“I Like Myself” by Karen Beaumont is a lovely toddler-friendly story that celebrates self-love and self-acceptance.
It’s a favorite book of ours and has proved invaluable in helping my kids’ confidence grow, and love and accept who they are. It’s been a good reminder for me too!
Interactive and engaging activities are, as always, the best way for young kids to learn and will help reinforce the message of the book. In this post, I’ll share some simple “I Like Myself” activities for preschoolers that’ll help build their self-esteem and develop positive self-concept.
Whether in the classroom or at home, these “I Like Myself” and self care activities for preschoolers will inspire them to embrace their uniqueness and appreciate their individual strengths and talents.
If you don’t have the book on hand, don’t worry. You can still enjoy this wonderful story through this “I like myself” read-aloud.
Before getting started on these “I Like Myself” book activity ideas, a litte look at self-concept and what you can expect from young children in this aspect.
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What is self-concept?
Self-concept is your overall perception and understanding of yourself. It’s a collection of different thoughts, feelings, and beliefs about your identity, values, abilities, self-esteem and personality traits.
Self-concept comes from self-awareness and self-reflection as well as feedback from others. It is a crucial component of mental health and well-being, as it shapes how you perceive and interact with the world.
What are some examples of self-concept?
Here a few examples of the many aspects that contribute to your self-concept:
- Personal identity (gender, race, nationality etc)
- Self-esteem (one’s own worth and value as a person)
- Body image (physical appearance and attractiveness)
- Skill areas (strengths and weaknesses)
- Personality traits (outgoing, shy, laidback etc)
- Social identity (with social groups, family members etc)
What to expect from toddlers and preschoolers
Self-concept is still in the early stages of development at the toddler and preschooler age. However, by 2/3, kids have a strong sense of self by this age! If you have a young child you probably know this…
Young children tend to know exactly what they want, they’re just not that good at expressing themselves. They’re also particularly self-centered, as they have not yet learnt that their behaviour affects others. (Yes, unfortunately, this is normal…)
What is a 4 year olds self-concept?
You can expect the following from a 4 year old in terms of self-concept:
- Good self-awareness of physical characteristics. E.g. eye color
- Like to compare themselves to friends in terms of appearance and ability
- Some awareness of their emotions
- Limited ability to express their emotions
- Limited understanding that their behaviour affects othes
- Normally have good self-esteem, viewing themselves as capable and competent
How do you teach self-concept in early childhood?
To teach self-concept in early childhood, try the following:
- Provide creative opportunities for self-expression e.g. through art, music, dance, or storytelling
- Help children recognize and celebrate their unique interests and abilities
- Praise their effort to learn rather than accomplishment, to help develop a growth mindset
- Encourage them to reflect on their thoughts and behaviors
- Introduce positive role models with the traits and values you want to promote (real or fictious)
- Build a positive and supporting relationship with your child to build security and confidence
These strategies can help lay the foundation for positive self-concept in early childhood.
What are self-concept activities for preschoolers?
Self-concept activities for preschoolers are simple excercises that’ll help them develop a positive self-concept. They’ll promote self-awareness, self-esteem, and self-confidence and include things like drawing a self-portrait and identifying their emotions on a feelings charts.
There are more examples below in “I Like Myself” and sense-of-self activities coming up.
“I Like Myself” Activities for Preschoolers
Try these simple and fun “I Like Myself” Activities for preschoolers to encourage them to talk about what they love about themselves.
1. Ask them these “I Like Myself” comprehension questions
It’s always nice to have some follow-up questions after reading a book to explore and understand the story better. Here are some example “I Like Myself” comprehension questions for your preschoolers:
- What’s your favorite part (or picture) of the story? Why?
- Does the main character like herself?
- Which things does she like about herself?
- She said she’d still like herself if she had…. Can you remember some of those funny things?
- How does she respond if people are unkind to her?
2. “I Like Myself” questions for your preschooler
You can then ask your preschooler questions about themselves to help build self-awareness and self-esteem.
- What do you like about yourself?
- What do others like about you?
- Would you like yourself if you had a silly snout that snorts? Or purple polka-dotted lips?
- Why? Why not?
- What would you say if people said mean things to you?
They may struggle with the first 2 questions, although little kids are often better at this kind of excercise than we are as adults! But if they do need help, tell them all the things you like about them to get them going and help boost their confidence.
3. Songs & poems
“I’m Amazing” is an easy musical way to help your little ones like themselves. A musical positive affirmation ideal for the preschooler age. Sing it to the tune of “Oh, My Darlin’ Clementine“.
