when your mission is accomplished.

From Focus on Your Child’s Discovery Years, April 2007. Published by Focus on the Family. © 2007 Focus on the Family. All rights reserved. International copyright secured. Used by permission.

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