In this post, you will learn about over 65 fun, engaging, and hands-on confidence building activities for kids.
Confidence is not just about believing in oneself; it’s about empowering kids to tackle new challenges, face difficult tasks, and thrive in the real world.
As an occupational therapist, I’ve seen how low self-esteem can hinder a child’s academic performance and social interactions. This article aims to provide parents, caregivers, and educators with over 65 fun confidence building activities that can make a significant impact on a child’s confidence.
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The Basics of Building Confidence in Kids
Kids, just like adults, can be bogged down by negative feelings. Positive affirmations, such as “I am capable” or “I can do this,” can replace those negative thoughts, promoting healthy self-confidence. Family members play a pivotal role, too. A simple “good job” or celebrating a child’s first time trying something new can work wonders.
Building confidence in kids is essential for their growth and development. One of the best ways to do this is through engaging activities that teach them new things and instill a sense of achievement. Here are over 65 fun and practical confidence building activities that can make a huge difference.
Confidence Building Activities for Kids
Below, you will find tons of engaging, hands-on learning and fun confidence building activities for kids.
Cognitive Activities to Nurture Confidence in Kids
Building the Mind’s Resilience:
Cognitive activities are tailored to stimulate a child’s mental faculties, which in turn helps in reinforcing their self-worth and esteem. By challenging and reshaping their thought patterns, we can mold a resilient and positive mindset.
1. Self-Esteem Worksheets:
These can range from identifying personal strengths to reflecting on achievements. They’re designed to counter negative self-talk by emphasizing personal abilities and accomplishments.
2. Gratitude Journal:
Encourage kids to write down three things they’re grateful for each day. Over time, this fosters a habit of focusing on the positives in life.
3. Positive Affirmation Cards:
Create a deck of cards, each containing a positive statement like “I am kind” or “I am a good friend.” Kids can read a card every morning to start their day on a confident note.
4. Problem-Solving Challenges:
Introduce puzzles, riddles, or brainteasers that match their age and ability. Overcoming these challenges fosters a sense of accomplishment.
5. Goal-Setting Workshops:
Teach kids how to set realistic goals and break them down into achievable steps. Each achieved step boosts their confidence in their abilities.
6. Growth Mindset Discussions:
Read stories about famous personalities who faced failures before succeeding. Discuss the concept of a growth mindset, emphasizing that failures are merely stepping stones to success.
7. Memory Games:
From card-matching games to Simon says, these activities enhance cognitive skills, and mastering them offers a confidence boost.
8. Visualization Exercises:
Guide children in imagining scenarios where they’re confident, successful, or happy. This helps in reshaping their mental images of self-worth.
9. Reflective Conversations:
Set aside a time to discuss the highs and lows of their week. Encourage them to identify what they learned from each experience, turning challenges into learning opportunities.
10. Book Club:
Introduce them to popular children’s books that center around confident characters or those who find their self-worth over time. Discussing these narratives can offer relatable insights and lessons.
Creative Activities to Build Confidence
Engaging in creative activities can be more than just a pastime. It offers a unique avenue for self-expression and an intimate exploration of a child’s sense of self. Crafting something beautiful and personal not only provides kids with a sense of accomplishment but serves as a tangible reflection of their positive self-image.
1. Scavenger Hunt:
For younger children, a scavenger hunt offers the thrill of exploration and discovery. Organize themed hunts around their interests, such as nature, fairy tales, or superheroes. Finding each item on the list not only sparks joy but reinforces the idea that they can achieve set goals.
2. Personalized Name Plaque:
This activity allows children to celebrate their identity. Through selecting colors, patterns, and other design elements, kids engage in an introspective process. Once hung up, it acts as a daily reminder of their creativity and uniqueness.
3. Dream Boards:
Crafting a dream board is a visual and tactile way to manifest aspirations. Kids can use magazine cutouts, stickers, or hand-drawn elements. Doing this with a family member also provides an opportunity to discuss future aspirations, reinforcing the bond and providing mutual encouragement.
4. Self-Portrait Collage:
Exploring their identity through a collage offers a safe space for children to analyze their self-perception. It encourages them to see the beauty in their features, talents, and aspirations. The discussion that ensues can be a platform to reinforce positive self-talk.
5. Handmade Storybooks:
Encourage children to write and illustrate their own storybooks. This activity enhances their narrative skills, stimulates their imagination, and boosts confidence in their storytelling abilities.
6. Personal Jewelry or Keychains:
Crafting personalized jewelry or keychains using beads, strings, or even simple knot techniques allows kids to wear or gift something of their own creation, reinforcing their craftsmanship skills.
