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Discover the benefits of growth mindset activities for children! Learn how to develop a growth mindset in your kids and help them succeed in life.

How Can Growth Mindset Activities Help Your Kids to Develop a Growth Mindset?

Apr 16, 2023

Are you or your children struggling with a fixed mindset and a belief that abilities and intelligence are predetermined and unchangeable? Developing a growth mindset can help you or your children overcome this limiting belief and realize the potential for growth and achievement. In this blog, we will explore a variety of growth mindset activities that can help you cultivate a growth mindset, both for yourself and for the children in your life. From emphasizing the power of "yet" to encouraging persistence and learning from mistakes, these activities can help shift your mindset towards growth and possibility. By practicing these activities, you can develop a lifelong love of learning and personal development and unlock your full potential for success.

Just like The Goonies 

Before talking about different growth mindset activities let me share my absolute all-time favorite movie! It's got pirates, secret treasure, and adventure-- what is there not to love? It was everything 10-year old Will could ask for, circa 1985. As an adult, though, I love this movie even more because of the big life lesson it provides to develop a growth mindset. 

If you haven't seen it (first, get out of my life right now), the movie starts with a family about to lose their house until the kids and their friends take matters into their own hands.

They follow a treasure map to One-Eyed Willy's lost treasure, navigating through “booty traps” and narrowly escaping the clutches of the Fratelli family. All the while, one of the kids Chunk is making a new best friend in Sloth, who teaches the viewer the importance of not judging a book by its cover.

What makes this movie such a classic is that as kids, we all believe in the impossible. We believe in the treasure map, the pirates, the gold. We whole-heartedly think that if we set goals and put our minds to it, we can do ANYTHING, even after the adults have given up.

When we're kids, life hasn't beaten us down, and we're not victims yet. Our little minds and hearts are primed to learn, explore, grow, and take on the world with the help of growth mindset activities.

And oh boy do I see that in my toddler, Wyatt. He's anything but a victim to this world. He's naturally developed a growth-owner mindset in his life and is 100% geared toward experiencing as much joy and excitement that he can squeeze out of each day.

He sets toddler-sized goals without even thinking about it, and squeals with excitement when he accomplishes them (a few examples include jumping over puddles, building tall lego towers, or running as fast as he can). He doesn't sit and ponder, what if I can't? He just leaps.

Develop a Growth Mindset with Help of Growth Mindset Activities

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So, what happens to that childhood growth mindset? How do we go from being The Goonies, aka growth owners, one day – exploring, adventuring and believing in ourselves – to victims of self-doubt and sabotage the next? Did we quit on growth mindset activities? Did we lose the self-belief we had when we were kids?

Every day, we are influenced by so many people. Parents, teachers, peers, bosses, siblings – the list goes on and on. Most mean well, but they've lost their Goonie spirit. Hence, the ability to develop a growth mindset.

They've stopped seeing the world as theirs to conquer and have started seeing it as something to guard and protect themselves from. They begin to project that self-doubt and fear onto their kids, and the vicious cycle continues with the next generation. In simple words, they have developed a fixed mindset. Therefore, it is our responsibility to teach kids the importance of growth mindset through different growth mindset activities.

Remember the toddler goals and accomplishments I said Wyatt squeals with excitement about? What if what he heard in response was:

“Don't you dare try to jump over that puddle. You'll never make it.”

“That's high enough with those legos. When they crash, they are going to make a mess!”

“No running! You could trip and fall.”

It's not that far-fetched, is it? These are things that have been said to us hundreds of times in our lives, and things we may have even said to our own kids. If I say those things, next time Wyatt will think twice, won't he? And if he does fall, instead of getting up and trying again because he's got his eye on the prize, he'll blame himself.

What if I encouraged him to develop a growth mindset instead? Or if I had to intervene, said:

  • “Today is not a day for puddles. Let's walk around them.”

  • “You've got 30 seconds to build your Legos as high as you can and then it's time to clean up so you can build even higher ones next time!”

  • “Skipping only today! We'll run later.”

These differences are subtle, right? But Wyatt no longer hears “You can't. You're not good enough. You're clumsy.”

How to Re-develop Growth Mindset?

For you and me though, we've already heard these things so many times we believe them. So, what can we do to re-develop our growth mindset? Well, the first thing is to realize that it's up to us to determine how this movie ends.

It all starts with our brain shifting away from what I call our lower-self, driven by that fixed-victim mindset, and letting our higher-self, driven by our inner Goonie aka growth-owner, take control.

Important Growth Mindset Activities For Kids!

Teaching a growth mindset is not easy. However, the idea is to help people add different activities for a growth mindset that can help them get rid of their fixed mindset and help them to identify personal core values. Here are some growth mindset activities that can help develop, encourage and reinforce a growth mindset:

  1. Mindful Self-Awareness: You should reflect on your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors in various situations. Identify fixed mindset thoughts and beliefs and replace them with growth mindset thoughts and beliefs.

  2. Goal-Setting: Goal setting is one of the most important growth mindset activities. Try to set goals that are challenging, specific, and achievable. Focus on the progress you make toward your goals rather than just the outcome.

  3. Learn from Mistakes: You should view mistakes as opportunities to learn and grow. You should be aware that mistakes are a natural and expected aspect of the learning process.

  4. Positive Self-Talk: You can start by utilizing positive self-talk and affirmations. You should strive to replace pessimistic self-talk with constructive affirmations that promote a growth mindset.

  5. Develop a sense of curiosity: Encourage individuals to ask questions, explore new ideas, and think outside the box.

  6. Feedback: You should seek and embrace feedback as an opportunity to learn and improve. This will help you understand that feedback is essential to growth and development.

  7. Emphasize Effort: Focus on the effort YOU put into your work rather than just the outcome. At the end of the day, it is the effort that matters, and it will eventually help you achieve your goals.

  8. Growth Mindset Role Models: Try to identify and learn from individuals who embody a growth mindset. Learn from successful people. Try to figure out their success habits and understand how small changes to your lifestyles and mindset can help you acieve new levels of success.

  9. Teach the power of "yet": Teach children or yourself to add "yet" to the end of negative self-talk statements like "I can't do this" or "I'm not good at this." This helps to shift the mindset towards growth and possibility.

  10. Focus on the process: Encourage children or yourself to focus on the process rather than just the outcome. Celebrate progress and learning, not just achievements.

  11. Model a growth mindset: Lead by example and model a growth mindset in your own actions and words. Show that you are always learning and growing, and celebrate your own successes and failures.

Tip For Week That can Help to Develop a Growth Mindset

For this week's action tip, think of three things that you LOVED doing as a kid. Bonus points if they give you even the smallest sense of accomplishment! Building success habits in your mindset can start as small as building a house of cards.

With the hell of different growth mindset activities, you can teach kids how to develop growth mindset. Over time, you'll remember that these little goals, ideas and actions bring you so much joy. And that will help lead you to the higher self you were meant to be and develop a growth mindset that you always wanted.

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Will Moore is a gamification, habits and happiness expert.

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