Published: August 14, 2023
Give kids of all ages a positive shot in the arm with these four different self-esteem boosting ideas. Each idea is simple and can be added to any lesson.
If there’s one thing kids need today, it’s an immunity to low self-esteem. Many children are so infected by poor self-esteem that they’re unable to say anything positive about other children or themselves. Use these self-esteem boosters to inoculate your kids against negativism. Kids will enjoy doing them, and they’ll walk away with a healthier view of themselves.
1. Preschool Self-Esteem Booster: Yarn Circle
Make a yarn circle on the floor that’s big enough for all the children to stand in, yet small enough that they’ll have to stand close together. Form a circle of children around the yarn circle 4 feet away from the yarn.
Say: This circle is for a special person in this room. Let’s find out who belongs in this special circle. If you answer “yes” to any question I ask, take a step toward the circle.
Encourage all of the children to move forward after each question.
- Does God love you?
- Is there something special and different about you?
- Do you like to laugh and have fun?
- Can you think of something you know how to do, such as jump on one foot across the room?
By this time, everyone should be inside the circle.
Say: Look at all the special people we have in our classroom! You are all so special!
2. Kindergarten–Grade 4 Self-Esteem Booster: You Are Special
- apples (1 per child)
- construction paper
- tempura paint
- shallow pans
- crayons or markers
Give each child an apple to examine.
- What’s special about apples? Encourage children’s creative responses.
Say: There’s a secret inside every apple that you can’t see unless you look inside. Watch to see what it is.
Cut open an apple from side to side. The core of the apple will look like a star.
- What makes you special on the inside?
- What’s special about you that nobody can see?
Cut sheets of construction paper into three lengthwise strips each. Put thick tempera paint in shallow pans. Have the children dip the apple stars into the paint and stamp their paper strips. Then have the children write or draw one thing that makes them special.
3. Kindergarten–Grade 6 Self-Esteem Booster: 3 Cheers for Us
Form two teams. The object of this game is for teams to “out-cheer” each other.
Play the game in rounds of competing cheers. Have teams take turns cheering, “[Name], [name]! We like [name].”
Have each team fill in the blanks with the name of an opposing team member; for example, “Bob, Bob! We like Bob.” At the end of each round, applaud the loudest team.
Have the teams continue until everyone has been cheered.
4. Grades 1–4 Self-Esteem Booster: Trading Places
- chairs (1 per child)
- masking tape
- markers (1 per child)
- praise music
Form a circle with enough chairs for all the children in your class. Give each child a strip of masking tape and a marker. Have children write their names on the tape and stick the tape to the bottoms of their chairs.
Play praise music and have children walk around the outside of the circle. Stop the music after a few minutes. Have children each sit in the chair closest to them and remove the tape from the chair.
Then have each child say something positive about the child whose name is on the tape, without saying who the child is. For example, a child might say, “This person always shares” or “This person is lots of fun to play soccer with.”
Have the other children guess who the person is. If the class can’t guess who the person is in three tries, have the child who gave the compliment reveal the person by sticking the masking tape to his or her back.
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