THE SNACK BANANA Using your child’s snack to boost self-esteem and confidence
Use your child’s snack banana as a blank canvas and be creative. Develop their thinking skills, their social interaction skills, vocabulary, language skills, their confidence and self-esteem by sending them a message on their snack banana.
During year 3 my daughter was given a particularly challenging spelling to learn, ‘Mediterranean’, with the promise of extra team points in school for anyone who managed to spell it correctly during the Friday spelling test. She was very motivated by this but with a busy week ahead was worried about being able to learn it in time. Having previously sent her in to school with comical drawings on her banana for snack I had an idea, what if I wrote ‘Mediterranean’ on her banana every day? This would increase the frequency in which she was seeing the word and would also provide the opportunity for her to have fun checking it with her friends during snack time. So every day for a week the banana went in with ‘Mediterranean’ written on it much to the amusement of her friends and teacher, but guess what? She got it right and got those team points!
This gave me an idea! My daughter is a worrier and her perfectionist personality means that she often has moments of self-doubt and disappointment that, as a mum, can be difficult to watch and help her through. It is heartbreaking to see her worry about things to the point of upset and frustration and it can be hard for her to move beyond the negative thought. I wanted to be able to let her know during the day that I was thinking of her, that I was her crutch, her cheerleader and her supporter. I wanted her to know that I believed in her.
I started to write some positive messages on her banana for her to find at break time. It started with some simple notes and funny drawings such as ‘I love you’ and ‘have a happy day’ but gradually I started thinking of some positive affirmations that would boost her self-esteem and give her confidence as well as help her develop some thinking skills and appreciation of gratitude, giving to others, and noticing the good things in each day. I also thought that this could also provide an opportunity to develop some purposeful and more meaningful conversations with her peers and to encourage kindness and compliments being shared within her peer group.
And so was born the ‘snack banana of positivity’ as we call it in our house. It doesn’t feature every day but appears when I sense a need for some positivity, motivation and general kindness. It appeared at Christmas when during advent I encouraged my daughters to carry out simple random acts of Christmas Kindness for their friends and I wrote reminders on the snack banana, or even sent in an
extra one for a friend who may have forgotten their piece of fruit.
Generally I write some simple motivating words or quotes or some thought provoking conversational starters. Sometimes we go back to the beginning and write a tricky spelling.
I’m hoping that by doing this small, fun act that I can help my daughters develop their confidence, self-esteem and encourage them to have meaningful and supportive conversations with friends
about aspirations, kindness and gratitude.
50 POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS AND SAYINGS FOR CHILDREN
Let them know, help them believe.
It doesn’t necessarily need to be a banana, although there is something fun and a little bit silly about bananas and writing messages on them. You could always pop a note inside a lunchbox or inside your child’s pocket for them to find. Try some of the following:
I will be awesome today
I believe in myself
I am kind and thoughtful
I am a good friend
I am kind and giving
I am strong and healthy
Water is good for me
I can share my ideas well
It’s ok when things don’t go to plan, I can change my thoughts to positive ones
I am me and I am amazing
My best is enough
I can take my time
I can do it my way
I am creative
I have great ideas
Being organised helps me feel ok
I love reading
I love learning and learning is fun
I can always think of kind words to say
I am great at making things
Smile and pass it on
One step at a time
I can think of something that I am grateful for every day
It’s ok to take time to think
I am brave
I can ask for help and support
I can help and support others
I have lots of energy
I am great at problem solving
I am loved
I am bright
I am beautiful inside and out
I am kind to myself
I am a good listener
I feel happy
I am confident
I can make choices and feel good about them
I know what I am good at and what I love
I am a lucky person
I feel calm and ok
I feel great
I am the best version of me
I work to the best of my ability
I can achieve what I want to do
I can set goals and work towards them
People like spending time with me
Healthy food makes my head and heart work best
I am an interesting person
I am great fun to be around
I am enthusiastic and light hearted
50 CONVERSATION STARTERS
Chatting with friends, sharing ideas and giving compliments
What do you want to do when you are older?
I think that you are really good at . . . .
I like it when you . . . .
My favourite activity is . . . . . because . . . .
The 3 best things about today are . . . . .
I feel happy when . . .
Something kind I have done today is . . .
Think of something that you can do for a friend today
It was really thoughtful when you helped me with . . .
I am unique because . . .
3 things I noticed on the way to school
3 things I can hear right now
A good day starts with . . .
Something that I would like to do this year is . . .
Today I am grateful for . . .
Think of a memory that makes you feel great
What would you do if a friend was feeling lonely or left out? How could you show kindness?
What could you teach others to do?
What is your favourite word?
What do you like to read?
How do you like to spend time with your family and friends?
What would you be famous for?
Think of three words to describe yourself
Think of three words to describe a friend
Right now I am feeling . . . because . . .
Who in school makes you smile?
Think of something helpful you could do in school and do it
Think of something helpful you could do at home and do it
What creative things do you like to do?
What is your favourite joke?
Can you think of any old toys that you could give to a charity shop?
A good day in school includes . . .
A good way to end the day is . . .
What could you do at the weekend that is creative?
What could you do at the weekend that is healthy?
What could you do at the weekend with your family?
When you feel sad what do you do to make yourself feel better?
When you feel worried what can you do to feel better?
What would your perfect bedroom look like?
When was the last time you helped your parents without being asked? What did you do?
Are you good at making things? What do you like making?
What is your favourite day of the week and why?
Think of some new ice-cream flavours
What are you really good at? What skills do you need to be good at it?
What is your favourite colour? What can you see that is that colour?
When was the last time someone did something kind for you?
When was the last time you said thank you? What was it for?
What would you like to learn more about?
Tell a friend something that you appreciate about them.
What compliment could you give to someone today?
Give it a go! Use your child’s snack banana as a blank canvas and be creative. Develop their thinking skills, their social interaction skills, vocabulary, language skills, their confidence and self-esteem
by sending them a message on their snack banana.