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When playing games or doing any mindfulness activities be aware of your expectations and keep language simple. Ask questions like "what do you notice?" or "how does it make you feel" and don't over complicate it. 

Keep all games short - 5 to 10 minutes maximum. 

 

Game 1

Sit in a circle with the children and ask them to describe different emotions. How does it feel when they are angry, happy or worried? You could prompt them by suggesting that they visualise their emotions as colours, or types of weather. If you would like to you could have a mirror and take turns to 'practise' emotions in the mirror. You could ask questions like "what makes you happy" etc. 

Game 2 Nature Sounds

Take the children on a trip to a local park or nature reserve. Sit down in a circle and ask the children to listen out for different sounds. Instead of calling out, ask them to put their hands up when they want to share the sound that they can hear.

 

Game 3 The Cloud Game

Keep an eye on the weather for this activity, as ideally you need partial cloud cover and a good breeze. Get the children to lie down outside and look up at the clouds (taking care not to look directly at the sun). Ask them to look out for shapes and notice how the clouds change as they move along.

 

Game 4 Balloon Game

Blow up some balloons and play the don’t-touch-the-floor game, but focusing on gentle movements. Pretend that the balloons are bubbles that might pop, so you can only tap them delicately. The children might get excited and that is okay but refocus them from time to time.

 

Game 5 The Feely Game

Put a selection of objects with different shapes and textures into a bag. Get the children to take turns putting their hands in, feeling one of the objects and describing it to the others (without looking at it) in as much detail as possible. The children may not have the vocabulary to describe so may sure you and other adults model first.

 

Game 6 Visualisation

Get the children to lie down on the floor, on comfortable mats. Take them through a guided relaxation exercise (eg focusing on all of their muscles in turn) or guided visualisation story (eg imagining they are lying on a beach). There are plenty of these available to download online. Go to my meditation star for the link to Cosmic Yoga

 

Do some research and try some yoga with the children – there are lots of fun moves for preschoolers to practise, for example animal poses. If you’re not confident enough to lead this yourself you could always get a local instructor in (preferably one who is experienced in working with children). Look at the Yoga star on my page to get you started.

 

There are several ways of practising mindful breathing with young children. It works best when combined with some kind of action, for example counting off on one hand as you breathe in and the other hand as you breathe out, or putting your hand on your tummy to feel it moving in and out. 

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