Focusing and Calming Games for Children
152 pages, 6 3/4 x 9 1/2
13 black and white illustrations
Release Date:01 Aug 2012

Focusing and Calming Games for Children

Mindfulness Strategies and Activities to Help Children to Relax, Concentrate and Take Control

Jessica Kingsley Publishers

Having the ability to focus, relax and concentrate is key to enabling children and young people to achieve emotional well-being, and is also important for a child's development of skills and abilities.

This book uses a model of 'mindfulness play' to help children to achieve well-being, an approach designed by the author which encourages children to build awareness of their inner and outer worlds. Part One covers the theoretical and practical background, setting out how to facilitate play using the mindfulness play model, including consideration of the emotional environment. Part Two includes a wealth of games and activities, from 'Body focus' and 'Fidget flop' to 'Musical drawings' and 'Pass a smile'. The activities are suitable for use with groups and individual children aged 5–12, and can be adapted for children with specific attention and concentration difficulties, such as ADHD, and for older children.

This is an ideal resource for teachers, counsellors, social workers, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, youth workers, parents, and carers.

RELATED TOPICS: Family & Childhood Studies
... a lot of the games and activities are not new but they are all the stronger for it. Play has always been central to childhood as encouraging social interaction and developing sensory awareness; we need to bang the gong for books such as this. Let's hope that our ears are still sufficiently attuned to be able to hear it. – Potential Unleashed & New Nurturing Potential
This is a hugely important book for our times, demonstrating the interplay between mindfulness, attention, wellbeing and compassion. Its balance of theory and wisdom with practical activities makes it essential reading for parents, educators and policy-makers. – Elizabeth Holmes, writer, journalist, professional development trainer and author of The Newly Qualified Teacher's Handbook
This slim volume, aimed at teachers, parents, counsellors and other professionals, contains theory and practical group games to encourage young people to achieve greater emotional wellbeing... suited to parents who want to increase qualities of mindfulness in their children in today's difficult world. – BACP Children & Young People
Adults are encouraged to use the games mindfully, making sure they are aware of the possible effects exploring sensitive issues with vulnerable children. Ideas for reflection after each activity prompt children to make sense of the feelings generated by the game they have played. The games are simple to play and clearly explained, with symbols indicating the time required and the recommended age. The games range from five to 60 minutes' duration, and mostly require no extra resources, which make them an invaluable resource for any adult who works with children aged 5-12. – The Sign
Presented in a spirit of openness, that same spirit underlies what the author seeks to foster both in those who read the book and the children with whom they work and play. Every teacher should have a copy. – Red Reading Hub - Jillrbennett's Reviews of Children's Books and The Word Pool
Let's Play! This book provides an extensive repertoire of mindful games chosen to enhance focusing, calming, self-reflection and social interaction. It also offers a useful discussion regarding the benefits of playing games, and easy to follow suggestions for adapting games to enhance mindfulness, and social-emotional competency. It is a wonderful addition to any mindful library. – Dr Amy Saltzman, Director of the Association for Mindfulness in Education (AME) and founder of The Still Quiet Place
Deborah M. Plummer has over 20 years' experience of facilitating groups and working individually with both children and adults. Formerly a clinical lead therapist working within the NHS, she also has extensive experience as a senior lecturer in aspects of health psychology and counselling. She regularly runs workshops and short courses on the uses of imagery, games and story-telling in the promotion of well-being. Deborah is author of several titles, including Helping Children to Improve their Communication Skills, Helping Children to Cope with Change, Stress and Anxiety and Helping Children to Build Self-Esteem, 2nd edition, all published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers. Deborah's website can be found at
Acknowledgements. Part 1. Theoretical and Practical Background. 1. Introduction: Meeting children with mindfulness. 2. Understanding attention and concentration. 3. Mindfulness Play. 4. Structuring the emotional environment for Mindfulness Play. 5. Mindfulness play and well-being. 6. Control, adaptability and effectiveness. Bibliography. References. Part 2. Games and Activities. 7. Choosing groups, leaders, pairs and order of play. 8. Warm-ups and ice-breakers. 9. Focusing attention. 10. Concentrating for longer periods. 11. Self-calming. 12. Celebrating.
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