7. Customized Puzzles:
Let children design their own jigsaw puzzles. They can draw or paint a picture, which can then be laminated and cut into pieces. Assembling their self-created puzzle can provide an immense confidence boost.
8. Memory Jars:
Kids can fill jars with trinkets, notes, or pictures representing their favorite memories over a year. This activity is not only a journey down memory lane but showcases their growth and achievements.
9. DIY Musical Instruments:
From simple drums made out of empty boxes to shakers with rice or beans, kids can craft their own instruments. Playing them later is both fun and confidence-boosting.
10. Nature Art:
Collect leaves, twigs, and flowers to create beautiful nature-inspired artworks. This activity combines the thrill of outdoor exploration with the creativity of crafting.
Encouraging children to immerse themselves in these creative activities is a powerful way to bolster their confidence. Through hands-on crafting and the pride of creation, they build a stronger, more positive self-image, which will serve them well in all future endeavors.
Emotional Activities to Strengthen Confidence in Kids
Turn negative self-talk on its head. Whenever a child says something negative about themselves, challenge them to find two positive things to counter it. Reinforce these positive statements, helping them build positive self-esteem.
Emotions can be tricky, but with the right tools, they can be the foundation for strong self-confidence. When a child expresses doubt or negative self-talk, challenge them to find two positive affirmations to counter it. This practice and other self-confidence activities will gradually shift their mindset, placing them on a path to better emotional resilience.
Related Post to Read Now: 5 Engaging Self-Concept Activities for Preschoolers
Embracing Emotional Resilience:
Children’s emotional well-being is as crucial as their physical and cognitive development. By engaging in activities that promote self-awareness, emotional regulation, and positive self-reflection, children are better equipped to face challenges with confidence.
1. Positive Affirmation Mirror:
Decorate a mirror with positive affirmations like “I am brave,” “I am loved,” or “I am unique.” Encourage your child to read these aloud to themselves daily, internalizing these empowering statements.
2. Emotion Wheel:
Create a colorful wheel displaying different emotions. Spend a few minutes daily discussing what emotions your child felt during the day and why. This encourages emotional literacy and self-awareness.
3. Emotional Role-Playing:
Using toys or puppets, act out scenarios where characters feel various emotions. Discuss what those characters can do to cope or transform negative feelings.
4. Feelings Diary:
Encourage children to maintain a diary where they jot down their feelings. It not only serves as an emotional outlet but also lets them reflect on patterns over time.
5. Gratitude Jar:
Keep a jar where your child can drop notes of things they’re grateful for. Reviewing these notes periodically can shift focus from challenges to blessings.
6. “Two Positives” Rule:
As mentioned, whenever your child voices a negative thought about themselves, prompt them to state two positive aspects. This exercise trains the brain to seek the silver lining.
7. Emotional Flashcards:
Create flashcards depicting various emotions. Ask your child to pick a card that represents their feeling and discuss coping strategies related to it.
8. Breathing and Meditation Exercises:
Teach your child simple breathing techniques or meditation to calm their mind, helping them center their emotions and foster positive self-talk.
9. Compliment Chain:
In a group setting, start a compliment chain where each child has to compliment the next. This fosters positivity and reminds children of their worth.
10. Emotional Movie Nights:
Watch movies that evoke a range of emotions and discuss them afterward. It’s an opportunity to discuss emotional responses and coping mechanisms in a relaxed setting.
Emotional growth is intertwined with building a child’s confidence. Activities that encourage introspection, positive reinforcement, and emotional regulation lay the groundwork for children to approach life’s hurdles with assurance and resilience. With consistent practice and understanding, children can transform their inner dialogue, replacing doubt with unwavering self-belief.
Get your Free Emotion Face Cards
Social Activities to Foster Confidence
The Power of Connection:
Engaging in social activities allows children to navigate interpersonal relationships, understand group dynamics, and boost their confidence in social settings. By working with others, they not only hone their social skills but also learn the importance of collaboration and mutual respect.
Social Activities: Cooperative board games can be an excellent way to build social skills. They teach teamwork, and there’s nothing like the feeling of a joint win to boost a child’s self-confidence. Working together in a team and achieving a collective win is one of the best self-esteem activities. It teaches children about the power of collaboration and the joy of shared success. Role-playing can also prepare kids for real-world social situations, letting them practice responses to peer pressure or new social situations.
1. Cooperative Board Games:
Games like “Pandemic” or “Forbidden Island” require teamwork for success. They not only foster cooperation but also provide opportunities for leadership, planning, and celebrating joint victories.
