Appearance comparison is very common today and children, more often than we know, think about their appearance. Body image awareness and positivity are things that should be taught and encouraged from a young age. Negative body image beliefs reduce their self-esteem and productivity in life, but with the right assistance and attention, students can overcome feelings of dissatisfaction with their bodies. Here are 20 positive body image activities that will help kids interact with their bodies in a more positive light and be more confident in their skin.
1. Share Your Fashion Mistakes
In this activity, parents and teachers can spark a conversation with their kids about their fashion mistakes- encouraging their kids to talk about their own fashion mistakes too. This creates a warm environment for kids to deal with their body image issues, accept themselves and their mistakes, and ultimately become more confident with their body images.
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2. Teach Them Body Positive Replies
Instructors teach students body-positive statements and replies- showing them better ways to talk about people’s bodies and appearances. Make use of examples by showing students inappropriate speech and encouraging their participation in thinking up and providing appropriate versions.
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3. Host a Round Table Healthy Foods Analysis
Some students are visual learners, and tilting the conversation from ideal body types to healthy foods can help them be more body-image literate. Place a variety of healthy foods, fruits, and vegetables on a table, and gather the kids around for a lesson on the benefits of these foods.
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4. Have Fun With Physical Activity
Sometimes subtlety is needed, and instead of focusing on their body and weight, kids can be taught to appreciate physical activity and see the benefits for their physical health.
Learn More: Mayo Clinic Health System
5. Write and Post Body Positive Sticky Notes In The Classroom
Kids love a fun project with colors, and this can be a great way to create a body-positive environment and improve their mental health!
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6. Art Project
Teachers can use art projects to assist students to build a good self-concept. Making a self-portrait with positive affirmations and collages from magazines and other materials to challenge beauty norms are two examples. These projects promote creativity, self-expression, and introspection.
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7. Assign a Video Project
Teachers can use these video projects to help students investigate the influence of media on self-esteem. Creating a short video that questions established beauty standards is one example, as is shooting interviews with peers and family members about their experiences.
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8. Host a Body-positive Fashion Show
Participating in a body-positive fashion show can improve students’ self-image by teaching them acceptance and appreciation of different body shapes and sizes. Students can demonstrate their attractiveness and abilities while questioning conventional beauty norms. This can promote self-esteem, self-love, and a sense of belonging.
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9. Assign a Journaling Activity
Children can chart their development toward good self-esteem by writing about their thoughts and experiences with body image. This practice can aid in the development of self-awareness, acceptance, and emotional well-being.
Learn More: Morningside Center
10. Body Image Support Group
This support group provides a safe and friendly environment for people to share their experiences and issues with body image. Students can sit in a circle and receive empathy, support, and criticism from peers and mentors, as well as acquire techniques to confront negative self-talk and boost self-esteem. This can aid in the development of self-acceptance, self-love, and resilience.
Learn More: ResearchGate
11. Mirror Affirmations
This exercise can help children improve their body image by encouraging them to question negative self-talk and promote self-confidence. Mirror affirmations may help you develop self-acceptance, self-love, and a good self-image which can lead to better emotional health.
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12. Body Image Scenarios
In this activity, teachers can carefully think up a plethora of scenarios where students have their body image questioned and encourage the students to respond with appropriate body-positive replies.
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13. Thumbprint Self Portrait
The foundational idea of this activity is that human thumbs vary in shape and size. As students design and creatively decorate their thumbs, they are encouraged to observe and appreciate the diversity among humans.
Learn More: Teaching Expertise
14. Body Types History Studies
Instructors can set up a movie show, where students can watch movies or YouTube videos that show them the evolution of the concept of an ideal body type. This activity helps them appreciate their body’s diversity and recognize that no one body type is the best.
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15. Body Confidence Campaign
Teachers can start and promote a body confidence campaign in schools. School hall meetings can be encouraged where students perform poetry and musical pieces and give talks centered around body positivity.
Learn More: Be Real Campaign
16. Class Lesson About Eating Disorders
Teachers and instructors can teach kids about eating disorders and how they affect the body. This will help sensitize students on how the body shapes and body types of various people could be the result of an underlying health problem; teaching them to be sensitive when talking about people’s bodies.
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17. Class Discussion on Body Type Differences
This activity takes on the form of a class debate and discussion. Teachers can carefully select hot topics for discussion with the aim of improving body image and confidence and students can take turns sharing their views.
Learn More: Purdue University
18. Analyze The Media’s Body Image Influence
Students should be taught to critically analyze media messages and see the relationship between body image and media projections. Instructors could expose them to recognizing and avoiding unrealistic beauty standards, the impact of photoshopping, and the harmful effects of body shaming.
Learn More: Campaign Resources
19. Body Activism
Students can participate in online campaigns on social media and make the subjects of body acceptance and self-confidence trend. They can be encouraged to use hashtags and speak up on their social media platforms to share their views on body confidence.
Learn More: National Eating Disorders Association
20. Sunshine Box
A sunshine box is a simple and creative DIY project that kids can complete to boost their self-esteem and enhance their body image. When the kids have made their boxes, they can put things in them to increase their body confidence.
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