Self Esteem and Character Building Activities for Kids

Self Esteem by definition is a realistic respect for or favorable impression of oneself.

It’s very important for a child to feel good about themselves.  Statistics show that children with low self-esteem tend to perform below their potential in school and make poor decisions in social situations.flower

Make a difference!

There are many things that can be done to help improve a child’s self-esteem:

Be Attentive-When your child speaks to you give them eye contact and listen make them feel what they are saying is important to you.


Make a child feel special-Praise children when they do a good job and also for trying hard. Tell children your proud of them when they put a lot of effort in something. Give complements and tell them that they are special.


See the learning in mistakes– When a child makes a mistake turn the negative into a positive. Focus on what he/she learned from the mistake.


Be a positive role model- If you are constantly hard on your-self, putting your self down or pessimistic your children will see that and may eventually copy those same feelings.  This may lead to them to feel that way about themselves.


Tune in to their feelings- Sometimes this can be hard especially when a child has done something wrong and you yourself get angry and when to yell and scream. Sometimes a child doesn’t understand what they have done.  I remember I was sitting on the couch and my 6 year-old niece came running through the room with both her middle fingers up yelling middle finger, middle finger I almost lost it but I asked her if you knew what it meant and she said no  and said her friend at school was doing it.  I explained what it was and she was surprised she said she didn’t know and never did it again.


Here are some kid approved self esteem activities:


All About Me Collage 

Inspirational Quotes for Girls

50 Positive Writing Topics for Kids 

Being Thankful Activities

Feel Good Notebook

Me Tree

Positive Message Game 

Positive Notes Game

Positive Thinking for Kids, Say this not that 

Working Together Games

Positive Thinking for Kids Say This, Not That

Positive Thinking for Kids

Say This, Not That

Let’s face it, it’s not always easy being a kid.  As adults we have to remember this.  Kids go through many stressful activities throughout the course of their day.  Worrying about fitting in, not doing well on a test, feeling not as smart as the other kids, getting picked last in gym, peer pressure from other kids, not getting invited to the birthday party.  The list goes on and on.   It’s important to get kids to think more positively.  It’s hard to have a positive life if your always thinking in a negative way.  There are many ways we can encourage a child to think and be more positive.  One good way is to stop your child when they say something negative and turn into something positive.  If we as parents, caregivers, teachers and coaches do this every time we hear something negative, we can begin to change a child’s thought process.  Positive thinking leads to positive outcomes.  Here is a chart to help your child be on their way to positive thinking. 


Things I Say                     I’m Going to Say This Instead

I can’t do this, it’s too hard, I give up! Let me try a different strategy. I’m going to keep trying, I’m not a quitter! 
I’m not good at this.  


I might have to put more effort into this.

I can’t do any better!  



There’s always room for improvement, let me keep trying.

I am the best at this!  


I’m doing well, but I can still learn more.

I always make mistakes.  

I will learn from my mistakes and improve.

I always loose!  


loosing helps me try harder and do better next time.


This is good enough!


Is this really the best I can do?



I will never be that smart!



I will take one step at a time and figure this out.


I tried a little bit.



 If I kinda sorta try, I get kinda sorta results



Check out these positive thinking books for kids, Click pictures below to be brought to Amazon.


Girl Power Fun Inspirational Quotes for Girls

“Courage, sacrifice, determination, commitment, toughness, heart, talent, guts. That’s what little girls are made of.” – Bethany Hamilton

“A girl should be two things; who and what she wants” – Coco Chanel

“Just when the caterpillar thought the world was ending, he turned into a butterfly.” -Proverb

“A lot of people are afraid to say what they want. That’s why they don’t get what they want.” Madonna

“Good things come to people who wait, but better things come to those who go out and get them.” Unknown

“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” – Maya Angelou

“Believe in yourself and you can do unbelievable things.” – unknown

“Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself.” Coco Chanel

“I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls.” – Audrey Hepburn

“If you’re presenting yourself with confidence, you can pull off pretty much anything.” – Katy Perry

“I don’t need Prince Charming to have my own happy ending.” Katy Perry

“I think fearless is having fears but jumping anyway.” Taylor Swift

“And though she be but little, she is fierce.”- Shakespeare

“A true friend is someone you can disagree with and still remain friends. For if not, they weren’t true friends in the first place.” Unknown

“…Pledge that you will look in the mirror and find the unique beauty in you.”- Tyra Banks

“I’ve never seen a smiling face that was not beautiful.” Unknown

“Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas Edison

“Don’t raise your voice, improve your argument.” – unknown

“What do you do when things go wrong? Oh! You sing a song.” –Disney’s Snow White

When the raindrops come tumbling, remember you’re the one who can fill the world with sunshine.” – Snow White

“Sometimes we only see how people are different from us. But if you look hard enough, you can see how much we’re all alike.” Disney’s Princess Jasmine

