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Did you know that having fun can provide some of the best stress relief?
Games can provide kids with a source of eustress, which is the “good” type of stress that keeps people feeling alive. Eustress refers to the sense of excitement that you get from finishing a project, meeting a challenge, or even riding on a roller coaster. Everyone needs regular eustress in their lives (even kids), and games can provide that.
Another thing that greatly benefits children is mindfulness. People of all ages can benefit from practicing mindfulness, which is the act of bringing a gentle and nonjudgmental attitude to the present moment.
From our youngest years, mindfulness can help decrease anxiety and increase happiness. Think about it: Adversity begins in infancy with the struggle to communicate what you need to your caretakers.
As children grow up and become teenagers, life grows even more complicated. At every developmental stage, mindfulness can help kids cope with their feelings.
While mindfulness may seem boring to children, there are some games that incorporate this practice that are fun.
While children are enjoying playing these games, they may not even realize that they are practicing or learning mindfulness as they go. Having fun by playing games can help children feel less overwhelmed by stress, and improve their attitudes towards life.
Here, we will review four of the best mindfulness games for kids that are on the market for 2019. After reading these reviews, you will be able to have a better idea of which game might work best for your family.
Don't have time to read the entire review?
Here's a a quick look at our top picks!
|Best for helping kids nurture compassion and self-confidence: Generation Mindful’s PeaceMakers||CLICK HERE FOR PRICE|
|Best for helping kids combat stress and anxiety: PlayTherapySupply’s Mindfulness Matters||CLICK HERE FOR PRICE|
|Best guide for parents and teachers: Susan Kaiser Greenland’s Mindful Games Activity Cards||CLICK HERE FOR PRICE|
|Best introduction to meditation for kids: Eline Snel’s Sitting Still Like a Frog||CLICK HERE FOR PRICE|
What Are the Benefits of Mindfulness Games for Kids?
Mindfulness games for kids will help them tune in and notice their inner surroundings and inner thoughts. This will set them up for greater success in the future, and a richer experience of life. It will help them learn how to pick up on subtleties in conversations, react to situations with greater skills, and gather information for effective problem-solving.
The attention span of most children is typically pretty short. This is a skill that will grow with age, but it is great to get a head start on it before they are required to do homework after school or pay attention during long classes.
Mindfulness games help children develop their ability to maintain their focus for a longer period of time. This is a very important part of learning.
Rest and Relaxation
Children are often more exhausted than we may think. While we do encourage children to get out and be active to have a healthy lifestyle, they also need adequate time to rest and relax so their bodies do not get worn out.
Having the opportunity to take some time out and refresh their brains is very important for their long-term learning and growth. While this does happen in their sleep, they also need to take breaks during their waking hours.
Safety and Security
Children need to feel safe and secure. They find this security both in a routine and in the stability of a home. When a child is under stress, he or she is unable to learn.
For this reason, adults need to make sure that children feel safe so they can reach their optimal development levels. Mindful games help create a feeling of stability and safety for children.
Children have a lot of emotional demands during the day, and they are just beginning to learn how to manage these feelings. They may be mad one minute and happy the next. Before you know it, they may be crying for a reason that even they cannot explain.
Learning how to recognize and relieve their own emotions certainly takes some time, but is a very important life skill that is worth investing in. Children can develop resilience and build a protective barrier to stress and anxiety down the road.
Feeling Kind and Caring
You want your children to grow up learning that it is important to be kind and caring towards other people, and show that they have the ability to see outside of themselves and notice that there are other people in the world who have needs.
Children who are connected to their emotions are more likely to feel empathetic towards other people. This reduces bullying and helps to build stronger friendships while also advancing social skills. It also develops advanced social skills, and supports kindness and gratitude for other people’s happiness.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Mindfulness Game for Kids
Create Your Own Practice
It would be difficult to get your children interested in mindfulness if you have never practiced it yourself. In order to authentically teach your children mindfulness, you have to practice it on your own. This way, you will be able to experience the benefits first-hand, and have better expectations about what your kids will be learning. A great way to do this is to play some of these mindfulness games yourself so you can learn the gameplay and the themes of each one. Additionally, it will help introduce you to the practice of mindfulness if you are unfamiliar with it, or if you need to perfect your skills.
Examine Your Expectations
One of the main principles of the practice of mindfulness is letting go of your expectations or preconceived notions. This is also true when it comes to teaching mindfulness to children.
Are you expecting this practice to lead to perfect behavior in your child? If so, you will probably be disappointed. While feeling a sense of calm or being quiet are some positive things that may come out of mindfulness, they are not the final goal of the practice.
The purpose of teaching children mindfulness, rather, is to provide them with important skills to develop their awareness of their experiences, to learn how to recognize their thoughts as “only thoughts,” to understand their emotions, to be able to acknowledge when their focus is slipping away from them, and to help them learn impulse control.
Don’t Force It
If your children are not interested in a mindfulness game or activity, let it go. This is not a punishment, and should be something that your children are able to enjoy. When they are ready to revisit mindfulness, welcome them back to the practice and encourage them to stick with it.
