20 Growth Mindset Activities for Kids
The growth mindset is probably something you've heard a lot about by this point. We know why is it so crucial, especially for our children. But how do you help them develop it further?
With the right tools, anything is possible. These growth mindset activities for kids are a great place to start. They offer engaging and intriguing ways to teach children the growth mindset, whether you're practicing them at home or in a classroom.
What is a Growth Mindset?
A growth mindset is a belief that one may develop skills through deliberate efforts and tangible actions. This mindset sees intelligence and talent as qualities that may be improved over time.
Kids who have a growth mindset understand that obstacles are vital in the learning process. In fact, these failures provide an opportunity to work harder, helping kids to stay motivated and try again.
A growth mindset pushes children to overcome negativity and limitations. It promotes persistence in the face of setbacks, tenacity in the face of adversity, and an emphasis on what is within our reach. The growth mindset is one of the most beneficial attitudes we can instill in our children for these reasons.
Best Growth Mindset Activities for Kids
Here are some of the best activities for kids to learn a growth mindset. Some are suitable for younger kids while others are growth mindset activities for middle school. But many of these are great for all ages!
1. Negative to Positive
This is a great exercise that helps introduce young children to the language used when adopting a growth mindset. Make a note of all the negative or restrictive things that kids often say about themselves. Reframe these statements to be more positive by simply changing the wording used. To make it easier and more fun for your kids, you can use something like a worksheet on changing negative thoughts to positive thoughts. By going through this activity, your kids will begin to realize how changing their words can enhance their self-esteem.
2. Success Iceberg
A success iceberg is a picture of how people usually see success. People mainly see the iceberg's tip, which is the outcome of their efforts and hard work, but they seldom ever notice the failures, setbacks, disappointments, and attitudes that lie beneath it. Kids and teenagers can benefit from using this downloadable Success Iceberg Poster as a motivating tool and reminder. It shows some of the fundamental traits and practices of successful people who have a growth mindset.
3. Fixed Vs. Growth Mindset Anchor Chart
It’s best to start teaching kids the terms that will allow them to distinguish between having a fixed mindset and having a growth mindset. An anchor chart includes samples of both types of words and phrases so that children may clearly understand the difference between the two types of mindsets. Read each statement out loud and ask your child or student to identify which side it belongs to (growth or fixed) to make it a fun activity.
4. Famous Fails
Many of our greatest successes were preceded by important setbacks. For kids, learning about these heroes who have also had challenges may find the strength and motivation to overcome their struggles and flourish.
Search for some of history's most well-known failures with your students. Better yet, let them conduct their own research. How did these well known historical figures fail and then bounce back even more determined to realize their ambitions?
5. Yet Crown
Making a “yet crown” can help children remember that just because they aren't there yet, doesn't mean they won't get there. Print a few statements about goals your kids have yet to achieve and put them around the crown.
6. Kindness Challenge
A tiny act of kindness can go a long way, but how far can one week of kindness go? Here is an excellent way for you and your children to learn more about developing a growth mindset. Plan a week where kids will work in pairs or groups to carry out one act of kindness each day. Get your kids to create a journal detailing the deeds of kindness they perform each day, their motivations, the outcomes, and what they took away from the experiences.
7. Escape Room Activity
Every escape room exercise can inspire students to explore new concepts and collaborate to find solutions. There are even some escape room activities that are specifically designed to develop and improve one’s growth mindset.
8. Goal Setting Journaling or Crafts
Setting goals is a fantastic growth mindset exercise. It makes challenges seem more predictable and gives kids a sense of control over their education. This activity works well because it serves as a reminder to your kids that not all goals are simple to achieve. It's okay to set goals and objectives that will require more time and effort. Have your kids journal or use arts and crafts to outline their goals.
9. What I Like About Myself
A high self-esteem contributes to your kids' ability to adopt a growth mindset. Ask your kids to write or sketch self-affirming statements in their notebooks or on a piece of paper. They can put these statements somewhere they will notice first thing in the morning as a reminder of the qualities they like about themselves.
