It goes without saying that we all want to build our kids confidence, independence and self esteem.
Of course we do.
It’s the natural way of things.
Children are meant to let go as they grow and stride out – more and more – on their own to explore the world and its wonders.
So why has it become so hard?
Why are so many kids anxious?
Why do they lack the confidence to grow up? And why do we as parents lack the confidence to let go?
Well there are all sorts of complicated theories and fancy parenting programs out there that claim to have the answer.
But the secret I reckon is pretty simple and it’s this :
Today’s kids from the time they can walk miss out out on the month by month milestones of :
- Spending more and more of their time out of sight of adults
- Moving further and further from their home on their own two feet.
They can’t confidently engage with the world because we don’t allow them the independence to learn how.
So how on earth can we fix this?
Well the good news is, simply.
We just need to build lots of little opportunities for ever increasing independence into our children’s lives from when tiny until teens.
And I have for you here a big list of over 75 different confidence building activities to do just that.
75 Confidence Building Activities For Kids
These simple confidence building activities for kids provide opportunities to :
- Play out of sight
- Run errands
- Meet neighbours
- Transport themselves
- Enjoy freedom with friends
- Stay home alone
- Be responsible for others
Some of the activities in the list are very obviously for older kids – they may be 16 before they hit some of them – but there aren’t hard and fast rules about when kids are old enough for what.
Our families and our children do differ and we all need to find our own way at our own pace and make our own call whilst cutting each other some slack and not being judgemental.
The key thing is that kids :
- Keep experiencing the boundaries of their independence expand
- But get enough time to gain confidence before rushing helter-skelter into something new.
Play Out Of Sight
- Play in next room
- Play in next room for a long spell
- Play on another floor
- Play in garden alone
- Play in neighbour’s garden
- Play between gardens, i.e. free to run between own & neighbour’s garden
- Play out on street e.g. ball games, bikes, skateboards
- Play on the next street
- Stay in playground with friends
- Cycle round park
- Roam the park
- Go to park unaccompanied
- Post a letter
- Buy a newspaper
- Buy a few emergency groceries at corner store
- Buy a birthday card
- Buy stamps
- Buy fresh bread
- Take a parcel to post office
- Buy groceries at super market
- Buy flowers
- Buy loose food at e.g. market / greengrocers
- Collect an order from a store e.g. books
- Pick up dry cleaning
- Drop off recycling
- Take a message
- Take a gift
- Deliver an invitation
- Deliver a parcel
- Pick up a parcel
- Ask to borrow something e.g. sugar, milk, tea bag
- Ask for help e.g. homework, fixing something
- Ask for sponsorship & collect sponsor money
- Deliver leaflets
- Bob-a-job for charity
- Walk to school
- Walk to sports club, music lesson etc
- Cycle to school
- Take bus to school
- Come home alone in dark
- Take bus to a friend’s
- Take themselves to a party
- Take themselves to a play date
- Take a local train
- Take an intercity train e.g. to grandparents
- Take a flight
Enjoy Freedom With Friends
- Knock for a friend on the street
- Knock for a friend a few streets away
- Buy sweets, comic or lolly at corner store
- Get books out of library
- Go to a cafe with friends
- Go shopping with friends on local high street or small mall
- Go shopping with friends in city centre or large mall
- Go swimming
- Go to the cinema
- Go skating
- Go to a fair
- Go to a concert
- Go hiking
- Go camping
- Go on holiday
Stay Home Alone
- Stay in home alone for 5 minutes or so whilst you nip to neighbours
- Stay in home alone for 30 minutes
- Have their own key to let themselves in
- Let themselves in from school when no one in
- Be last one out & lock up
- Stay in home alone for several hours
- Stay in home alone in the evening
- Stay home alone overnight
- Stay home alone for a weekend
- Stay home alone for a week
Be Responsible For Others
- Walk the dog up the street
- Walk the dog round the block
- Walk the dog in the park
- Look after sibling in home alone for 5 minutes
- Look after sibling in home alone for 30 minutes
- Babysit sibling
- Babysit neighbours kids
- Look after pets overnight
- Look after pets over weekend
And there you go … loads of little opportunities for children from toddlers to teens to expand their boundaries and explore their world with confidence.
I do hope these ideas help.
For more simple parenting tips do follow me on Pinterest and have a read of these posts :
- Slower Happier Parenting
- Lovely Ways To Calm Down As A Family
- Self Care For Stressed Mothers
- 101 Outdoor Activities For Kids
- Helping Kids Who Worry
- Balancing Activities For Kids
And if these tips struck a chord do sign up for my occasional newsletter. I won’t be bombarding you with stuff but just sharing the practical tips and thoughts that make my family life more fun …