3 Positive Attitude Activities for Kids

3 Positive Attitude Activities

Portrait of two boys, one smiling, one angry
Stephanie Atkinson / EyeEm / Getty Images

It’s not always easy to see the positive things in life, especially for kids, but having a positive attitude and outlook on life makes solving life’s problems much easier. Showing your children how to turn a negative attitude around helps to teach them some important coping skills they’ll need in her life.

Make Attitude Acrostics

An acrostic is a neat way of helping your child figure out what traits are common to people with positive attitudes. Here's how to use one:

  1. Begin by giving your child a piece of paper and asking her to write the word "attitude" vertically down the left side of the paper in capital letters.
  2. Set a timer for about five minutes and brainstorm with your child about all the traits and characteristics that you both see in people with a good outlook on life. At this point, don’t worry about whether the traits begin with the letters found in the word “Attitude.”
  3. Next, ask your child to remember some of those traits and word them so they fit in the acrostic. For example, your child’s paper might say:

Always see the good in a situation.

Tries to find solutions to problems.

Takes time to appreciate the little things.

Is happy with what he has.

Takes responsibility for his actions.

Understands the need to listen to other people’s opinions and thoughts.

Doesn’t complain often.

Enjoys life.

The Attitude Inventory Activity

Taking an “attitude inventory” is a lot like taking the inventory of a store or of your child’s closet. The goal is to see what is and is not there. The difference is that with an “attitude inventory,” you’re asking your child to take stock of what traits are and are not present in people with certain types of attitudes.

Give your child a piece of paper and a pencil and ask her the following questions, one at a time. (If your child is not yet able to write well, he can dictate his answers to you.)

  1. Write down the name of someone you think typically has a good attitude. What clues tell you this person has a positive attitude and why do you think he's like that?
  2. Write down the name of someone you think typically has a lousy attitude. What signs indicate this person has a bad attitude?
  3. When you think of the person with a bad attitude, what things or which people do you think put that person in a bad mood?
  4. Do you think you can have a bad attitude one day and a good one the next? Why or why not? What influences that?
  5. Do you have to have a bad attitude if things aren't going your way or do you think it’s possible to have a good attitude even when bad stuff is happening? Tell me why.
  6. Are there things in your life you’d like to change to help you have a more positive attitude?
  7. If negative stuff is happening to you, are there things you can do to keep your outlook positive? Tell me about a few of them.


The Turn-It Around Attitude Activity

As your child may have discovered as she answered the questions in the Attitude Inventory, how she looks at or reacts to things can make a big difference in her overall attitude.

If she’s blaming other people for her problems, it’s going to be harder to have a good attitude about things. This activity is designed to help her learn some self-talk skills to help her reframe things to help turn her attitude around.

1. Give your child another piece of paper and ask her to fold it into thirds. Ask her to write three of the following headings on the front side of the paper and three on the back side of the paper: School, Friends, Family, Home, Self-Image, and Activities.

2. Now ask her to think about any problems she is having in any of these areas. Once she has an idea, have her list it in the correct column as an actionable question. (For example, “How can I get along better with my brother?” as opposed to “My brother keeps bugging me.”)

3. Once she's listed the problems that affect her attitude, ask her to reframe them (or turn her attitude around) by asking herself:

  • How do I feel about this?
  • Do I enjoy having this problem or do I want it to solve it?
  • Have I been blaming other people for this problem?
  • What will happen in the short-term if I don’t solve this problem? What about the long-term?
  • What little things can I do to work toward solving this problem?
  • How do I have to change my attitude to solve the problem?
  • What will happen once this problem is resolved?