Summer Activities that Build Kids’ Confidence

July 22, 2020

Hey guys! So recently my adolescent teen son, who we call Bear, was diagnosed with Adhd and Dmdd. It has not been easy for any of us this summer trying to come up with treatment plans and goals so this summer has been a bit of a bust. 

We have been on the hunt for fun and exciting things to do to help our son build back his confidence and self-esteem. My friend Carletta wrote this amazing guest post to share some of those ideas with you!

Summer Activities that Build Kids’ Confidence

The summer months give kids a break from expending energy on school work.  With that freedom comes more chances to take risks, try new things, push physical limits and take on responsibilities.  Having more down time means that kids are more refreshed and willing to attempt things they normally wouldn’t.  Kids also tend to stretch themselves when they are more relaxed and having fun, making certain summer activities ideal for helping them boost their confidence.  These five summer activities are just a few that can boost kids' trust in themselves and their capabilities.

#1 Camping

Going on a camping trip offers kids lots of opportunities to build their confidence.  It gives kids many chances to get out of their comfort zone, learn new skills and take measured risks under the supervision of adults.  Camping is all about stepping out of the everyday and choosing a different experience.  Teaching kids to use fallen birch bark and twigs from the ground to build a fire will not only give them a valuable skill, it will also help them believe that they can survive in the outdoors if necessary.  Kids are often in awe when they see that they can safely create a fire just like adults can.  They feel even more proud and capable when they can cook a meal on the fire that they built.  Camping also can push kids’ physical limits as they weather the elements such as mosquitos, heat, and rain.  Kids may feel that camping can be hard and uncomfortable at times (or it might be so novel that they love every minute), but knowing that they can survive in more difficult circumstances shows them they can handle challenges.

#2  Backyard Theatre or Online Theatre Camps 

Kids and their families often enjoy outdoor theatre series, such as Shakespeare in the Park. There are many choices for theatre day camps for kids. And if you have the time and are home with your kids, you could also help them to create their own stage area in their backyard.

Drama is an excellent way to boost kids’ belief in themselves.  It teaches kids to express a wide range of emotions and try on different personas in a safe environment.  Participating in creating a production gives them permission to be various versions of themselves.  While it may feel uncomfortable at first, kids will get used to trying new tones of voice, new facial expressions, and different ways of moving and dressing.  Theatre also builds belief in kids' ability to work with others because it requires mutual cooperation and support to create the best production possible with each member of the cast doing their best in their role.  Kids participating in theatre classes quickly learn that they need to practice their lines, listen to feedback and take direction in order to deliver their best performance.  All of these steps teach kids that hard work, practicing, and perseverance help them to be their best.  Giving a performance and seeing the audience react favourably also will give their confidence a boost.

#3  Building Homes for Natures Creatures 

Kids love animals. Seeing them, taking care of them, and interacting with them in nature is a thrill. Giving kids materials to make bird and butterfly feeders, bee houses and bat boxes will give them a chance to learn or practice their building skills and increase their confidence in their abilities. They will also believe that they are someone who can make a difference in the world.  Someone who wants to take care of nature and the creatures that live in it. Kids who can see that they have the power to do good things will feel more confident about themselves.

#4  Plan a Summer Physical Challenge

Kids who participate in team sports tend to be more sure of themselves because they are frequently testing their physical limits.  They are used to doing hard things and have to persevere because their teammates are depending on them.  One great way to increase kids’ confidence is to have them plan a summertime physical challenge, such as swimming to the middle of a lake and back, biking to a nearby community, or hiking a long trail.  Whatever the challenge is, it should be something kids are excited or nervous to try, but think is possible.  It should push them past their everyday without being out of reach.  When they accomplish their challenge, it will show them that aiming high is a good way to grow.


#5  Creating a Summertime Affirmation

Affirmations have been proven to increase kids' faith in themselves if used regularly.  Getting kids to create a summertime affirmation can help them to weather difficult times, especially during this pandemic summer when things are quite different.  Typically affirmations start with “I am” and then include a positive statement about the child and their traits.  For example, ”I am like a sunflower. I stand tall, straight and confident and I turn toward the light.” If the kids in your life don't like to be still, you could help them to create an active affirmation so they can move around while they do it.  

Building kids’ confidence is a year round practice but summer offers well timed opportunities because kids have more time to rest and relax, giving them more energy to take risks and challenge themselves.  Having fun while being outside your comfort zone makes it easier to try new things and in this way, adults have many chances to help kids feel more confident over the summer break.  

Carletta Shannon - Life Coach for Kids  

I offer programs, materials, and support that parents can use to help their children discover interests, set goals and intentions, and most importantly have fun in the process. I am passionate about learning, growth mindset, nature, and emotional wellness.              www.

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