5 Fun Activities to Build Resilience in Children

As much as you want to protect your child from hardships and pains, the truth is that life will not always be a walk in the park.  Your child needs to be prepared to handle the problems and challenges that they will face in the future. Thus, one of the things that your child needs to develop as early as possible is resilience, the ability to make it through difficult times and bounce back.

Though you can’t really teach resilience, you can help your child develop this strength through the years. Here are some fun activities that can help your child become resilient:

Teach resilience through physical games

At an early age, you need to allow your child to experience difficulties. Preparing him for the real world means opening his eyes to the reality that not everything in life is easy. The best way to allow your child to experience challenges is through play. Whether it’s a tug-of-war or a basket game, your child can benefit from falling down, getting hit, or losing the game. The physical and emotional pains that come with every game can make your kid tougher. As you watch your child lose or get hurt from playing, be there to cheer him up and explain how he can always do better in the next games.

Tell stories of other people’s resilience

Stories about famous people who used passion and perseverance with failures along the way to reach long-term goals will teach your child about resilience. If your child loves basketball, talk about the inspiring story of Michael Jordan. If your child loves cartoons, tell him that Walt Disney didn’t have an easy start as a cartoonist.  If your child knows Harry Potter, tell him how author J.K. Rowling was rejected a lot of times before being successful.

Let your child read literature with topics related to resilience

Help your child learn about perseverance and determination by reading relevant books, poems, or short stories that will teach your child about facing challenges, standing strong, and helping others with their challenges. As you read your child a story, relate the story to your child’s everyday experience. Talk about how he can be resilient in accomplishing schoolwork or when it comes to playing games.



Implement a family activity that requires resilience

Practice the “Hard Thing Rule” at home. In this activity, every member of your family has to accomplish the “hard thing” — something that you want to be good at that requires practice.  It can be playing a musical instrument, engaging in a sport, developing a creative skill. Let your child will choose the goal that he wants to accomplish.  Give a time frame in achieving this goal. For example, by end of the year, you should know how to play the piano. Set a regular schedule for members to give feedback on each other’s progress.  This is a good way to teach kids passion and perseverance. It also helps build confidence in your little one.

Allow your child to pursue his passions

Motivate your child to dedicate time for his hobbies and interests. Provide resources to help him explore and develop these interests.  A child will naturally develop resilience as he goes through the challenges that come with the hobbies that he enjoys the most.

These fun activities can help you raise a resilient child.  Turn each difficult time into an opportunity to instill resilience in children.


Gwen Llana-Serrano is a millennial mom who works from home. She owns a content writing start-up and writes about her experience as a mom for the first time on her parenting and lifestyle blog. He also writes articles for The Asian Parent, the largest parenting website in Southeast Asia.