An Unordinary Game with my Itty-Bitty

I recently wrote in the post “Learning from my toddler how to practice mindfulness with curiosity” that my 2-year old and I do a weekly walk right before music class.  During our walks, she creates her own adventure- intrigued by the smallest ordinary things on our walk.  On one of our most recent walks, we stumbled upon several rocks in front of an office building.  And as is typical of my daughter’s fascinating exploration, she saw the bed of rocks and immediately stopped to inquire about them, to look at them and pick them up.  She found one rock that she thought was “bumpy” and I realized that we could start an impromptu mindfulness game to focus on our sense of touch and sight.

I asked her to find different color rocks, shapes and textures, and we began just collecting the rocks into different piles.  We found bumpy white rocks, gray smooth ones, reddish ones and even round rocks that she thouimg_6588ght were balls.  She loved finding the right match for her little piles and was laser-beam focused on the hunt.  With each new find, we intently looked at and felt each rock to make sure it was the right fit for each group.   My 2-year old had a total blast from an activity so simple and what most of us “bigs” would consider pretty boring.

Afterwards I realized that we only organically stumbled upon this game because we took the time to slow down and just be.  For that short period of time, we had no agenda, no worries but to just enjoy our walk.  I’ve been past rock-beds so many times in front of buildings and office parks, but never have I realized that we could create a spontaneous fun game from something so “ordinary.”  As parents, we often spend so much time and money on toys and things for our kids, but there’s so much that we can play with in our natural world if we just pause for a moment to do so.  Once again my 2-year old continues to teach me how “unordinary” our life can be…only if we let it.

Superhero Mystery Game

My girls and I played a game I named Superhero Mystery Game as a fun way to practice mindfulness by tapping into the visual senses while doing something quietly and slowly.   We first put on capes and masks to become superheroes, and we gave each other superhero names: SuperHawk, SuperPrincessCheetah and SuperElmo.  This really set the tone before we even began, and my girls were immediately engaged.

We then had to quietly tip-toe through the house trying to find clues in every room to solve a mystery.  The trick was though that we had to use our superhero eyes and laser-beam focus to find clues in the house that we had never noticed before.  We whispered to each other as we walked around super sleek and stealthy. Read more

Cloud Shape Game…with our feelings

One of my husband’s favorite games to play with our kids is Cloud Shape Game- a great way to tap into your imagination and dream up what object a cloud looks like as they float by.  This last weekend I decided to add a bit more to the simple game and turned it into a mindfulness activity.

img_5741The Game

I found 15-minutes of mommy-daughter time with my 5-year old.  We got a couple of picnic blankets, took a pad of paper and a pencil and went into our backyard. Before we even played, we just laid on the blankets on our grass, soaked in some fresh air and watched the clouds drift by, which was extremely relaxing and peaceful. Read more