30 ways to use Strength Cards

How do you use Strength cards in your sessions? There are so many ways of using these wonderful cards to promote self-esteem.

Strength cards are a useful tool to have and ELSA Support has 2 sets of these cards. One with cartoon images and the other with photographs of animals.

How to use these amazing cards:

  1. Lay out the cards and invite the pupil to pick five cards that they can relate to. Why have they chosen them?
  2. In a group ask one pupil to sit in the centre of the circle and ask the other pupils to choose strengths to represent that pupil. They must say why they have chosen that strength for that pupil.
  3. In a group circle-time, give each pupil a whiteboard and pen and go through the strength cards. Ask them to choose 5 strengths to write on their whiteboards.
  4. Ask the pupil to choose one strength that they aspire to. They might pick creative. What can they do to become more creative? Make a plan.
  5. Ask the pupil to pick someone they admire. What strengths does that person have? Do they have similar strengths?
  6. Lay the cards facedown and ask the pupil to pick a card. Do they know anyone with that strength? Discuss the strength and what it means. How does that person show that strength?
  7. Use the strength cards as affirmations by adding ‘I am’ to the strength. ‘I am kind’, ‘I am caring’, ‘I am helpful’. Repeat daily.
  8. Pick one strength card and decide how you are going to use that strength today, tomorrow, next week or in the future.
  9. If the pupil has a problem. Which strength might help him or her to overcome that problem? Choose one or two useful strengths.
  10. Encourage the pupil to choose their ‘core’ strength. Which strength above all others do they have? How useful will it be in their life?
  11. Ask the pupil to make a list of all their friends then ask them to place a strength card next to each friend’s name.
  12. Can the pupil make a list of all their family members then ask them to place a strength card next to each family member’s name.
  13. Ask the child to pick a card that might help them if they are worried or anxious.
  14. Draw a  comic strip of them using one of their strengths.
  15. Ask the pupil to creative their own strength card. What would the strength be? What image could they use to represent that strength?
  16. Lay out all the strength cards to look like a game board. Using a die and a counter, work around the board. Whichever strength you land on you must say whether you have ever used that strength and how.
  17. Place a strength card in front of a teddy or soft toy. How could the teddy show that strength? What could he do?
  18. Pick a strength card and act out a scenario using that strength.
  19. Look at characters in books. What strengths do they show?
  20. Create a self-esteem cloud with your top five strengths. The pupil can write their name in the cloud and on colour strips to represent a rainbow they can write their five strengths. Hang up somewhere so the pupil can be reminded of their strengths.
  21. Create shield to protect you by writing five strengths on a shield shape and decorating.
  22. Create a rock garden or pebble garden by writing the child’s strengths on pebbles. They can have their own ‘garden of strengths’
  23. Create 3 labels, yes, no, maybe and invite the pupil to sort them into the different piles. The ‘Maybe’ pile could be useful for targets.
  24. If the pupil is struggling with picking strength cards for them then ask them to imagine a good friend of theirs is picking them for them. Which ones would they pick?
  25. Invite the pupil to draw around their hand and write their five strengths on their hand print. They can decorate with colour and drawings.
  26. Three stars and a wish. Invite pupils to pick three cards that they believe they have now and choose one that they wish they could be.
  27. Pick a strength card and using a dictionary find out exactly what that strength means. Are there any synonyms that mean the same or similar?
  28. Invite a pupil to describe something amazing that they did. Now look at the cards and decide which strengths they used to do that amazing thing.
  29. Ask the pupil to pick a strength and then write a list of everyone they know that has that strength.
  30. Ask the pupil to pick 5 strengths they would like to see in their very best friend.

Download a handy list from here: 30 ways to use strength cards


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