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Top 6 Growth Mindset Activities for Kids


Engage your children with fun growth mindset activities. Learn how to foster resilience and positivity through these interactive exercises.

A growing brain is a busy one. As children transition from toddlerhood, tremendous intellectual, social, and emotional transformations take place. Trial and error are abundant in this stage, and children are learning what it feels like to grow and establish independence from their caregivers.

Through a series of successful experiences and independent problem-solving, a sense of self and personal power begins to develop in children. Supporting your child through these exciting milestones has a powerful impact in the moment and later in life, too. But how do you do it? 

Growth mindset activities and interactive exercises can build resilient brains and encourage emotional intelligence. Intrigued? We’ll walk you through the science of success for children and outline approachable growth-focused activities you can do at home with your child today. 

What is a Growth Mindset for Kids?

Consider for a moment the last time your child was beaming with self-satisfaction and pride. Was it yesterday evening after they grabbed a paper towel and cleaned up a spill without prompting? 

Or was it last week when they finally solved an arithmetic problem after initially struggling to comprehend it? These instances (and others like them) are the results of fostering a growth mindset. 

Defining a Growth Mindset

A growth mindset is a concept in psychology coined by Stanford professor Carol Dweck in 2006. It suggests that mindsets aren’t fixed. Rather, small steps and persistent practice can change children’s belief in their abilities and how they approach difficult tasks.

This thinking is especially important to a child’s development. It supports in-the-moment success by:

  • Sparking a passion for learning 
  • Encouraging self-awareness and emotional intelligence
  • Stimulating psychological resilience in response to unfamiliar environments 
  • Helping kids process daunting tasks or big feelings

It may sound like a big undertaking, but the benefits of encouraging your kids to adopt a growth mindset far outweigh the efforts. Let’s dig a little deeper into the positive impacts of growth mindset activities. 

4 Benefits of Incorporating Growth Mindset Activities

Growth mindset activities for kids aren’t just a productive pastime on a rainy day. Studies indicate that children who adopt a growth mindset are happier, healthier, and higher achieving. 

Take the old idiom “one step forward, two steps back” and turn it around—Through growth mindset activities, success sounds more like “one step back, two steps forward.”  Performance is pushed to the side while practice, patience, and problem-solving take center stage. 

The benefits of adopting a growth mindset are many, but four promote lifelong success. 

Foster Collaboration and Communication

When you incorporate growth mindset activities into your daily to-do list, you create a collaborative environment for your children to thrive and flourish in. 

Through support and interactive exercises, they learn that progress happens through partnership 

—and talking about it is a part of the process, too! Growth mindset activities normalize communication around the hard stuff and channel setbacks through healthy conversations about their challenges and triumphs.

Development of Resilience and Persistence

Even small setbacks can cause big reactions. However, growth mindset activities challenge children to rethink setbacks as common occurrences on their self-improvement journey. 

By acknowledging their struggles and reframing them as opportunities, they develop resilience and persistence in the face of setbacks. Their thinking shifts from “I’ll never learn to read” to “I haven’t learned to yet, but I will.”

Learn Problem-Solving Skills

Growth mindset activities make learning approachable by teaching children that intelligence and skill-learning are buildable and fluid. 

When they realize that mastering the skateboard or playing the flute isn’t distilled to one milestone or moment, it opens opportunities for them to approach problems (and how to solve them) with curiosity and confidence. In turn, they can comfortably acquire skills at their own pace. 

Work Through Big Feelings

Big emotions like anger, frustration, shame, and sadness are par for the course when working towards progress. Growth mindset activities normalize these reactions and offer outlets for children to identify and process them. Our Hammerhead line focuses on teaching kids the importance of emotional regulation and conflict resolution, serving as the perfect tools to help a child’s personal development. By improving your child’s emotional literacy, they will be better able to tackle hard things that come their way and have a more positive outlook moving forward in life. 

6 Growth Mindset Activities for Kids

Like any lesson you instill in your children—whether you're teaching your child empathy or gratitude—application is key. Easy-to-do activities and engaging exercises turn tedious tasks and pesky problems into play. 

Growth mindset activities are engaging tools to reinforce healthy habits, too. If you’re wondering how to approach growth mindset activities for kids, keep reading. Below, we outline six fun and interactive exercises you can do with your children today.

#1 The Power of Yet

Words are powerful tools that affect mindset at any stage of life. For children, reframing growth with positive affirmations can affect how they perceive challenges and inspire determination to keep going.

Encourage children to adopt a growth mindset by adding "yet" to statements about skills they're working on. Doing this can remind them that each effort brings them one step closer to achieving their goals. When you refocus difficult tasks as open-ended activities, your children can re-engage challenges with eagerness and ease.

Looking to take things one step further? Try out our positive affirmation cards to help them establish a strong sense of self-worth and understand their emotions better.

#2 Challenge Journal

A challenge journal is an effective way to inspire self-reflection. Journaling can create an internal safe space for children to explore the inner layers of their thoughts and emotions. 

