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9 Best Self Esteem Activities for Kids By Age Group

Verenice Hernandez-Herrera

It can be hard to watch your child struggle with their self esteem. You know how amazing they are, but they can’t seem to see it. Thankfully, these activities can help boost your child's self esteem, no matter how old they are. Try them at home today and watch their confidence bloom.Your child's self esteem reflects how they think and feel about themselves. There are many different factors that can influence your child's confidence, including how their peers treat them, how they perform at school or in extracurricular activities, their social media consumption, and more.While watching your child struggle with negative self talk and low confidence can be painful, know that it doesn't have to be a life sentence. Self esteem isn't a fixed trait like their personality or eye color. It can grow and change over time.As a parent, you can play a crucial role in helping your child develop positive self talk and improve their self worth. These confidence building activities for all ages can help you give your child the tools they need to feel better about themselves.

9 child self esteem activities by age group

As an educator and school counselor with over 20 years of experience working with children, I know that it is possible to build confidence. I've seen firsthand how effective these strategies can be with the families I've helped throughout my career.

Self esteem activities for preschoolers & kindergarteners

These activities are designed to help little ones build positive self esteem.

1. Sing positive affirmation songs.

Catchy songs can be a great way to help younger children begin to recognize their positive qualities. Plus, when you sing these songs together, you're acting as a role model to help your little one see what healthy self esteem looks like. I recommend searching for positive affirmation songs on YouTube—there are tons of great options.

2. Focus on positive reinforcement.

While discipline is sometimes necessary, I encourage you to focus on positive reinforcement where and when you can. Make sure to celebrate your little one's successes, no matter how small.

Shifting to a growth mindset (in other words, praising them for their efforts rather than the outcome) can give your child confidence in their own abilities. You can even use a sticker chart to provide a visual representation of positive reinforcement.

3. Read books that boost self-esteem.

There are many children's books that can help kids learn about self acceptance. A few of my favorite self esteem picture books are Giraffes Can't Dance written by Giles Andreae and illustrated by Guy Parker-Rees, I'm Gonna Like Me: Letting off a Little Self Esteem written by Jamie Lee Curtis and illustrated by Laura Cornell, and I Am Enough written by Grace Byers and illustrated by Keturah A. Bobo.

Self esteem activities for elementary students

While elementary school students may be able to benefit from some of the same strategies as younger children, these activities may be more developmentally appropriate.

4. Try self esteem worksheets.

If your elementary school-aged child struggles with low self esteem, try a worksheet. There are plenty of free worksheets available online that can support your child's self worth. Check out this Strengths List handout or this self esteem sentence-completion worksheet.

5. Focus on gratitude.

A gratitude journal is another way to cultivate positive thinking. Challenge your child to write down something they're grateful for every day. Bonus: keep your own gratitude journal and pick one day a week to share what you wrote with each other!

6. Make a craft.

If your little one likes arts and crafts, try tapping into their creativity to help boost their self esteem. Make collages about positive traits your child has, create positive affirmation cards together, or color some free printable self esteem coloring pages.

Self esteem activities for tweens & teens

These activities can help older kids (think: middle schoolers and high schoolers) address their self esteem issues.

7. Engage in role-playing.

Going through a role-play scenario with your child can help them build social skills and confidence and confidence building at the same time. Start by coaching your tween or teen through a low-stakes interaction that they might have at school, then build up to scenarios that may feel more tricky to navigate.

8. Encourage independence.

At this age, your child is beginning to build their identity and start to do more on their own. When possible and appropriate, encourage this! Showing your teen or tween that you support them charting their own path can contribute to their self confidence.

9. Be a role model.

While focusing on your child's self esteem is important, it can also be helpful to reflect on your own confidence level. As parents, we have such an impact on our child's life. If they hear and see that we treat ourselves with love and respect, they may be more likely to follow suit with themselves.

Our empowerment coaches can help your child thrive.

Hopefully, my self esteem building activities can help your child find confidence and help you feel empowered as their parent.

While I highly encourage you to try these activities at home, it's also important to recognize when support from a parent isn't enough. Yes, you love your child and undoubtedly do the best you can to help them grow. At the same time, parents haven't always been given the tools they need, and getting some professional support can go a long way for the entire family.

At Wishwell, we provide a new kind of mental health support for children of all ages. As a team of therapists and coaches with decades of experience working directly with kids and teens, we're experts in empowering families using a holistic, dynamic approach.

Our team offers both empowerment coaching (perfect for kids struggling with self esteem) and formal mental health counseling. Together, we can help your child develop coping skills, build confidence, and reach their wellness goals. Plus, we also offer groups for parents who are interested in engaging in their own work.

Not sure which service is the right fit for you and your family? Connect with us today or schedule a consultation. We look forward to supporting you and your loved ones!

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Verenice Hernandez-Herrera

Our founder has been an educator and school counselor for 20+ years.

Read more about her here