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Empowering Children Activities

by Christina Schnell

Empowerment is your child's confidence in her abilities to complete a process despite obstacles. Empowering activities can have many different themes and goals, depending on the child's age, development and interests. Activities that empower a 4- or 5-year-old might seem patronizing for a child who's 8 or 9 years of age. That's why any activity that truly empowers your child must also be developmentally appropriate.

Self-help

Empowering your preschool-age child means encouraging independence and mastering self-care, according to Scholastic.com. Teaching your child to put on his own socks and shoes, or setting and returning his own plates and utensils at meals helps build his confidence that he can correctly take care of himself. An older child in grade school who masters "adult-chores" gains independence by relying less on adults for by learning to do tasks such as pack his own bag for school or sports and doing his own laundry.

Advancing Strengths

Building on an existing strength helps children feel their talents are valuable and worthwhile, according to an article at PsychologyToday.com. Choose an activity your child feels confident doing, but on a slightly more challenging level. If your little one loves to paint, do a kids' artistry kit together. If she loves climbing, take her to the kiddie rock gym and climb with her while you offer words of encouragement. Supporting her while she pushes past the initial challenges of doing something more difficult, but that she ultimately loves, helps her become confident in her ability to learn new techniques and methods, according to Scholastic.com.

Guided Choice Activities

Giving your child the opportunity to make decisions about a project or outing empowers his decision-making and ability to express preferences. Let a younger child decorate his own sugar cookies or paint a white T-shirt using fabric paint. With your encouraging guidance, an older child can help you research and choose a new appliance or stones for the patio or seeds for the garden. Teaching the process of informed decision-making and problem-solving empowers children to tackle challenges in other areas of their life, according to Scholastic.com.

Creative Freedom Activities

You don't have to give your child a glue gun and fabric scissors, but presenting her with several multipurpose materials can empower her creativity and planning abilities, according to Scholastic.com. Without suggesting a specific result or project, give her a small box of various materials such as ribbons, pipe cleaners, safety scissors, straws and sugar cubes, which she can use any way she chooses. For an older child, provide a handful of glass marbles, a few pieces of bendable wire, cardboard, glue, scissors and some scraps of cloth.

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