As a young adult I bought into the idea that children are natural Mindfulness Experts. Today as a mother to 3 yr old Scorpion 🦂 child I know that’s not true. Mindfulness is a habit we need to develop. Earlier we start easier it gets. Over time I have tried many methods to encourage Mindfulness in him and his friends. Following are our favorite Mindfulness games.
1) Beauty Game – Ask your toddler to point out 5 beautiful things he or she sees whenever you are outside the house. Take turns at finding beauty and you will be amazed at some of the things your little one finds beautiful.
Advanced version – Depending on how far along your child’s language skills are, you can even ask “why do you find xyz beautiful”? It makes for some interesting conversations.
2) I 👁 Spy – This has quickly become a favorite precursor to bedtime. I Spy is a guessing game in which each person takes turn at spying an object. Others have to guess the object. We can ask questions like “Which part of the room is it in?” “What color is it?” Is it living or non living?
Often we spy objects that have been around forever but went unnoticed.
3) What do you hear? Unmukt hates taking naps so in the afternoon when he is tired we like to cuddle in the sofa, read books and play this game. We close our eyes and describe what we hear. Sometimes his imagination goes in overdrive and he will tell me a Dinosaur 🦕 🦖 story based on the sounds he heard.
4) The Breathing Game – This is less Mindfulness and more a precursor to Pranayam. We inhale deeply and then blow at each other’s hair. To win he has to exhale longer than me.
5) I touch – In this game I count to myself all the things Unmukt is touching as he sits in bed or sofa with me. Next I say to him – You are touching 10 things right now. Can you tell me which things? For every correct answer he gets a sticker. Next I ask him “How many things is mumma touching?” He never gets it right because the kid is bad at math. But, it’s a good game for developing counting skills, increasing vocabulary and even identifying body parts.