There is a simple game I like to play with kids I want to share with other parents and educators. I learned about this game in my Montessori educator training and still make use of it to this day. This game requires no special tools other than your ears and the ability to sit quietly for a brief period of time.
I want to share this game with you for several reasons. Firstly, playing this game helps teach your children the principles of body and sensory awareness. Secondly, this game helps children develop an understanding and appreciation of taking time to stop and notice sensory stimulation in their environment that may otherwise go unnoticed. And last but not least, this game allows us ~ the busy, multitasking, frequently stressed out adults ~ to remember what it feels like to sit and do nothing aside from listening. Here’s how to play!
Invite your children to sit with you and tell them you are going to play a little game. Depending on the age of your children, you can set a time limit anywhere from 1 minute to 3 minutes. The time frame for the game depends on how long you think your children can quietly sit still.
Explain to your children that you are all going to sit together, close your eyes, not make any noise and pay attention to all of the sounds you hear. Tell them that you will sit for 1, 2 or 3 minutes and emphasize the importance of not making any sounds with our own bodies.
Keep loose track of the amount of time that has elapsed and, at the conclusion of your sitting and listening “session,” share with each other all of the different sounds you heard while your eyes were closed. Some of your family members or students may point out that they heard other people making noise (even though they were supposed to be silent). Others who participated might surprise you by sharing the smallest of noises that normally go undetected, like one’s own breathing or a far-off airplane.
Playing this game serves as a simple reminder that taking even just a couple of minutes out of our often-times overly busy schedules can be quite refreshing. It is a great way to share the positive effects of mediation with your family or class. By sitting in silence and paying attention only to the sounds happening around us, we demonstrate the value of quiet contemplation that too often gets overlooked by our hurried, demanding culture.