2. Role-Playing Sessions:
Children can act out various scenarios – from resolving a playground dispute to standing up against bullying. This hands-on practice equips them to handle real-world social situations and counter peer pressure.
3. Group Storytelling:
Kids sit in a circle and collaboratively create a story, each contributing a line or idea. This enhances active listening, creativity, and the ability to build upon others’ ideas.
4. Joining Clubs or Societies:
Be it drama, debate, or a hobby club, these platforms let children explore common interests with peers, thereby boosting their confidence in public speaking and collaboration.
5. Community Service:
Volunteering at an animal shelter or participating in community clean-up fosters empathy, responsibility and offers a sense of contribution to something bigger than oneself.
6. Team Sports:
Beyond the physical aspect, team sports like soccer or basketball teach kids about cooperation, strategy, and handling both wins and losses gracefully.
7. Drama and Skit Performances:
Being part of a play or a performance helps children step into different characters, enhancing empathy and understanding. The applause post-performance can be a huge confidence booster.
8. Social Skills Classes:
Organize or enroll your child in sessions that teach essential social etiquette, conversation starters, and other vital interpersonal skills.
9. Organize Playdates or Group Activities:
Regular interaction with peers during playdates, picnics, or movie nights helps children practice their social skills in a relaxed setting.
Practical Activities: Building Real-World Confidence
Practical activities are more than just hands-on tasks; they are real-world experiences that provide children with invaluable life lessons. These activities give children tangible proof of their capabilities and often come with immediate, positive reinforcement.
1. Age-Appropriate Chores:
Tasks such as setting the table, watering plants, or sorting laundry might seem like small, everyday tasks. However, these chores do wonders for a child’s sense of responsibility and independence. When they successfully complete a task without assistance, it gives them a genuine feeling of accomplishment. Over time, this sense of capability accumulates, fostering a solid foundation of confidence.
2. Cooking Together:
Engage children in cooking or baking simple recipes. Measuring ingredients, following a recipe, and seeing the end product is not only fun but also instills a sense of pride and achievement. Plus, it’s a delightful way for them to see that they can create something valuable and delicious.
Planting seeds, watching them grow, and taking care of plants teach patience, hard work, and the joys of nurturing. Each sprout and bloom is a testament to their efforts, showing them the direct results of their dedication.
4. Visiting Animal Shelters:
A trip to the local animal shelter can be an eye-opening experience for many children. Interacting with animals, understanding their stories, and even participating in care routines can teach compassion. It shows children that they have the capacity to bring joy and comfort to another living being, thereby boosting their confidence in their ability to make positive changes.
5. Engaging in Random Acts of Kindness:
Simple gestures, such as leaving a thank-you note for the mail carrier, helping a neighbor with groceries, or donating toys, can make a world of difference in how a child perceives their place in the community. These acts emphasize the idea that every individual, no matter how young, can make a positive impact. As children witness the smiles and gratitude they evoke, it reinforces their belief in their goodness and capabilities.
6. DIY Projects:
Encourage children to take up small DIY projects. Whether it’s building a birdhouse, creating a scrapbook, or making homemade gifts, the process of seeing a project from start to finish imparts a sense of accomplishment and boosts their confidence in their abilities.
Incorporating practical activities into a child’s routine helps them connect the dots between effort and result. It offers them a tangible measure of their abilities and highlights the positive influence they can exert on their surroundings. Over time, as they engage in more of these tasks, they’ll carry with them an ingrained belief in their potential and the confidence to tackle even bigger challenges.
Physical Activities to Boost Confidence:
Physical activity isn’t just good for the body; it boosts self-esteem. Encourage your child to take up a new sport or play fun games in the park. Each time they learn new skills or conquer a difficult task, their confidence grows.
The Power of Movement:
Physical activity provides a unique platform for children to challenge themselves, learn discipline, and understand the importance of perseverance. Whether they’re learning to dribble a basketball or mastering a dance routine, the physical and psychological benefits go hand in hand.
1. Rock Climbing:
Whether indoor or outdoor, rock climbing teaches kids problem-solving skills, determination, and resilience. Conquering a wall can instill a huge sense of accomplishment.
2. Martial Arts:
Disciplines like karate, judo, or taekwondo not only teach self-defense but also self-discipline, respect, and focus.
This activity can help children build strength, flexibility, and balance. Perfecting a routine or learning a new move provides a confidence boost.
4. Team Sports:
Sports like soccer, basketball, or volleyball emphasize teamwork, communication, and skill development. Scoring a goal or making a good play can elevate a child’s self-confidence.
