Playing fun games can help you learn mindfulness and executive function skills. Here’s one fun mindfulness game for children of all ages to play indoors or outside.
We all enjoy playing Marco Polo, but did you know that the game can also provide numerous benefits as well as develop mindfulness?
Benefits of Mindful Marco Polo
This mindful game allows children to imagine what life would be like if they didn’t have sight. For example, you could ask the children how it felt to rely on their other senses and how their lives would be different if they didn’t have sight.
The game is also excellent for assisting children in developing a sense of their position in space in relation to other objects and in developing a sense of direction and gross motor skills. As children must pay close attention to the sounds around them, such as voices, footsteps, or the sound of bodies shuffling, the game develops auditory perception and listening skills.
This is how you play Mindful Marco…
MINDFULNESS GAMES FOR CHILDREN: MINDFUL MARCO POLO
Purpose: Sensory awareness, Focus, Calm, Relaxation
Best For: Ages 3+, groups or one-on-one
1. Choose one child to be ”it” and blindfold him or her. You can also ask the child to close their eyes. The rest spread out, and stand still in one spot.
2. The player who is “it” calls out the name “Marco.”
Now the child must listen to the sounds and feel the sensations around him in order to identify other children.
3. The other players say “Polo” to the blindfolded player, indicating their position. Then they stand quietly in one spot and try not to get caught.
4. The player who is “it” must attempt to follow the direction of the voices and tag a player who will become “it” in the next round.
The goal is to find and tag another player despite the fact that your most important sensory organ, your vision, is disabled.
It’s lots of fun! :-)
To increase the difficulty, ask the child who is “it” to try to name the child he or she is attempting to tag. They could accomplish this by prompting the target to say “Polo” again by repeating “Marco” as well as by touching the other child and guessing who it is. This will elicit a few giggles for sure.
Don’t think adults can play this game?
Adults used to play a similar game before the advent of Netflix… around 2000 years ago in Greece. The game evolved into “Blind Man’s Buff” in the Middle Ages, and now we have Mindful Marco :-)
Okay, I hope you’ll try this mindfulness game for children :)
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Chief Mindfulness Ninja @ Blissful Kids
Chris Bergstrom is a bestselling mindfulness author, a leader in the field of mindfulness, and the founder of BlissfulKids.com, a community of parents, educators, and therapists dedicated to children’s mindfulness and psychology, with over 15 years of experience facilitating meditation and psychological interventions to people of all ages.
Chris is a certified mindfulness facilitator, trained to teach mindfulness to students in K-12, and has received psychology and mindfulness training from UPenn, UCLA, UNC, Mindful Schools, and Mindfulness Without Borders.