Self Esteem Building Games & Activities

Updated April 17, 2017

Games and activities that build self-esteem range from individual online interactive games to group games, played outside, that build trust and confidence within a group. Social situations are re-enacted in some games to sensitise children to their own behaviours, while other games use dilemmas to instil self-worth and cooperation in children. One online game uses smiling faces to reinforce positivity whenever one's name is chosen, while another lets girls input their skills and tastes, along with graphics, to produce a collage about themselves.

Group Self-Esteem Games

Wings For Kids hosts a website with self-esteem games ranging from games that help children become self-aware to games about coping, anger management and empowerment. These games use real-life situations to illustrate lessons in game form. Some of the game names include Caught in the Act, Bus Driver, Human Volcano, Wrestle Worries and Apology Pot. Becky's Guiding Resource Center provides "exercises in group dynamics and self-esteem." Her website offers more than 20 cooperative games including Giant Stick Figures, a Blindfolded Trust Walk, the Peanut Butter Sandwich Dilemma and Traffic Jam. This site also provides ice-breaking games including a Human Scavenger Hunt, Know Your Neighbor, Switching Hats and Name Acrostics. Education World also offers 10 activities to do with students to help boost their self-esteem. Games included are Ranking Traits which has students self-evaluate their own behaviours and Accentuate the Positive, a game which facilitates students telling other students all of the positive things about themselves.

Individual Self-Esteem Games

McGill University offers interactive self-esteem games online which they say are meant to help foster positive patterns of thought. "Grow Your Chi!" is a game where you input your name, and then clouds appear. On the clouds are people's faces, either smiling or not, and clouds with names, including yours, on them. Your job is to click on the smiling faces and clouds with your name. Their "EyeSpy" game teaches players to "take hold of your attention, teach yourself to automatically look for positive social information and ignore negative information that drags you down." This game provides a grid of 16 human faces with different expressions on them. Your job is to identify the one smiling face among each set of faces as quickly as possible. The last game offered is "Wham!" which is intended to "give your self-esteem a boost ... by creating links between yourself and social acceptance." This game asks for your name and birth date and then you click on different boxes and if your name or birth date is in the box, when clicked, it reveals a smiling person. If it is not your personal information in the box, when clicked, it reveals a person with other expressions than a smile. Go Girls Only has an interactive game online which asks questions of the player, such as her favourite snack, something they are thankful for, a best friend's name or favourite animal. Graphics are provided to illustrate interests and tastes, and then a collage can be printed out.

Online Indexes of Self-Esteem Games

The U.S. Scouting Service Project lists more than 20 confidence and team-building games online including Finger Hula-Hoop, Human Knot and Similarity Charades. The site Scouting Web has links to more than 40 self-esteem games, in addition to 14 team-building game resources. The games listed on this site address issues of self-esteem, as well as diversity and special needs. Human Quest offers a list of activities and lesson plans to help build self-esteem. Art lessons for self-esteem, as well as the use of dance, theatre, writing and music in this capacity, are referenced.

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About the Author

Kirsten Anderberg has been a published writer since 1999. Her work has appeared in magazines, newspapers, websites and books including "Utne," "HipMama," "ZNet" and "Adbusters." Anderberg received her Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of Washington and her master's degree in history from California State University.