The Now Game

by Scott Noelle

Here’s a game you can play to lift your child’s spirits. It works especially well for 2- to 6-year-olds but can be adapted for any age.

Sadness, disappointment, worry, guilt, and fear are characterized by a focus on the past or future. Getting focused on the present can bring instant relief and is the object of this game.

All players must play by choice, so it starts with a gentle invitation or suggestion: “Let’s play the Now Game.”

It’s more effective if YOU play, too. And to be truly present yourself, you must let go of any attachment to the outcome.

The game is simple: Take turns using your senses to describe things in your environment until you both feel more present. Use simple “NOW statements” and avoid value judgments. For example:

  • NOW I see a blue hat.
  • NOW I see the sky.
  • NOW I feel the dog’s fur.
  • NOW I hear a flock of birds.
  • NOW I smell a rose.

. . . NOW I feel better! :)

Originally published on 2006-07-21
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