Suggest your child keep a journal to record the challenges they face, reflect on what they learned, and how they grew from setbacks. 

However, admitting challenges can be…well, challenging. To make journaling even easier, create a template for your child to work from with prompts and questions. If they choose to share their entries with you, congratulate them on their progress.

#3 Mistake Celebration

Making mistakes can produce icky feelings—even for adults. For kids, blunders and boo-boos can be especially tricky to navigate. If they lose confidence, they may be hesitant to get back up and try again.

Help your child shift their thinking by celebrating mistakes instead of discouraging them. To the innocent eye, grownups can seem invincible, but you know you’re anything but. So, talk to your child about instances where you made mistakes, how you felt, and how you overcame them. 

Create a safe environment to share mistakes and learn from them. When you emphasize growth over failure, you build confidence in your child’s ability to try again. 

#4 Goal Setting and Progress Tracking

Small goal-setting and exercises that acknowledge effort over results can transform insurmountable tasks into bite-sized and digestible can-dos. So, another growth mindset activity is guiding your kids in setting achievable goals, tracking progress, and celebrating small victories along the way. 

Try making this activity tangible and fun with a progress tracking chart so your child can observe their growth as it unfolds. Ask them to personalize their progress chart with crayons, markers, stamps, and stickers so their chart feels like a unique extension of themselves.

#5 Empathy Exercises

When your child can recognize the emotions of others and appropriately respond, they build empathy and kindness. They learn that the path to progress is walked hand-in-hand, and they’re not alone—in fact, their siblings or peers are learning alongside them. 

Engage children in activities that promote empathy, encouraging them to consider different perspectives and challenges others may face. Here are a few we love: 

  • Kindness calendar 
  • Drawing their emotions 
  • Role-playing 
  • Storytelling  

Emotionally identifying with caregivers, siblings, and peers is integral to growth. But children must learn to recognize and reflect on their own emotions, too. 

#6 Feelings Checklist

A feelings checklist is a tangible tool for children to identify the big feelings that can swell up when faced with setbacks. You can include a feelings checklist in their progress journal, or create a separate checklist for them to engage with. 

List common emotions your child experiences when they’re faced with challenges like frustration, fear, sadness, or shame. Don’t forget to include the positive ones, too—pinpointing positive emotions is just as much a part of their journey! Laminate their checklist and use dry-erase markers so your child can revisit it week after week. 

If your little one is a verbal processor, set aside time to discuss their feelings. Create a feelings corner in your home with their favorite blanket or stuffed animal so they feel extra safe sharing.   

What are Examples of a Growth Mindset in Children?

With enough practice, your child can master any task or skill—and that includes adopting a growth mindset. Watch for key indicators of their growth and development. A few examples include:

  • Your child is more flexible in the face of challenges 
  • They introduce creative ways to overcome issues or problem-solve tasks 
  • They pinpoint and process their emotions after setbacks 
  • They exhibit kindness towards themselves and others after making mistakes 
  • They celebrate progress instead of focusing on errors or results

Navigating new tasks and setbacks can be difficult, but each day offers opportunities for your child to learn and grow. Interactive exercises and helpful tools develop a growth mindset in children so they can master any tricky moment and emotion.

Encourage a Growth Mindset in Your Child With Slumberkins

Life is full of big and little challenges. Growing pains are inevitable when your child is still developing, and they can take many forms: falling off their bike, facing difficulty at school, or navigating relationships.

Fostering a growth mindset in your child inspires them to take healthy risks, welcome new experiences, and recognize the value of mistakes. Adopting this outlook can be easier than it sounds with Slumberkins’ resources. 

Meet Yak, our ambassador of self-acceptance and cheerleader for falling forward. From books to play kits, Yak provides children with tangible tools that help foster a growth mindset every day so they can grow while they play. 

With Slumberkins, big feelings and little setbacks aren’t defeats—they’re a part of your child’s success story. 


Sources: 

CHOC. Child Development Guide: Ages and Stages. https://www.choc.org/primary-care/ages-stages/


American Psychological Association. Mindset: The new psychology of success. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2006-08575-000


NIH. The longitudinal association between children’s growth mindset in senior primary school and their parents’ growth mindset. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10043423/


For The Love of Teachers. 7 Benefits of Promoting a Growth Mindset in Students. https://www.fortheloveofteachers.com/7-benefits-of-promoting-a-growth-mindset-in-students/


Positive Psychology. How to Nurture a Growth Mindset in Kids: 8 Best Activities. https://positivepsychology.com/growth-mindset-for-kids/


American Montessori Society. The Power of "Yet": Helping Children Develop a Growth Mindset. https://amshq.org/Blog/2023-08-16-8-The-Power-of-Yet-Helping-Children-Develop-a-Growth-Mindset


Verywell Family. The Benefits of Journaling for Kids. https://www.verywellfamily.com/the-benefits-of-journaling-for-kids-2086712


Positive Psychology. 40 Empathy Activities & Worksheets for Students & Adults. https://positivepsychology.com/kindness-activities-empathy-worksheets/


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