Counseling Activities for Improving Kids Self-Esteem and Positive Thinking

Are you a School Counselor, School Psychologist, Teacher, or Parent looking to support students with improving their SELF-ESTEEM and learn to use POSITIVE THINKING???

If so, then perhaps this 10-week activity packet will help you provide the services that your student or students really need! The packet is made of all of the activities that I use when providing counseling for students who struggle with negative thinking patterns and low self-esteem. The activity packet includes an ordered curriculum with video lessons, games, worksheets, and arts and crafts. These activities are targeted to help students learn and also practice positive thinking and build self-esteem.

Why Positive Thinking and Self-Esteem are Connected

In my experience providing counseling students in grades K through 8, children’s thoughts are often the greatest influencer of their behaviors. For example, students that have low academic motivation and refuse to do schoolwork are often have negative thoughts include “I can’t”, “this too hard”, or “I’m stupid.” These patterns of negative thinking impact children’s emotions significantly. These negative emotions then influence their behaviors, often for the worst.

Negative Emotions and Behavior

Behaviors related to negative thinking patterns can range significantly from behaviors, such as crying to tantrums or all out violence. This is because their behaviors are an attempt to avoid one thing, negative feelings! Then, in an attempt to avoid what makes them feel sad or frustrated (a.k.a. schoolwork), children exhibit behaviors.

Sometimes it’s just one subject that a student might have negative thoughts about. Sometimes it’s all of their subjects! By doing observations you can typically figure out which subjects a student is thinking negatively about. This can better guide your counseling. Negative thinking at school might also be related to social situations or a general feeling of not fitting in with peers. When using the counseling games in this packet, you will be able to figure out and then work with your students on their specific areas of personal low self-esteem.

Other Impacts of Low Self-Esteem

Students with low self-esteem and negative thinking patterns may have other emotional issues that do not result in behaviors. Low self-esteem and negative thoughts can lead to emotional difficulties and mood disorders, such as depression or anxiety disorder. Just in this past school year I have worked with students whose negative thinking patters have lead to physical symptoms, including as IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and Tics. I’ve observed that students with tics will have their tics triggered when experiencing negative thoughts. So helping them with their thinking is the first step in helping them to decrease their tics.

Providing a Variety of Counseling Activities

Improving a child’s self-esteem is not going to happen over night or with just one video or game. Like teaching any new habit or skill, it will take time and a multi-modal approach. It will also take patience, as all bad habits are hard to extinguish. Because negative thinking is a habit of sorts, teaching kids to identify and then change their habit will take instruction and practice.

It may also take some convincing. When playing many of the games with my students, I will try to create opportunities to help them realize that most tasks that they perceive as too hard they often are able to do. Showing them that their perception is the issue and not the task itself is the key.

I might also point out past learning successes and demonstrate how far they have already come as a student. For example, I will remind older children that when they were younger they were not able to read at all or even add 1+1. Pointing out past accomplishments and recent ones is a great way to help children understand that they are capable of learning anything new, and have been capable all along.

The 10 WEEK Curriculum for Self-Esteem and Positive Thinking

Self-Esteem Curriculum
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/10-Week-Counseling-Curriculum-for-SELF-ESTEEM-and-POSITIVE-THINKING-8341305

In the 10-week curriculum there are a variety of activities that include video lessons, daily journaling, a social story play, worksheets, games, and an art project. This variety helps provide instruction while keeping things novel and engaging for students. All activities are designed to facilitate discussions with your students on when and how to change negative thoughts to positive thoughts when confronting challenges.

Curriculum for Self-Esteem and Positive Thinking
Click HERE to purchase 10-Week Curriculum in the Counseling Fanny Pack of Fun Store!

Videos

There are a few days where videos that provide instruction on improving self-esteem and using self esteem are paired with worksheets. There are also videos that are games for an interactive way for students to play a game that facilitates discussion and learning. Some video weeks also are paired with a journaling assignment. The journaling helps students pause and take a brief moment daily to reflect on positive events and accomplishments for the day.

Here is one of the game videos that are part of the curriculum:

The Self-Esteem Game

Journaling Positive Thoughts

This Weekly journal is good to provide as a homework type of assignment. Within the curriculum it is assigned on two occasions in order to help students think about and practice positive self-talk. This activity and the additional journaling activity will help students take accountability for their positive thinking and begin to believe that thinking positively is not too difficult.

Self-Esteem Journal

Self-Esteem and Positive Thinking Games

JENGA

Games are always a fun way to engage students in learning and practicing social and emotional skills. Games also facilitate working on social skills through peer interactions, sharing, and turn taking during the games. The three games that are included in this packet are a card game, a JENGA game, and a board game. The Jenga and card games, however, do require a purchase of a deck of playing cards and Jenga or imitation Jenga game.

Arts and Crafts Activities

Self-Esteem Art Project

When creating a counseling curriculum for social and emotional learning, it is great to incorporate at least one arts and crafts activity. Making a picture or other art craft is a great hands-on learning tool for kinesthetic learners. One of the crafts projects that I use for working on positive thinking is decorating and personalizing motivational quotes.

In this activity, your students can pick from 20 choices for motivational quotes and positive affirmations. (Individual Resource with 50 Quotes shown above.) Then, they can color their affirmation and mount it on construction paper with a string to hang. This a good activity for them to have as a keep-sake and reminder of using positive thinking when at home. It also is a good activity to take home, so their parents can see what they are learning in counseling.

Self-Esteem Wall Art

For More SEL & Counseling Activities…

Please check out my Teachers pay Teachers store, Counseling Fanny Pack of Fun! It has over 150 products, including games, worksheets, forms, and activity books full of counseling and Social-Emotional Learning for students in Pre-K through 8th grades.

If you are just looking for games, my newest product is a HUGE BUNDLE that has 22 Small Group and Individual Counseling games for every topic, including Social Skills, Empathy, Manners, Anger Management, Coping Skills, Emotional-Regulation, Conflict Resolution, and MORE!

22 Counseling Games

If you’d like to check out any of the games featured in this article…

Please just click on the picture and it will take you to the product in my Teachers pay Teachers store. If you’d like to check out other topics in my store, please click on the topic below to see what I might have for you and your students. Happy Counseling!

BEHAVIOR TOOLS

SOCIAL SKILLS

COPING SKILLS

EMPATHY

SELF-ESTEEM

Are you a School Counselor, School Psychologist, Teacher, or Parent looking to support students with improving their SELF-ESTEEM and learn to use POSITIVE THINKING??? If so, then perhaps this 10-week activity packet will help you provide the services that your student or students really need! The packet is made of all of the activities that…

Are you a School Counselor, School Psychologist, Teacher, or Parent looking to support students with improving their SELF-ESTEEM and learn to use POSITIVE THINKING??? If so, then perhaps this 10-week activity packet will help you provide the services that your student or students really need! The packet is made of all of the activities that…