The Polk Mentoring Alliance has created an exceptional list of 25 confidence-building activities. Many of these activities can be done individually or in small or large group formats. Most of the ideas are low to no cost and often don’t require many supplies. I have outlined 7 of my favorites below.
- Positively imagining the future is the key to getting there.
“This Year’s Milestones” is an activity to help students imagine significant points along their journey as they strive to imagine some of the baby steps toward their goals.
- Teach kids how to be proud of their accomplishments.
“Pride Line” is an excellent way for students to recognize events or characteristics that they are proud that they’ve accomplished. The suggestion list is thought-provoking and can inspire even the most resistant student with items such as things you’ve done for parents or friends, religious beliefs you’re proud of, or work you’ve done in school as a few examples.
- Help kids reflect on their self-perception.
“Self Portrait” is an excellent activity for students to reflect on how they see themselves, and I almost always feel more connected to them once I’ve seen how they see themselves. I typically ask my older students to include words to describe themselves in these pictures, but this can be adjusted based on the age group.
- Make your student feel they are unique.
“The Magic Box” is a box with a mirror inside which shows the “most special person in the world.” When kids open the box and see themselves, they might have a range of emotions, from happiness to disbelief. It is essential to be genuine; you might be the first person who has ever told them they are special.
- Learning what you value is crucial for promoting self-acceptance.
The “Who Am I?” Questionnaire asks questions about likes, dislikes, friends, family, future hopes, and a myriad of other topics; this would be a great tool to use individually and could also work in a small group setting.
- Self-Acceptance requires time for reflection on one’s strengths.
I love the “Valuing Yourself” worksheet because it allows students space to think of things they like about themselves and the activities that support their habits and activities that make them stronger. Once we know what works for us, we can capitalize on that knowledge by repeating and optimizing those activities.
- Tap into their creativity and get to know them on a deeper level.
“My Personal Shield” is a worksheet drawing activity in which students draw symbols in seven different sections of their shields to correspond with the answers to the questions at the bottom of the worksheet. The shield displays their best compliment and characteristic, along with their worst putdown and character flaw. The visualization of this activity is striking and helps students reflect on their personal preferences and characteristics, therefore, increasing their knowledge of themselves.