Balancing Games to Practice Mindfulness

Playing balancing games is a great way to practice mindfulness with your kids. When we balance in a pose, even one as simple as standing on one leg (or for really little kids, standing on tip-toes), we are improving our ability to focus by strengthening the connections in our brain that filter and process sensory information.

Here is a fun way to practice mindful balancing with your kids that you can do almost anywhere. (I recommend trying this while standing on line at the check-out counter as a creative way to combat the usual kid complaints – “I’m bored. I’m tired. I want to go home now . . .”).

First, ask your child to choose a focal point slightly below eye level and keep their gaze focused on that point while standing first on one leg and then the other. Challenge older kids with more difficult poses. Can they stand on one foot on tip-toe?

Second, encourage them to see what it is like trying to balance without using a focal point. Is that easier or harder. Make it more difficult (and fun) by asking them to turn their head as they look all around – up, down, side to side. Try to engage them in a conversation or sing a song while they’re balancing there. Or use this moment to quiz an older child for their upcoming spelling test.

Third, for a bonus round, see if they can maintain their balance with eyes closed. What is that like?

Asking your kids questions about their experience will increase the benefits of the game by cultivating their ability to tune into their body and express what they are feeling.

And don’t forget to have fun! After all, the most important connection is the one between you and your child.

You might also like:
Blowing Bubbles
A Loving-kindness Practice for Young Children
Heartfelt Blessings at Bedtime

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