What is “Mindfulness” and how can it help my kids? Mindfulness is simply the act of being in the moment. It is not about dismissing a problem or putting it off for another day but about letting the problem arise, acknowledging it and then letting it pass without judgement. For our kids, no judgement = no fear.
Mindfulness games are a fun, engaging way to help your kids stay in the moment and not worry about what is going to happen next or what may or may not happen in the future. As we cannot always remove unwanted stressors (think loud noises like thunder and being scared of the dark) we can use mindfulness games as a tool to help our kids deal with and manage those external stressors. Simply put, Stress is our bodies way of dealing with external stressors and Anxiety is our body’s reaction to stress. Keeping this in mind, you can see how beneficial it can be to teach our kids how to manage their stress before anxiety takes hold.
Used as a stress management tool mindfulness games can be a great resource for your child’s emotional tool belt and one that can be used in a variety of situations and different environments. Below are 3 games that are easy to implement and have proven to be a great success with my clients and their younger children.
Eye Spy with a Twist (Great one for the car)
Ask your child to describe something they can see BUT without telling you what the object is. Prompt them with questions about what colour it is, what it may smell like, what size it might be, who might use it, what it is for etc. Ask as many questions as you can to keep them engaged and thinking only of the object they are describing.
Ask your child to describe a person you both know. The person can be a celebrity or someone who is personally known to you both. In a similar way to the Eye Spy game above, ask as many questions as you can not only about the person’s appearance but of their personality as well. Have your child use as much detail as they can.
This one is great for siblings or small groups. Pair up and have one child wear a blindfold. Place an object in that child’s hands and have them describe the object to their partner without naming the object (it may take them a little while to work out what the object is themselves but the aim is for them to keep describing the object for as long as possible). Encourage them to use as many adjectives as they can and once the object has been guessed, have them swap over.
You might also like to read: