Updated: May 31, 2020
School can be a sensory overload for kids: the smell of the cafeteria, the sound of another class shuffling off to art, the feel of an eraser, seeing a classmate play with a loose tooth,etc. To some senses coming in and out rapidly all day is fine but for some it's not.
Tuning into the senses: see, smell, hear, taste and touch is an easy way to engage the reticular activating system, which is found in your brain stem. Its job is to take in stimuli and route it to the appropriate areas but also tune out senses that are not appropriate.
Playing mindful games with your kids that tune into the senses is a great way to strengthen the reticular activating system which results in improving focus. Joy explains this very well in the video below.
Mindfulness games are a way to derail a meltdown at the doctor's office, at school, etc. as it creates a different pathway in the brain. I used to work at a school and I can tell you most adults tell kids to take a deep breath once they see a kid is losing it. And oh the pouty eye-rolls that advice gets!
Having kids stop and take a moment to engage this system is a "breath" it's just a subtle, mindful one. It gets kids to get to the point of stillness to be able to take a breath or to be able to walk to the water fountain calmly, get a drink and re-enter the classroom.