“I like myself” art activities for preschoolers
Here are some simple “I like myself” art activities that will allow your preschooler to express and learn to love their uniqueness creatively.
For supplies and materials for these activities, check out our recommended product list.
4. “I Like Myself” Self-portrait
In this fun “I Like Myself” activity for preschoolers, kids will be creating a self-portrait, using different art materials.
Provide an oval-shaped cardboard canvas plus pipe cleaners, yarn, feathers, buttons, stickers, scraps of construction paper and whatever else you have to hand. They’ll also need a mirror to study their face as they create.
This simple “I Like Myself” art activity will help them build self-awareness as they replicate their features as they create. Fine motor skills will be strengthened too.
You could also get your little ones to think about their feelings too. What does their face look like when they’re happy, angry or sad? If they enjoy crafting and creating, they could do several self-portraits, each with a different facial expression to portray a different emotion.
5. “I Like Myself” Mirror Craft
Here’s a similar “I Like Myself” art activity but instead of replicating their own features, here your preschoolers will create the mirror which they’ll use to admire themselves. Simply use kid safe paint, glitter, feathers beads, sequins, aluminum foil to design and decorate a cardboard cutout of a mirror,
Once complete, your preschoolers can practice telling themselves all the things they like when they see themself in their mirror. This will be a fun activity to harbour a positive self concept and reinforce how wonderfully unique they are – inside and out.
“I Like Myself” worksheets for preschoolers
Here are a few printables to pair with the “I Like Myself” book and help build confidence and self-love in an engaging way.
6. “I’d still like myself if I had…” free printable for preschoolers
Here’s a fun worksheet that uses the descriptive features the little girl talks about in the book. Your kids can decide which ones they’d have and still like themselves.
Obviously, the idea is that they tick them all but they probably won’t. Discuss which ones they’d be afraid to have and why. Try to help them overcome this inability to love themselves regardless.
7. “I’d like ______ even if they had…” free printable for preschoolers
Similar to the last, but this time the focus is on someone that’s special to your preschooler. Maybe it’s a friend at school, a sibling, Mom or Dad.
“I’d like Mommy even if she had gorilla arms”.
This fun I Like Myself worksheet will not only get lots of giggles! It’ll help little ones understand that love is not bound by physical appearance and characteristics. It’s help them to be confident in their own skin.
8. “I Love Me” Candy Jar (Free Printable Worksheet)
This candy jar activity provides another way to build self-awareness and self-love. Kids must write down five positive descriptions or adjectives about themselves on the candies. They then stick them to the candy jar and can read and remember all these different things.
For younger preschoolers that are only just learning to read and write you can have them dictate to you. Alternatively you can print out a number of different positive descriptions, read them out together and get them to choose which ones to place into the jar.
Once these positive candies are in the jar, you can read them out loud. A simple way to make your little ones smile as they hear the wonderful things about them.
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Sense-of-self activities for preschoolers to build positive self concept
Besides activities specific to the “I Like Myself” book, there are plenty of other ways to build positive self concept in young children. Here are some simple sense-of-self activities for preschoolers that you can try at home or in a preschool setting.
For supplies and materials for these activities, check out our recommended product list.
9. Talking to the Mirror
To help build self-awareness, have your kid look at themself in a full-length mirror.
Encourage them to say positive things about themselves, such as “I have beautiful eyes,” “I’m strong,” or “I’m kind.” If necessary, get the children to make funny faces or silly expressions in the mirror to make them feel more comfortable.
You can also ask them talk about how they are different or alike from other children. Explain to them that no one is exactly alike – physically, mentally and emotionally – and that that’s something to celebrate.
10. The Rainbow Colors of Me Activity (free printable)
This sense-of-self activity for preschoolers is based on colors. Instead of describing themself with words and talking about their favorite items, your little one will express their choices through different colors.
They’ll color in the following:
- skin color
- hair color
- eye color
- favorite vegetable color
- favorite fruit color
- favorite drink color
- favorite color to wear
- favorite color
The finished rainbow product will be unique, interesting and beautiful, just like it’s creator. Comparing rainbows between siblings, friends or classmates is a wonderful way to illustrate and celebrate our unique differences.
11. All About Me Coloring Self Portraits
This fun sense-of-self activity for preschoolers provides another means of creating a self portrait. Using the free template you can cut out the various pieces. Your kids can then color them in wearing their favorite clothes and add googly eyes and other facial features.
12. Positively talking behind your back
Here’s a positive spin on talking behind your back. It’s all about receiving kind words from friends or classmates.
