You are reading this article now… Are you fully present in this moment? Or is part of your mind somewhere else? The “54321” Grounding is a simple, fun exercise you and your little one can play together to anchor in the present moment and feel calm and relaxed.

So, how does being mindful of the present moment help us experience peace? When we feel negative emotions such as anxiety, our minds can end up trapped in the future – when we’re distressed about what might happen – or in the past – when we ourselves to be distracted by regrets. Focussing on the present moment clears the mind of those anxieties.  Your child is the same. They get stressed worrying about the exam next week and can feel down when they’re reminded what their friend said to them last summer.

The “54321” Grounding invites you to pull your mind back to the present moment by focusing on sensory experiences – things you can see, hear, touch, smell and taste. Focusing on what’s happening right now in your body and surroundings helps you soothe a worried mind, calm down. When our mind is calm, we’re in better position to find the right action for any given situation. In this sense, keeping calm is an ingredient of resilience, the ability to navigate stress or adversity and bounce back stronger than ever.

These days children spend a lot of time in front of screens so that sight and hearing are their dominant senses. The 54321 Grounding is an opportunity to use all five senses.  Spring is here – so, if you play this game in a garden or park, you will find any number of sensory pleasures to relish – from burgeoning green to blooming flowers. . . So please try out this play and ground yourself in the present moment with your child. Enjoy!

What you need

  • A print of the fun sheets below

Fun Sheet

Click the image to print

How to Play

Grab a copy of the fun sheet and find…

– 5 things you can see

– 4 things you can touch

– 3 things you can hear

– 2 things you can smell

– 1 thing they can taste

Did you find an interesting sound or smell you haven’t noticed before?

Why not discuss what you found with your child?


  • If your child prefers to draw or write down their experience rather than talking about it, encourage them to do that. There are no rigid rules in this play. Help your child to express what they found in their favourite way!

What sensory experience did you enjoy the most in this game?


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