A playful approach for cultivating mindfulness in kids, with fifty simple games to develop attention and focus, and identify and regulate emotions-by the author of The Mindful Child.
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.
About the Author
SUSAN KAISER GREENLAND developed the Inner Kids mindful awareness program, and teaches secular mindful awareness practices to children, parents, and professionals around the world. In 2000, she established the Inner Kids Foundation with her husband, author Seth Greenland, bringing mindful awareness to underserved schools and neighborhoods in Los Angeles. She was a co-investigator in a multi-year, multi-site research study at UCLA's Mindful Awareness Research Center/Semel Institute on the impact of mindfulness in education.
She has spoken at the Mind & Life Institute; the University of California at Los Angeles; the University of Massachusetts; the University of Kansas; Columbia University; Cedars-Sinai Medical Center; San Diego Children's Hospital; the Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, California; the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies in Barre, Massachusetts; the National University of Singapore; Mahidol University, in Bangkok; Casa Tibet, in Mexico, and many other prestigious institutes in the United States and abroad.
Her work has been covered byThe New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, USA Today, National Public Radio, various yoga journals, and CBS Morning News.
"Mindful Games is a remarkable book. It interweaves engaging and practical mindfulness exercises for children with a sophisticated and nuanced exploration of the psychology and insight wisdoms underlying them. This book is an invaluable resource for anyone with children in their lives--indeed, for anyone at all. Highly recommended."--Joseph Goldstein, author of Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Awakening
"Susan Kaiser-Greenland captures the essence of mindfulness in a way that very few people can. As an experienced practitioner and teacher, her insight shines through on every page and Mindful Games will undoubtedly be a wonderful resource for every parent and child alike."--Andy Puddicombe, founder of Headspace
"Children who are born and grow up in today's world face unprecedented psychological challenges that are not of their own making, but were thrust upon them by earlier generations. This means that we adults have a moral responsibility to do all we can to help young people develop the cognitive and emotional skills that will enable them not only to survive but to flourish in the world they have inherited from us. Susan Kaiser Greenland's Mindful Games, is a very welcome and important companion volume to her groundbreaking earlier book The Mindful Child. I recommend it highly for its bountiful wisdom and skillful means, based on many years of her pioneering work in this field." - B. Alan Wallace, author of The Attention Revolution
"Susan Kaiser Greenland, the pioneer in bringing mindfulness to young children has done it again! Mindful Games is not only a fun way to teach and learn mindfulness but a truly wise way as well. Buy an extra copy because Mindful Games is destined to be one of the most beloved, well-worn references for parents, professionals, and kids alike. - Christopher Willard, PsyD, author of Growing Up Mindful
"Wise, practical, captivating, and fun, Mindful Games blends a life's work of the devoted, humble, and brilliant Susan Kaiser Greenland into an at once useful and fascinating masterpiece. Illuminating ancient contemplative principles and applying them for serious and playful everyday use in practical exercises for youth and their families, this magnificent book offers us a powerful means for utilizing science-proven ways to strengthen a child or teen's mind by supporting the development of their brains and interpersonal relationships. You may even find, as I have, that these insightful ideas and games will enhance your own life as well. Soak in these words of wisdom, and enjoy the journey!--Daniel J. Siegel, MD, author, Mind: A Journey to the Heart of Being Human
"A wonderful, fun, and engaging way to bring mindfulness into a child's life."-- Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence
"Susan Kaiser Greenland has played a foundational role in making mindfulness practices developmentally appropriate for young people. In Mindful Games, she builds on her previous work by emphasizing play and creativity in teaching mindfulness skills. This is truly the way forward for making mindfulness a true exploration rather than just another chore or "to do" for our kids."--Chris McKenna, Program Director, Mindful Schools
"The practical benefits of mindfulness are wide-ranging and undeniable. This wonderful book helps bring this transformative practice into the routines of those who will carry it into the future: our children."--Congressman Tim Ryan
"In Mindful Games, Susan Kaiser Greenland offers a highly engaging and easy-to-understand set of activities to use with groups of children. All the games support understanding and empathy - and seem like fun! Susan draws on her own deep understanding of meditation and mindfulness practice, as well as her extensive knowledge of child development and research. Although written for adults working with groups of children, this book is certain to enrich the lives of any reader." -- Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness and Real Happiness
"In her marvelous new book, Susan Kaiser Greenland provides a whole new alphabet for raising better children as well as our best selves."--Surya Das, author of Awakening the Buddha Within