Whether racing or simply learning a new stroke, swimming enhances stamina and provides a sense of achievement when kids conquer their fears or set personal records.
From ballet to hip-hop, dance is an expressive way for kids to build coordination, memory (from remembering routines), and confidence.
7. Jump Rope:
It’s a fun way to improve coordination. Kids can challenge themselves with new tricks or aim for personal bests in consecutive jumps.
8. Obstacle Courses:
Set up obstacle courses in your backyard or park. Navigating through various challenges enhances problem-solving skills and provides a direct sense of accomplishment.
Learning to ride a bike is a significant milestone. Whether it’s without training wheels for the first time or going on longer rides, cycling fosters independence and confidence.
For kids, yoga isn’t just about flexibility; it’s also about mindfulness, balance, and self-awareness. Mastering a new pose can be a huge confidence booster.
11. Skateboarding or Rollerblading:
While it requires patience and persistence to master, the thrill of finally achieving a move or simply gliding seamlessly is rewarding.
Though it’s less physically intense than some other activities, archery requires focus, precision, and patience, and hitting the target is always a confidence boost.
Physical activities allow kids to push their boundaries, step out of their comfort zones, and celebrate small and big victories. As they learn new skills or conquer difficult tasks, their self-confidence grows, setting them up for success in all areas of life.
Reading Activities and Book Recommendations for Building Confidence:
The Power of Stories:
Literature has always been a gateway to different worlds and experiences. Through relatable characters and inspiring narratives, children can vicariously live the challenges and triumphs, reinforcing their belief in their own potential. Reading about these journeys can serve as confidence-building exercises, showing kids that they, too, can tackle any obstacle.
- Book Clubs: Organize a children’s book club where kids discuss the protagonist’s struggles, achievements, and personal growth.
- Character Role-Playing: After reading a book, children can enact scenes, stepping into the shoes of confident characters.
- Storyboarding: Encourage children to visually map out the character’s journey from challenges to triumphs on a storyboard.
- Personal Reflection Journals: After completing a book, children can jot down what they learned from the protagonist’s journey and how they can apply it in their own life.
- Interactive Read-Alouds: While reading, pause and discuss the characters’ feelings, decisions, and growth, encouraging a deeper connection to the story.
- “The Dot” by Peter H. Reynolds: This story emphasizes the importance of starting somewhere and believing in oneself.
- “Giraffes Can’t Dance” by Giles Andreae: Gerald the Giraffe teaches children that everyone has a unique rhythm in life, promoting self-belief and perseverance.
- “I Am Enough” by Grace Byers: This poetic picture book encourages self-love, acceptance, and understanding that each child is unique and enough as they are.
- “Ish” by Peter H. Reynolds: Ramon learns that being “perfect” isn’t the goal, but rather embracing one’s unique perspective and approach.
- “The Most Magnificent Thing” by Ashley Spires: This tale showcases the journey of a girl who learns the value of persistence and sees mistakes as stepping stones to success.
- “What Do You Do With a Problem?” by Kobi Yamada: This story delves into facing problems head-on and discovering the opportunities they bring.
- “Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon” by Patty Lovell: Molly Lou Melon celebrates her individuality and teaches children to be proud of who they are, no matter what.
- “Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun” by Maria Dismondy: Lucy stands up to bullying by embracing her uniqueness and teaches children about courage and kindness.
- “Brave Irene” by William Steig: Irene showcases resilience and determination as she braves a snowstorm, reinforcing the theme of tackling difficulties with courage.
Tips for Parents, Caregivers, and Teachers on Nurturing Confidence in Kids:
The Influence of Supportive Adults:
Children often look up to adults as their primary role models. The environment you create, the words you say, and the actions you demonstrate play a pivotal role in shaping a child’s self-esteem and confidence. Your guidance, the environment you create, and the activities you choose play a critical role in shaping a child’s self-esteem. From self-esteem activities that highlight their strengths to self-confidence activities that challenge them to grow, your support is integral.Here are some actionable insights to help you pave the way for confident kids:
1. Lead by Example:
- Model Confidence: Demonstrate how you handle challenges, uncertainties, or new situations. Show that it’s okay to make mistakes and emphasize the learning that comes from them.
- Embrace Continuous Learning: Be open about trying new things and share your experiences. It can inspire children to embrace new challenges and pursuits with enthusiasm.
2. Offer Consistent Positive Reinforcement:
- Highlight Strengths: Rather than focusing on what they can’t do, shed light on their strengths and potential.
- Celebrate Effort: Praise the hard work and effort, not just the end result. This encourages a growth mindset.
