Are you concerned about your child’s self-image and self-esteem? Do you want to help them build a positive foundation of self-love and confidence that can positively change the course of their life and how they grow?
There are a ton of fantastic self-esteem activities for kids out there. We found five of the best for you to try out with your child.
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First, let’s get into how self-esteem really affects children and why self-esteem activities are so important.
How Self-Esteem Affects Children
People tend to neglect the idea of poor self-esteem in children. After all, they’re too young to really absorb such an adult concept, right?
During early childhood, children develop their self-concept very early. A self-concept is essentially the attributes, abilities, and values that a person believes defines them.
At the tender age of three, between eighteen and thirty months specifically, children begin to develop their self-concept.
If a child has some negative associations that define their self-concept, that could lead to some serious self-esteem issues very early. If left unchecked, a child could very possibly be defined by this negative sense of self for many years to come.
For example, there are simple low-key negative elements that children notice early on. Being “short” or “fat” or “quiet” is considered “bad” in a very abstract way to a young child.
If they are called this by peers, adults, and everyone in between, a child will absorb this label as a negative element of their self-concept. And what results is very, very poor self-esteem.
Because children don’t recognize opposing characteristics and duality until around five years, they may identify as completely “bad” based on this negative self-concept.
Five Great Self-Esteem Activities For Kids
These effective and interesting self-esteem activities for kids can be fun for you and your little one as well.
Self-love and self-esteem are different, but they are not mutually exclusive either.
This dice activity incorporates elements of self-love, positive self-talk, and self-esteem building all in one fun activities.
For this activity, you will need:
- A square tissue box or firm paper to build a 3D box
- A printer or markers
Build the dice from scratch or print out a design from your computer.
Mark each side with markers and write six affirming statements, such as:
- I am great because…
- I am really good at…
- The best compliment I ever got was…
- I am special because…
- I am lovable because…
- I am beautiful because…
Have your child roll the die and answer the question it lands on.
You can go the extra mile and create a complimentary worksheet where your child will write down their answers and keep the sheet to look at when they are feeling down about themselves.
Using heart imagery on the die is helpful, too.
A self-esteem collage is a very simple activity that goes as follows:
Give your child (or student) a sheet of paper.
Instruct them to write their name in the center of the sheet.
Allow them to go through diverse magazine and cut out photos, words, and illustrations of things they perceive define or represent them.
Have them glue their images to the page surrounding their name. Allow the children to draw as well if they’d like.
Let each child explain their collage and why the things they chose make them special.
Kids absolutely love this collage activity, mostly because the instruction is so simple and creative.
This activity is often used by youth art organizations that aim to help children express internal turmoil or complex emotions in a language that makes sense to them.
For this super-easy art project, print out blank Polaroid-inspired squares with a frame at the center of the square.
Give several of these to each of your children or students, as well as:
- Colored paper
- Mixed media material
Instruct your children to collage a “snapshot” of what their heart looks like and how they feel right in that moment inside themselves.
The results are really interesting to see and children seem to love this activity too.
Self-Esteem Character Building Notebook
This hands-on self-esteem activity for kids is great because it is not a one-time thing. Consistency is key for self-esteem in children, and this activity is simply the best.
Give your child a simple notebook. One the first day, allow them to decorate it with glitter glue, stickers, and whatever else is at hand.
Each night have your child sit at a table and write a list of five to ten good things that happened that day.
Be clear with your child on how simple this can be– they can write down that recess was fun, or that they mad a friend laugh.
If your child is very visual, allow them to draw five things instead of writing five things.
If your child is too young to write, try having a nightly talk where they tell you five great things that happened that day before bed.
This daily exercise helps children focus on positive aspects of themselves and the environment they’re in and can improve self-esteem significantly if done consistently.
Positive Message Social Self-Esteem Activity
This intentional game is perfect for groups of children or siblings. It’s also one of the most heart-warming activities on the list, especially when you get to witness the ending! For this activity, you will need index cards, pens, pencils, and a box or bowl.
- Have the children sit in a circle.
- Give each child an index card and let them write their names at the top of each card.
- Have each child fold their card and toss it into the box or bowl.
- Shake up the container to mix the cards and have each child pick one card from the box.
- Instruct the children to write one positive thing about the person whose name is on the card.
- Let them pass their cards to the right after each affirmation until everyone has written something about everyone else.
- Collect the cards and distribute them to the original owners.
You don’t have to instruct the children to read their affirmations out loud. Their big smiles when they read all the positive things other people have said will be more than enough to boost their self-esteem.
We hope these five self-esteem activities for kids can help you help your child build the confidence and self-love they need to grow up with a healthy sense of self. Good luck!
Do you have some self-esteem activities for kids you’d like to share that we missed? Tell us about it in the comments!