5 activities to help children feel confident

How to build confidence

Super ideas!

Lindsay Maclean, author of Speak Up & Be Heard, provides tips to help children be confident starting school, making friends and speaking in front of others.

At home, they’re Superman or Wonder Woman: charging around, centre stage, demanding your attention – but, put them in front of a class of kids or a new teacher and they clam up. These are concerns we usually have at the start of the school year. But, after two months at home, many of us are worrying about how easily our children will find returning to the classroom.

Motivational speaker Lindsay Maclean recommends these 5 simple ways to help children feel confident with whatever life throws at them. And, take note – these aren’t just for kids: Maclean says they can help adults, too.

1) Power pose: Stand like a superhero!

What you’ll need: Superhero arms, Cape (optional!)

What to do:

Challenge your child to stand in a powerful superhero pose. Can they plant their feet firmly apart, flex their muscles, put their hands on their hips, pretend to fly?

Confidence tip: This power pose makes you feel physically strong. If your child is having a wobble about stepping into their new school, be superheroes outside the school gate first.

Children dressed as superheroes
A child sings

2) Sing to win: Have a singalong together!


What you’ll need: Some of your little one’s favourite tunes

What to do:

Baby Shark, Shake It Off, Bohemian Rhapsody… it doesn’t matter what you sing, it’s how you belt it out! Choose your child’s favourite song and throw in some actions, too.

Confidence tip: Singing improves your vocal range and can help kids to overcome shyness if they tend to freeze in certain situations. So put your greatest hits on in the car or sing as you stroll to warm up your child before they get to school.

If your child loves singing, try these 5 musical games 

3) Tell stories: Make up a tall tale


What you’ll need: Imagination!

What to do:

Make up a story together. Choose a fave character (Rider and his Paw Patrol pups are rescuing Chickaletta again!) or look around and make up a story about what you see – are there fairies under the tree? What magic are they making? Can we carry a little fairy to school?

Confidence tip: Kids are natural storytellers, and stories help them to be creative and play with other children. Plus, talking to your child, listening to their ideas, and creating a story together is another great way to warm them up before they go into the classroom.

 If your child loves this idea, have a go at these storytelling games 


Two children act out a story
A child reads a paper for show and tell

4) Show and tell: public speaking is a skill that can be taught!


What to do:

While you get the dinner ready, ask your child to draw the best thing that happened today. Then, hold up the picture in front of everyone in your family, say how brilliant it is, and casually ask them to tell everyone what’s in it. This is also a clever way to find out about their day at school.

Confidence tip: If your child becomes used to making small performances at home, they’ll find it less scary when they’re asked to do it at school. Challenging your child to put on a mini-show with their siblings or friends is another sneaky way to get them used to speaking with an audience.

5) Mighty mirror: a nice way to see the best in yourself


What you’ll need: A mirror

What to do:

Sit with your child in front of the mirror and ask them to say some great things about themselves. You can start them off and help them to be specific if you can. They might say, “I can run really fast!” “I draw lovely pictures for my family.” “I hugged my friend when they felt sad.” “I brushed my teeth without being asked.” See if they can remember things that you or their teacher gave them praise for to help them.

You can do this activity regularly – it will reinforce the stuff you want them to do as well as help them to feel good.

Confidence tip: It’s easy to be nice to other people, but we don’t often say kind things to ourselves. This is a nice and simple way to encourage your child to see themselves in the best possible way.

A child looks into a mirror

Lindsay Maclean’s book Speak Up & Be Heard is a guide to making the best of yourself and becoming a confident communicator.