the hunting game

Guiding children in mindfulness

A lovely, fun mindfulness activity from

“When I was little I would often go out into the back yard and pretend that I was hunting. I wasn’t really after a particular ‘target’ but rather, I just loved the feeling of ‘hunting’. I would walk between the trees slowly and deliberately with zen-like focus listening out for every sound and watching for the slightest movements in my environment.

In this way I was totally immersed in my senses and fully engrossed in the present moment. Not thinking at all – just sensing. Every now and then I would see a small animal and maybe stop to study it closely in silence.

I didn’t realize it at the time but it was a practice of mindfulness. What is the state of a hunter? Highly alert, but not thinking. That’s mindfulness! So you could play the hunting game with your child to get them into a state of mindfulness.

Perhaps go out into the garden or yard together (or play inside) and tell them they have to be very quiet and slow as you go on your hunt. Guide them to be highly alert and use their senses fully. You can tell them to be very ‘quiet inside’ so that they can ‘listen’ to the world around them so they can discover a creature or what ever you go on a hunt for.

You could deepen this practice by getting your child to practice the mindful breathing exercise first. This activity may be a particularly good one for boys and for children who are highly active.”