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Games to Help Your Kids Learn Mindfulness at Home

By Susan l. Smalley

Traditionally, parents always want to nurture the key traits in their kids to help them succeed in their future life. As a rule, such qualities as attainment, leadership, introspection, interdependence, mindfulness are the main to be developed, however, the last one is considered to determine the children’s success, also it can be a useful tool for decreasing anxiety and promoting happiness. That raises the question of how to develop your child’s mindfulness.

Up to the present, there is a great variety of methods proposed by modern psychology that can be used for the current purpose, but not all the kids will have the desire to develop their mindfulness. So why don’t we try to build on that skill while playing games with them? In this article, we have prepared a list of the most interesting games for mindfulness development for your kids.

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Meaning and the Main Benefits of Mindfulness

Mindfulness is not about sitting still - we can bring mindfulness to movement by paying attention to the body when we are walking, running, dancing, and even playing sport. While explaining mindfulness to your children, just use a snow globe – when the mind is busy or stressed it’s like a shaken-up snow globe and we can’t see clearly. But if we wait calmly (focus on our breath), the snow (mind) will settle of its own accord and we can see more clearly. That meaning will be much clearer for children’s understanding.

According to psychological researches, mindfulness brings a great number of advantages. In modern society, most children are under huge pressure when studying, and mindfulness is one of the best options to lower the feeling of anxiety and stress. Also, it strengthens children’s self-control as well as improves developing emotional regulation skills. And, as a result, decision-making ability and self-esteem will be much better.

Breathing Practices

According to the list of recommendations proposed by psychologists, one of the most effective methods to develop mindfulness is breathing practices. And, though some people suggest this to be boring, this technique can also bring relief and even pleasure to both parents and children.

Blowing bubbles

Have yourself focused on taking in a deep breath, and then feeling in a bubble with it. The main piece of advice while doing this game is to be calm and attentive. Pay close attention to the color, form, and popping or floating of the bubbles.

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Pinwheels game

For example, grab two pinwheels — one for yourself and one for your child, and sit together in a relaxed manner. Blow on your pinwheels together using long, deep breaths. Next, blow on your pinwheels with short, quick breaths. Then, blow on the pinwheels as you normally would. After any manner of blowing notice all the feelings of yours, think over some unusual manners you would like to do and share the feelings.

Songs breathing

Think over the song you want your child to guess. Then, breathe in deeply through your nose and try using your exhale as the instrument for the song breathing. After the song is guessed, ask your child to do the same. And, we are sure that this game will bring you lots of fun.

Mindful Posing

Another method for children to dip their toes into mindfulness is through body poses. To make the game more exciting for your kid, you can tell that doing fun poses can help them feel strong, brave, and happy. Or else, you also can propose that doing this might help him or her to grow up just like the hero your child likes the most.

As an example, offer your kid to show Superman or Wonder Woman, while you show some other figures of your choice. After that, freeze for some time doing this pose, making in such a way the competition between parents and kids. This game can strengthen not only the mental but also physical health as well.


The Safari game is a great way to help kids bring on their mindfulness. This exercise turns a boring, everyday walk into an exciting new adventure.

Karen Young proposes to tell your kids that you will be going on a safari, and their main task will be to notice as many birds, bugs, creepy-crawlies, and any other animals as they can. Anything that walks, crawls, swims, or flies is of interest, and they’ll need all their concentration to notice any movement.

Mindfulness Walk

A great option to develop mindfulness is to go for a simple walk. For example, with someone from Deeply breathing in the fresh air as well as pure concentration will help your child to put the concentration on his or her dreams and aims. Don’t hesitate to ask your kid about his/her opinion towards anything, also you can have a good talk about the future he or she wants to live in. Every dream has a right to come true, even if that’s becoming the Superman one.

Mind Jar

If you’re going to find the thing for concentration, just buy a… snow globe! Shake it up and watch the storm together with your children. The researchers have shown that sitting, deep breathing, and simply watching the disturbance can easily settle one’s mind.

Blindfolded Tasting

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Make a tasting game based on the experience of eating different items as if it was the first time. Try to analyze and describe the notes and accents of the food’s taste. You can also put this process into a guessing game, which will also be helpful for a kid’s imagination and sensitiveness.

Body Scan

Last but not least is the method of body scanning, the easiest one to teach your children mindfulness at home. Lie down on a comfortable surface with your eyes closed, and relax your body. After that, let your children squeeze all the muscles in their body as tight as they can. Tell them to squish their toes and feet then, squeeze their hands into fists, and make their legs and arms as hard as stone. In a few seconds, relax the body and stay laying for a few minutes. Having done this game, discuss the feelings experienced during the game. This game will help her to feel their own body and encourage the mindset.

Brain Break

It is vitally important for the children to practice brain breaks so as to reduce the pressure while, for example, having a tough day in school. That is why you may offer a brain break game which includes taking a deep breath from 5 to 7 minutes to quiet their minds, be present, and just focus. It is not that hard as it is expected to be, but if there are any difficulties, join your children to show them a good example of concentration, and in such a way provide them with the support they often need.

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Final Word

As we can see from the options above, there are plenty of games that can be used in daily routine to bring on mindfulness. These games are mainly focused on mental strengthening, however, they also improve your relationship, boost your mindset, and enhance the health of your children. The gaming process expands the interest in this field, thus, giving your children the opportunity to realize the importance of mindfulness.

About the Author

Susan l. Smalley, Ph.D. professor emeritus, UCLA describes mindful games as those which “teach mindfulness just as it should be taught - playfully. It’s about the curiosity, exploration, and discovery that unfolds with mindfulness but mostly it’s about the fun of it all!” Mindful games can radically improve the feeling of being a present parent in this everyday hustle and bustle, it improves the relationship between parents and their children. In addition, it helps to develop self-confidence and self-assertiveness, a great sense of career direction, and determination to achieve goals.


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