3. Challenge Comfort Zones:
- Encourage Safe Risks: Present opportunities for children to try something new, even if it seems challenging. These can be small steps like participating in a school play, joining a new club, or simply raising a hand in class.
- Normalize Failure: Emphasize that everyone fails at times, and it’s a part of the learning journey. Discuss ways to overcome setbacks and try again.
4. Cultivate Goal Setting:
- Set Achievable Targets: Work with the child to identify short-term and long-term goals. Ensure these are realistic and attainable, so they experience the joy of achievement.
- Break Goals into Steps: Smaller, manageable steps make large goals less daunting and offer frequent opportunities for celebration.
5. Celebrate Every Milestone:
- Acknowledge Progress: Even if the end goal hasn’t been reached, celebrating progress boosts motivation and reinforces the value of perseverance.
- Share Stories of Persistence: Talk about personal stories or famous personalities who overcame obstacles through determination and hard work.
6. Encourage Open Communication:
- Active Listening: Pay attention to your child’s concerns and feelings. Show empathy and understanding, offering guidance when needed.
- Build a Trusting Relationship: Create an environment where they feel comfortable sharing their doubts, fears, or dreams.
7. Engage in Collaborative Activities:
- Team Projects: Participate in activities together, like puzzles, board games, or cooking. It’s an excellent way to foster communication, problem-solving skills, and build confidence as you achieve something together.
- Feedback Sessions: After an activity or event, discuss what went well, what could be improved, and celebrate the learning that took place.
Remember, every child is unique. Their journey to building confidence will be their own. As parents, caregivers, or teachers, providing consistent support, understanding, and the tools to navigate challenges will ensure they grow into self-assured, resilient individuals. Your unwavering belief in them will be their strongest pillar as they navigate the myriad challenges of life.
When to Seek Professional Help
Understanding the Need
Building confidence and self-esteem is a journey, and while many children benefit from the support and activities provided by parents, caregivers, or teachers, some may require specialized assistance. Recognizing the signs early can make a significant difference in a child’s well-being.
Signs to Look Out For
- Consistent Negative Self-Talk: If a child frequently puts themselves down or believes they can’t achieve even basic tasks, it may be a sign of deeply ingrained low self-esteem.
- Avoidance of Social Situations: A consistent pattern of avoiding interactions with peers or participating in group activities might indicate social anxiety stemming from a lack of confidence.
- Extreme Fear of Failure: If a child is overly anxious about making mistakes to the point they avoid trying new things, it could be an indication of deeper self-esteem issues.
- Heightened Sensitivity to Criticism: While it’s natural for children to be upset by criticism, if they seem devastated by even mild feedback, it might point to a fragile sense of self-worth.
- Signs of Depression or Anxiety: Persistent sadness, lack of interest in activities they once enjoyed, or showing excessive worries may be linked to self-esteem issues.
- Physical Symptoms: Complaints of stomachaches, headaches, or other unexplained ailments before certain events like school or social gatherings might be tied to anxiety stemming from low confidence.
Steps to Take
- Open a Dialogue: Begin by discussing your concerns with the child in a supportive and non-judgmental manner. Understanding their feelings can provide clarity on the next steps.
- Consult School Resources: Schools often have guidance counselors or professionals who can provide preliminary assessments and recommendations.
- Seek a Professional: Child therapists or counselors specialize in understanding and navigating emotional and psychological challenges in children. They can offer tailored strategies, tools, and coping mechanisms.
- Join Support Groups: There are many parent or caregiver groups that can provide insights, share experiences, and offer recommendations on professionals or interventions that have been effective.
Remember: Seeking professional help is not a sign of failure or an indication that you haven’t done enough. Every child’s journey is unique, and sometimes external expertise can offer the necessary support to navigate challenges. Prioritizing the mental and emotional well-being of a child is the ultimate act of love and care.
Building Confidence in Kids
Building confidence in kids is a journey, not a destination. It’s about instilling a growth mindset, helping them face new challenges, and ensuring they have a strong foundation of self-esteem. Through these activities and consistent support, every child can shine brightly with confidence.
When engaging in these activities, always remember to encourage your child and focus on the journey, not just the end result. Celebrate their efforts, encourage them to try new things, and constantly remind them of the good things they’ve achieved. Including a family member in some of these activities can also provide additional support and encouragement. The best way to instill confidence is through consistent positive self-talk, reminding them of their abilities and strengths.
By dedicating time to these confidence building activities, you provide tools for your child to face challenges with optimism and resilience. And always remember: every new challenge is just another opportunity to learn and grow.