“You can’t get what you want just by wishing for it.” – Disney’s Princess Tiana

“If you walk the footsteps of a stranger you’ll learn things you never knew.” Disney’s Pocahontas

“Are you really going to let fear control your life” Disney’s Frozen

“All our dreams can come true- if we have the courage to pursue them.” –Walt Disney

“The past can hurt, but the way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it.” Rafiki – Disney’s Lion King

“Always let your conscience by your guide.” From Disney’s Pinocchio

“If you kinda sorta try, you get kinda sorta results.” – found on Pinterest

“I’m not here to be average, I’m here to be awesome.” – found on Pinterest

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.” – Albert Einstein


How to get kids to work together, Games for Kids

It’s important that kids learn to work together. Working  together  helps kids develop and improve important skills such cooperation, communication and teamwork.  Try some of these team builder games below.

Partner Sit and Stand

Materials: None optional blind folds, scarfs

Put all the players in groups of two.

Have each pair stand back to back and lock arms.

Each pair must sit down then stand up again without unlocking their arms.

To make it harder and funnier add props to the game.  Blindfold the pairs or using scarfs to tie their legs together on one side.

One Handed Shoe Tie

Materials: Shoes with laces

Put players in groups of two.

Have the players untie their shoe laces.

Working together have player re-tie their shoe laces only using 1 hand.  She what kind of creative ideas they can come up with to tie their shoes!

Dance Teacher

Materials: Music

Put the players into groups of 2-3 depending on amount of kids.

Explain to the group that they are going to work together to create a new dance step.  Give them a time period in which they must complete this task.

Once time is up have the kids teach their dance step to the kids in the other groups.

Optional: Take it up a notch

Once all the groups had a chance to teach their dance step put all the steps together to create one dance.  Put some music on and have a dance party!

Pass the Can

 Materials: empty coffee can

Ask all the players to sit in a circle with their legs straight out.

Put the coffee can on one of the children’s foot.

Tell the kids that they must pass the coffee can around the circle only using their feet.  If the can falls, they have to start from the beginning.

Air Guitar Competition

Materials: None, optional music

Put the players in groups on 2-3 depending on how many kids.

Explain that they have just entered an air guitar competition and need to create an air guitar routine. Tell them that their routine must be original, fun, and energizing. Each group member must have an active role in the performance.

Give the kids around 5-10 minutes to come up with and practice a routine.

Have the kids perform their routine to the rest of the groups. They can perform with music or without.

Optional:  Recruit some volunteers to be judges.

 Bouncing High

Put all the players in groups of two.

Ask each player in the group to choose a number 1-9.

Ask the pairs to put the number together.  If one picked 3 and the other picked 5 their number could be 35 or 53.

Once they decided on the final number have the partners stand back to back with their arms locked and jump up and down the number of times they picked.

Create a Fairy Tale

Materials: paper, pencils, crayons or markers

Put the players in groups of 2-3 depending on the amount of children.

Tell the children that they must create a fairy tale. All members of the group must be a character in the story.

There are two variations of this activity.  The children can either write their story together and draw a picture or they can act out their story.

If Writing: Have the children work together to create a fairy tale.  All members must write a portion of the story.  When they are done writing have the children draw a picture to go with their story.

When the groups of children are finished writing and drawing  have them share their story with the other groups.

If Acting: Have children create their story together when it’s their turn to share have them act out their fairy tale.

Elbow Tag

Materials: open play area

Break the group up into pairs.

The pairs must lock elbows.

Choose one pair to be” it”.

The “it” pair runs around and tries to catch another pair.  It a pair is caught they must remain frozen until another pair tags them.  Once they are tagged they must lock elbows with a player from that pair to become a four person chain.

The game continues until all the children (except the “it” team)are connected in one long chain.

Popular Self-Esteem Books for Kids on Amazon:

Positive Notes Game Self-Esteem Character Building Activity for Kids

This is a great game with a surprise at the end. It is recommended for pre-teens and teens.  Since children are paired up an even amount of people works best.

Materials:   tape, paper, pens

Have the children sit in two circles, an outer and inner.  Have the children in the outer circle face the children in the inner circle.   Everyone should be sitting across from a partner.

To set up the game give each child a piece of paper, pen and a piece of tape.  Have the children write their name on the top of the paper.  Have the children with help from their partner tape the piece of paper on their backs.  When everyone have a paper taped to their back you are ready to play.


Have the children sitting in the outer circle go first.  Give them one minute to tell their partner something positive about themselves such as something  their good at, proud of, how they are a good friend etc… at the end of the minute have their partner write one positive word about the speaker on the paper that is taped to their back. Have them switch roles and have the listener speak and repeat. When each partner has gone have the outer circle move one seat to the left and the inner circle move one seat to the right.  Repeat the game.

When everyone has been paired up with several partners have the kids take the papers off their backs and read to themselves all the positive words their peers had to say about them.