Playing games is a great way for kids to develop their focusing and attention skills and to become more mindful. Susan Kaiser Greenland has had a lot of success bringing mindfulness to the classroom, and in this book she shares her experience, showing how parents, caregivers, and teachers can cultivate these qualities at home or in a school setting. She includes fifty mindfulness games that develop what Greenland calls the “new A, B, C’s” for learning and for a happy and successful life: Attention, Balance, and Compassion. In a playful way, the games introduce kids to breathing practices and techniques for developing focus, concentration, and sensory awareness, and identifying and self-regulating emotions, among others skills. They include “anchor” games that develop concentration; visualization games that encourage kindness and focus; analytical games that cultivate clear thinking; and awareness games that develop all of these qualities and give greater insight into ourselves, others, and relationships. Greenland contextualizes each game and offers guidance for the parents/caregivers throughout.
Even though the games are written for kids, they can be just as fun and transformative for adults. Greenland encourages parents and caregivers to develop their own attention, balance, and compassion and explore the universal concepts that she presents. She points out that as caregivers, our own mindfulness has a powerful effect on everyone in our lives, especially our children. They notice when we’re calmer, more composed, and more joyful, and learn by our example.