Self Esteem Activities

by Adelle Walker
(United Kingdom)

Question: I really enjoyed the 2 self esteem activities on your website. I have recently started to run a PSHE group in the primary school that I work as a teaching assistant in. My focus is primarily on self esteem and confidence.


If you could point me in the direction of any other activities that promote self esteem I would be very grateful.

Answer: The activities below are for children in primary school (classes 1 - 4; Age-group 6 - 10)

Activity 1: Ask children what part of themselves do they like the best? Then get them to either draw or write the name of the part on a page. The entries on the page could be their hair, eyes, smile, etc.

Having done this, older children could be asked to enact and show why this part of them is the best.

Activity 2: Collect a set of pictures which shows an adult expressing love to a child. Try and get at least 2 to 3 copies of each picture. Give a set of copies to groups of 5 children. Presumably there are only 10 to 15 pupils in your class. If you have more, make more copies.

Children can then be asked to choose an appropriate (which reflects how they themselves feel loved) picture and paste it on a sheet of paper. They can then be asked to speak about why they chose that picture.

Activity 3: Using self-affirming words: Write a list of self-affirming words on the Black Board. Examples: Happy, Beautiful, Intelligent, Bright, good, honest, liked, strong, courageous, helpful, get the best grades, clean, tidy, punctual, etc.

Get the pupils to pair up and select at least one self-affirmative word (SAW) each. Ensure, that all the words get picked up by one pupil at least.

Pupils then have to use the SAW that they chose and make two sentences one for themselves and one for their partner. Once they have done that they have to share their sentences with their partner.

Then each pair has to stand up and read their affirmations with EXPRESSION!!!!!

In this way, each pair will come up with four affirmations. Make a chart of all the affirmations that all the pairs come up with (only those beginning with the possessive pronoun - I).

Read all the affirmations from the chart and ask the children to repeat after you. As they repeat after you ask them to imagine themselves as being like the affirmations suggest.

Get the children to read from this chart everyday and remember these affirmations. Tell them to believe these affirmations everytime that they repeat it to themselves.

Soon they will behave in accordance with the affirmations. "As a man thinks in his heart so is he" Proverbs 23: 7

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Nov 03, 2015
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Thanks for sharing
by: Anonymous

You have listed some amazing tips and activities that are must try with kids and even with adults. please do share your experiences on regular basis so we can learn from each other.

Oct 26, 2015
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Great post
by: Anonymous

You have done very well job. I like it so much and really happy after reading your post. Thanks a lot!



Oct 22, 2015
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Self Esteem Activities
by: Anonymous

Nice Post.

Aug 19, 2015
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Many self esteem
by: Anonymous

Many self esteem activities can help boost your self esteem. But really effective activities are the ones that can take a deeper approach and tackle the heart of the problem. So first you should understand that low self esteem is built upon a set frame of mind that prevents you from knowing and loving yourself. Not knowing and loving yourself is the main cause of low self esteem. Just think back how often you allow other people's opinion to validate who you are.

Jul 30, 2015
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This blog has lots
by: Anonymous

This blog has lots of very useful information on it! Thanks for helping me.

Jun 09, 2015
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by: Anonymous

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Nov 21, 2011
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Another Self-Esteem Game
by: Leena Kapoor of Experiential Learning Games

Hi Adelle,

Here's another self-esteem game.

The game is called 'the hugging game'. Hugging builds self-esteem and creates both physiological and psychological changes in the person being hugged and in the hugger.

Just google 'Hug therapy' and you will find a number of researches on the topic. Key among them is a film (1952) by Rene Spitz, showing the deteriorating effects of touch deprivation on infants, which eventually leads to death. Shocking huh?!!

Well, let's cut to the chase and not waste time on what is wrong. Let's get to the 'what can be done right' stuff.

Here's the game:

The Hug/handshake Greeting: As children/participants walk into the room, they have to pick up a flash card (on the flash card is the picture of a hug or a handshake).

The participant has to greet at least one person in the room according to the picture on the flash card that they picked up.

The next time this group comes together, the groups will have to use the second mode of greeting. The 'handshake' group will greet with a hug and the 'hug' group will greet with a handhsake.

Use this greeting activity everytime the group comes together and you will see a remarkable difference in the participants who have been exhibiting behaviours of low-self-esteem. They will soon become confident and lose negative behaviours.

Here's another idea. The paper clip. Check http://kevineikenberry.com/paperclip.asp for the originator of this idea.

Everytime praise is due to somebody, either give them a hug or a yellow paper clip or draw a paper clip. The last two options can be used for long distance hugs or when cultural mores will not allow hugs (especially between men and women).

A third idea - Hug and pay it forward: This could be project idea for a term. Let the group know, that in this project, the individuals in the group will have to hug at least 12 (research has it that 12 hugs a day makes you grow inside and feel better) people in a day, everyday of the month.

The aim of the project however, is to ask the 12 recipients of the hug to pay it forward to twelve more people and come back to the original hugger with any stories that were revealed in the paying it forward process.

The hugger collects these stories and presents to the group by the end of the month, all of them or the most remarkable ones.

I hope these will suffice Adelle. Write back on this site, any remarkable experience that you have after implementing the above.






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