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What Are the Different Types of Self-Esteem Activities for Kids?

A coloring worksheet can help boost a child's self-esteem.
Team sports can boost kids' self-esteem.
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  • Written By: Nicole Etolen
  • Edited By: M. C. Hughes
  • Last Modified Date: 24 July 2014
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A healthy level of self-esteem is essential to a child’s overall emotional well-being. Studies indicate that children with good self-esteem perform better in school and are at a lower risk of problems like drug and alcohol abuse. Self-esteem activities for kids can help boost their confidence and make them feel better about themselves. There are many different activities to try, including games, worksheets and sports. Other activities, such as talking to the child about their feelings and helping them develop realistic expectations, are also beneficial.

Board games designed to be used as self-esteem activities for kids typically focus on teaching empathy, critical thinking, and other skills that help children feel better about themselves. Parents and kids can also work together at home to create their own game using poster board, index cards, markers, and ideas from self-esteem building books. Allowing the children to help create the game by drawing, coloring, or adding their input can has the added benefit of helping boost their confidence.

There are other types of games that can be used as self-esteem activities for kids that do not require as much planning. For example, parents or teachers can ask a small group of children to sit in a circle, toss a beanbag to each other, and have the group explain aspects they like about the child holding the beanbag. Just about any game can be turned into a self-esteem game, as long as it helps children focus on their positive attributes.

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Worksheets can be a good tool to help boost a child’s self-esteem, but only if the child actually enjoys doing them. If it feels too much like a lesson, children will get bored or view the worksheets as punishment rather than something to boost their self-esteem. Mazes, connect-the-dots, coloring, and other activities that have a more game-like nature are all good options. Worksheets that are more involved, such as those that ask questions about feelings, should be used more as an assessment tool than as a confidence-boosting activity.

Team sports are considered excellent self-esteem activities for kids, as long as the team and the coach have reasonable expectations. Children learn to work together, find their strengths, and use those strengths to counteract their weaknesses. They also learn how to win and lose gracefully. It is important for parents to choose sports that the child enjoys and recognize cues that may indicate the sport is becoming too stressful. Coaches should emphasize the benefits of working together as a team to accomplish goals rather than focusing solely on beating the other team.

Parents and teachers can also help boost the self-esteem of children by talking to them about their feelings and providing validation for their emotions. Even if a child expresses negative feelings, such as extreme dislike for another child, it is important to let him or her know that those feelings are normal. Once the child’s feelings are acknowledged and validated, parents can focus on getting to the root of the issue and helping the child find a resolution.

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Discuss this Article

bythewell
Post 3

@irontoenail - Which is why PE should not be the only place that teachers teach self confidence. It can be done in all aspects of a child's life. It's not about praise either, although that can help. You really have to engage with every student and make them feel like they are contributing to the classroom.

irontoenail
Post 2

@pleonasm - Almost every activity has the potential to make kids feel left out or bad about themselves if it isn't handled well by the teacher. I can remember our PE teacher trying to increase our self esteem by pairing us off and blindfolding one of the pair so the other could lead them through an obstacle course.

I wasn't a very popular kid at that point and I couldn't find anyone who would pair up with me. So I had to sit the activity out.

Now that I have some teaching experience myself, I realize the teacher should have prepared for that eventuality and assigned partners, or put people into groups of three so no one would be left out.

But when I was a kid it felt like the end of the world to not be chosen, particularly for an activity like that. It was just one more in a series of awful experiences in PE.

pleonasm
Post 1

Using team sports to increase self esteem has to be done very carefully. Try to pick something where no one is going to be particularly skilled at it already or kids will end up feeling worse about themselves. Lots of people have horrible memories of being left behind when forced to play basketball or football with their peers.

It's not necessarily a bad thing to be competitive, especially after a rapport is established in the class. But there should also be plenty of activities where the kids get to learn without competing against anyone except themselves.

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