One child stands with their back turned to the reset of the group. For a given amount of time, everyone in the group takes turns to say positive things to the child with their back turned. Repeat until everyone in the group has had chance to say all the nice things they can think about the other child.
When done, ask that child how they feel hearing all those positive characteristics about them. Encourage them to remember these things for a time when they’re not feeling as confident.
13. Positive affirmations
Introduce positive affirmations to your preschooler. Write some positive statements on cards such as “I am brave,” “I am loved,” or “I am kind.” Encourage the children to repeat the affirmations to themselves.
Make it a habit to encourage them with phrases like “I can do it” and “I believe in myself”.
You could stick some of these on the fridge or on the classroom wall and grab then whenever you need or simply to serve as a visual prompt.
You could also use some of the phrases from the “I Like Myself” book too, to repeat with your child and have on display. The one above is my favorite.
14. Magazine abilities & uniqueness collage
Magazine collages are a great way for young children to create pictures that are too difficult for them to draw or paint. They can pick pictures from a magazine to cut out (with or without help) and stick.
In this fun “I Like Myself” activity for preschoolers, they’re going to find items from magazines to illustrate their interests as well as what they think they’re good at.
All you need are a good collection of magazines of different types. Home, cooking and different hobby magazines would work well.
15. Life-sized portraits (illustrated with abilities & favorite things)
This is another fun and creative sense-of-self activity for preschoolers that allows them to explore and express their physical attributes, emotions, and interests.
You need a large space and is best done as an outdoor activity. Have your child lie down on a large piece of paper or cardboard while an adult traces an outline of their body.
Then, your child can use various materials such as paint and markers to fill in the outline and add details such as their hair, clothing, and facial features.
They can also use the portrait to showcase their favorite hobbies or the things and people that make them happy. Including family pictures is a lovely touch. Add the things they’re good at too.
This’ll help your preschooler develop a sense of who they are and encourage them to appreciate their unique qualities and strengths.
Display completed life-size portraits as a daily reminder to your little one.
Other “All About Me” activities
“All About Me” is a popular preschool theme, particularly at the beginning the year.
Like the self-portraits included above, these activities focus purely on building self-awareness of physical characteristics and feelings. Here are some different activities to try. With a little creativity, they can easily be adapted and extended to help build positive self-concept.
- Family collages
- Self portrait play dough mats
- All About Me time capsule
- All About Me button pattern activity
- All About Me feelings sensory bins
- Fun letter and name recognition activities
- Emotions activities
- Human body parts card activity (with flashcards)
You can also try these All About Me lesson plans.
Looking for more simple, engaging activities for young kids?
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Self-care care activities for preschoolers
In addition to learning to like themselves and becoming more self-aware, helping your child to learn how to care for themselves and support their emotional well-being is important. This’ll help them navigate the challenges of daily life.
Try these simple self-care activities for preschoolers to help them manage stress, regulate their emotions, and develop healthy habits that’ll benefit them for years to come.
For supplies and materials for these activities, check out our recommended product list.
Blowing bubbles can help emotional regulation in young children. By focusing on blowing bubbles, children have to slow and control their breathing. Slowing the breathing is where the magic happens. This slows the heartrate and has a calming and therapeutic affect.
Blowing bubbles can be a fun, simple, yet powerful self-care activity for preschoolers.
Fidget toys can be an effective tool for calming young children. They provide a calming sensory experience, helping to redirect attention and release nervous energy. Fidget toys may help your young child develop important self-regulation skills.
Playing with homemade play dough has a similar therapeutic affect but for portability and ease of use, fidget toys are a much better choice. Have some on hand and whip them out whenever your little one needs.
Help them recognise & develop their own coping strategies
Just like adults, there are many different ways to manage stress and big feelings. Maybe all they need is a cuddle with their favorite teddy or a snuggle with mom or dad. Discuss what helps them feel better when they’re upset or worried about things.
Explain the importance of asking and reaching for those things in their time of need.
“I Like Myself” & sense-of-self activities for preschoolers – where to get started?
These fun “I Like Myself” book activities are an excellent way to reinforce the message of self-love and self-acceptance in children. By engaging in some of these cute activities, they’ll develop positive self-concept, build confidence, and learn to appreciate their unique qualities and strengths.
These sense-of-self activities for preschoolers can be easily adapted to different age groups and settings, making them ideal for parents, caregivers, and educators alike.
By promoting self-love and acceptance and providing the the tools to look after their emotional well-being, we can help children grow into happy, healthy, and confident individuals who are proud of who they are.
Let’s all make an effort to promote a positive self-concept in our kids and inspire them to say, “I like myself!”
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