Spirit Games - Excerpt

300 Fun Activities that Bring Children Comfort and Joy

Spirit GamesFor Parents

It’s well known that ten witnesses to one scene may come up with ten different versions of what happened. Depending upon your point of view, you can see any circumstance in many different ways.


Recall the last time that something annoyed you. What was your perspective on what happened? Now imagine other, fanciful perspectives to explain what happened. Change perspectives until you find one that makes you feel better. It doesn’t matter whether that version is “true” or not.


Situation: Someone pulled out into the traffic in front of you, making you have to slow down to accommodate him.

Your original perspective: You thought that driver was a selfish jerk.

Fanciful perspectives: You were a noble and compassionate queen. One of your little subjects was feeling anxious and needed to scurry ahead. You graciously made room.

You were all worker bees on the road together and one more joined your group. Now there were more of you to get the work done.

You are all in the flow of a river. Watch out for rocks and darting fish (cars that pull in front of you!).


Situation: On the way to your car, you realized you forgot your keys and needed to go back to the house to get them.

Your original perspective: You thought you were going to be late.

Fanciful perspectives: By forgetting your keys, you were really taking part in the larger scheme of things. By being a few minutes late, you gave someone else your space on the road.

How clever you were to remember the keys before you actually got all the way to the car!


Situation: Your child just broke a favorite dish of yours.

Your original perspective: You were angry and at the breaking point yourself. You yelled at your child, but you felt bad about it later.

Fanciful perspectives: You had a wonderful opportunity to realize the unimportance of material objects. Next time, you won’t explode. You learned something that will help you choose your child’s self-esteem over an object.

You just got an excuse to buy some other piece that will please you.

For Young Ones

As long as we have to clean the house anyway and get our children to do their part, we might as well make it feel like the important work it really is. We can do it the way big corporations do—give everyone a title.

I discovered this game when trying to bolster some enthusiasm for a gardening project. The minute I gave out titles, everyone burst into activity.


Confer a title on each person and for each aspect of a task. Instead of asking “Would you please grate the potatoes,” say, “You can be the Great Grater.”


For Middle Ones
What I Know So Far

When your child is in an “I can’t” mood and needs a confidence boost, or is feel- ing insecure about performing in a future event, or when you want to engage his attention in order to calm him down and get him to focus, this is a good game to use. We all like to hear about ourselves and especially about our accomplishments. With the young ones, the amount of things they have already accomplished is astounding.

When your child is feeling insecure about her abilities or a future event, sit down with her and make a list of all the things she has learned since she was born. Remind her that stumbling and falling are part of learning. Ask your child to think of a toddler she has seen who was just learning to walk. Did she think the toddler wasn’t doing well if he fell? Open your child to the idea that she will continue to be more able as she grows. We all stumble along the way.


Make a list, either by writing it down or counting on your fingers (and toes), of all the things the child has learned since she was born.

Possibilities for the list are:

Remember to add things that are unique to this child’s life such as

For Older Teens

If you had to draw a symbol for your lives at this moment, what would it be? I went to a workshop a while ago in which each person was given a large sheet of paper and some pastels and asked to draw a symbol for what was going on in her life right now. At first, I think many of us felt that this was an impossible task but once we started, it got easier and became fun. The variety of results was amazing. There is no way to do this one wrong.

The magic of it is in the clear seeing of what is important in your liferight now.


Using a large sheet of paper and a box of pastels or colored pens, you and your child draw symbols to symbolize your lives as they are now.


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