You want your children to think of mindfulness in a positive light, not in a negative way or as something that they have to do like a chore. Allow them to take up the practice at their own pace.
4 Best Mindfulness Games for Kids (Our Review for 2019)
PlayTherapySupply’s Mindfulness Matters
This is the best game for helping children combat stress and anxiety. It is a great tool for helping people recognize their feelings and emotions and learn how to let them pass without reacting. It teaches children ages 9-18 principle mindfulness skills and techniques, and how they can apply them to their everyday lives. This is also a great game to help enhance social skills.
Adults can play along with their children, and respond and demonstrate helpful answers to set an example. This game includes action cards and reflections to help build skills and increase kids’ understanding of mindfulness. The 58 cards in this game can be used by themselves to practice mindfulness, or in a competitive game. Each game lasts 15-25 minutes.
Generation Mindful’s PeaceMakers
This might be the right game for you if you are trying to teach your children compassion and self-confidence. This 42-card game has affirming messages in it to help build the emotional intelligence of children, introduce them to mindfulness, and increase their positive self-talk.
This is a great game for any child who is three years old and up. The playing cards invite both children and parents to practice important social and emotional skills while they are playing, which gives them the opportunity to learn how to express their thoughts and ideas and regulate their emotions.
It helps reinforce positive self-awareness, self-love, social awareness, and social skills, and is especially great for kids who have a history of trauma or stress. The cards help to engage conversation prompts, and integrate well into existing classroom agendas such as morning meetings, small-group work, and circle time.
This game is also perfect to add to existing family routines such as dinnertime, after-school activities, and even bedtime. There are seven possible ways to use the cards, which are each described inside the box. Or, if you choose, you can use the cards to play a traditional game such as Go Fish or a matching game.
Each box includes three welcome cards that introduce you to the game and help you get started using the deck of cards in various settings with your children. It also includes seven adult cards, which is great for teens, parents, teachers, therapists, and more, and will dive deeper into the seven themes of the deck.
Working with this mini-deck allows parents to lead and guide their children by setting an example, particularly during stressful situations. Finally, it has 35 cards that are great for people of all ages. They are simple and have powerful messages on them that explore the seven themes of the game, which are power, balance, joy, love, peace, intuition, and forgiveness.
This game focuses on concepts such as learning from one’s mistakes, feeling powerful and free, and having the ability to calm oneself down through deep breathing. This game is great to use at home, in the classroom, and even in therapy groups or small-group settings. It is also a great game for children of all abilities. It can be played by 2 to 25 people at once.
Susan Kaiser Greenland’s Mindful Games Activity Cards: 55 Fun Ways to Share Mindfulness with Kids and Teens
This game provides the best guide for parents and teachers. It includes a deck of 55 mindfulness games that are great for kids. The game helps children develop attention and focus in a playful way so they will enjoy learning. It also helps children learn how to identify and regulate their emotions.
Learning through play is an effective way for children to develop necessary skills for focusing and paying attention. This game allows parents and teachers to develop these qualities both at home and at school.
This game focuses on the A B C’s of learning: attention, balance, and compassion. Through play, Susan Kaiser Greenland’s Mindful Games Activity Cards introduce children to effective breathing exercises and tools to learn how to develop focus, improve concentration, and increase sensory awareness. It also helps teach children to identify and regulate their emotions.
These cards include core games that work on developing concentration, visualization games to cultivate kindness and focus, analytical games to promote clear thinking, and awareness games that give children greater insight into themselves, other people, and their relationships.
This deck comes with 55 5×7-inch beautifully illustrated cards. Every card is devoted to one game and arrives to your family in a beautiful, sturdy box.
Eline Snel’s Sitting Still Like a Frog: Mindfulness Exercises for Kids (and Their Parents)
This game is a great introduction to meditation for children. It provides simple mindfulness practices for children ages 5-12 to help them deal with anxiety, improve their concentration, and cope with their difficult emotions.
This game comes with a 60-minute audio CD that has guided exercises on it for you and your children to follow along to.
This little book is a great introduction to mindfulness meditation because it offers tips for the practice in a simple and accessible way. It teaches what mindfulness is and how this practice can allow children to calm down, focus on the present moment, get into a sleep routine, stop worrying, manage their anger, and become more patient and aware overall. The book offers 11 practices along with short examples and stories to go with them.
Final Thoughts on Best Mindfulness Games for Kids
The winner of this roundup is Generation Mindful’s PeaceMakers. It is great for children of all ages, and can be played by either just a few people or a large group. It helps children to ease their emotions and learn how to live in the present moment.
Parents can get a head start by learning how to play this game before introducing it to their children. This will not only help parents learn about mindfulness themselves, but also let them prepare for the gameplay with their kids. This game will also help children improve their concentration as they get wrapped up in the activity.
Don’t wait until your child is older to start teaching them about mindfulness and allowing them to learn through play. Order your copy of PeaceMakers: A Mindfulness Card Game For Kids That Builds Social Emotional Skills to get started on this critical practice.
Finally, if you want to level up your parenting skills, then check out this resource that will show you how to get your kids to listen WITHOUT yelling, nagging, or losing control.