A friend taught me this mindfulness game, and we’ve been playing this at home for some time.
It’s a lot of laugh-out-loud fun.
And … this mindfulness game is even more fun at school or with any group of kids.
Truly … the more the merrier!
The game is simple.
It’s virtually a mindful version of the age-old staring contest.
And you can make it a hoot with a running commentary.
Youth, kids, and grown-ups can use this activity to:
have a laugh and relax,
learn focusing skills,
learn impulse control,
and figure out that paying attention to their senses helps them stay calm.
Stay Cool Mindfulness Game
Purpose: Body awareness, Impulse control, Focus
Best for: Ages 4+, groups
What you need: Nothing
Now this is a fun game to try out with a group. The idea is that the players try to sit still and keep quiet. The last person remaining still wins the competition.
You can facilitate the game like this:
1. Ask everyone to sit down and stay still for as long as they can. The players are allowed to blink. But they are not allowed to hide their faces. It’s nice to sit in a circle since you get to see everyone’s reactions and it can be a lot of fun to see players lose their cool.
2. Your job is to watch the players and call out each player who moves or makes a sound.
3. The last one remaining still and quiet wins.
Repeat the game for 3-5 rounds.
TIP: You can make the game even more fun by taunting the players with a running commentary, if you like :-)
“I see that Allison is having a hard time staying cool.
She’s almost smiling already.
And Peter looks like his head will explode any time now.
Who will win?
Allison or Peter?”
Add mindfulness techniques:
Teach the whole group a few mindfulness techniques they can apply to stay calm during the game, and see if it helps.
For example, sensory awareness techniques like focusing on their sight, e.g., gazing at one object in the room.
Or focusing on their breath or their feet pressing against the floor.
Or the sounds outside.
My son has come up with many mindfulness hacks to stay cool and focused.
His favorite is to hold a finger up and stare at it. He uses his sight to focus his mind that way.
Okay, this game is a lot of fun with a group, but if there are just two of you, you can try something like this:
How to play with two players
Variation 1 “The Taunt”
We’ve had so much fun with this one :D
It’s a gift that keeps on giving.
Player #1 sits down and is supposed to be completely still. He is allowed to move his eyes and blink, but that’s it.
Here’s the fun part.
Player #2 can do pretty much anything to taunt player #1 – except touch player #1.
The game gets super giggly fast. Hee hee :-)
We use a timer (on my iPad) to see who can stay cool the longest.
Our record has thus far been about 9 seconds ;-)
I guess you could play this with a group too, so that each player gets to be the taunter.
Variation 2 “The Duel”
Same rules apply. You’re allowed to move your eyes and blink.
Players #1 and #2 sit opposite each other. Player #1 sets the timer … and the game is on!
Super simple. The players sit opposite each other and try not to giggle.
Here’s how you cheat:
Try doing funny stuff with your eyes … to taunt the other player. Try crossing your eyes and so on ;-)
When it’s just me and my son, we like to do both variations :-)
These simple games are a lot of fun – try it out!
You can find 150 more playful mindfulness activities in my book:
May you be super-duper happy :-)
If you are new to mindfulness with children we recommend our online courses: Get notified here!
Chris Bergstrom is the co-founder of BlissfulKids.com and a dad who is thrilled to practice mindfulness with his son. He is a certified mindfulness facilitator, and trained to teach mindfulness to students in K-12. He’s also an executive consultant, and has taught meditation for more than 10 years.