10. Contribution Brainstorming
Contributing something of value to our community allows us to thrive. It is possible to accomplish amazing things when giving back to people who matter to us, regardless of whether we offer an idea, service, or talent. This is especially important for kids as it teaches them how to think beyond themselves and develop their talents and skills with new endeavors.
Have your kids pair up or gather in groups. Working together, they can come up with as many suggestions as they can for ways to benefit their neighborhood.
11. Quote Inspiration
Growth mindset quotes can go a long way in inspiring or motivating someone. Read and discuss a few quotes with your kids to deepen their understanding of a growth mindset.
12. The Crumple Activity
Ask your students to write down a mistake they made earlier on in the day or week. After that, instruct them to crumple up the paper and throw it against a wall while trying to copy the feeling of making a mistake. After some time, ask them to pick up the paper, read it, and review their mistake once more.
Tell your kids that mistakes happen to everyone, regardless of who they are. You can ask them to brainstorm aloud how they could improve the next time. After this, ask your kids to crumple the paper once more before throwing it away permanently as a sign that the mistake has been made and belongs to the past. To make things more exciting, ask them to yell "Done!" or "Next!" or "Goodbye!" as they throw the paper away.
13. Fortune Teller
Creating a little paper fortune teller is a fun way to guess between growth and fixed mindsets. Have your kids write different statements down in the fortune teller before they fold it up and use it to remind themselves of more helpful growth mindset statements.
14. Growth Mindset Dice
This is a great way to stimulate discussion and thought on growth mindset in your kids. Conversation-starting questions and statements on growth mindset are printed on the dice. Place students in pairs or groups, have them throw the dice, and allow them to discuss the concepts that face up.
Yoga and encouraging affirmations are combined in a physical exercise known as Grow-ga, or Growth Mindset Yoga. It's an engaging physical activity, a great attention exercise, and a fun method to educate kids on how to make positive comments about themselves.
Choose a few reasonably simple yoga positions that you are confident beginners could perform but would still find somewhat challenging. Attaching growth mindset statements to each movement completes the exercise.
16. Error Analysis
Making mistakes is acceptable as long as we can learn from them. Encourage your kids to review their mistakes when they get the answer wrong or can't complete a task. Tell them to consider what went wrong, then try again with a different approach.
17. Easy or Hard Craft
The growth mindset technique teaches us to look forward to things that feel difficult now and to look back on things that are now easy. With effort and practice, those challenging tasks will eventually become simple. Have your kids identify various difficult tasks and write down how they look forward to making them easier in the future.
18. Action Plan
Kids will eventually want to know more about planning in the face of failure as they learn more about the growth mindset. In this action plan exercise, they can develop their own solutions for challenges. You can present the action plan as a worksheet, chart, or table. Make sure your kids have plenty of space to write their responses.
19. Self-Awareness Checklist
A growth mentality entails having a solid idea of who we are. It entails being aware of our advantages and disadvantages, our areas for growth, what motivates us, and what stresses us out. Kids will discover through this activity how self-awareness may lead to several areas of personal growth.
This can be achieved by asking the questions either verbally or in writing. Encourage students to reflect on the question as you ask it and to give the most truthful responses they can.
20. List Ways to Achieve Success
For a growth mindset to develop, it is important to look forward to possible future successes. Using a tool like a worksheet on ways to achieve success can teach kids ways to develop into better people, take care of their health, and strengthen their interpersonal bonds. This can empower children to approach challenges and difficulties with more strength and motivation in the quest for success.
The Bottom Line
Developing a growth mindset can sometimes seem like a daunting thing to learn. But by using fun activities such as the ones listed above, it can be easy for kids to apply in their own learning experiences. Having growth mindset posters around the house or in the classroom can encourage more flexible and positive ways of thinking that can lead kids (and even adults!) to success and fulfillment.