Tonight at Blue Papaya we’ll be having our annual game night. It’s our way of providing insights into how different perceptions exist and work, plus it’s always very fun for everyone. Though the group only has a game night once a year, it is something we do on a regular basis in my family, and something that is very easy to incorporate into your daily lives without it seeming “it’s all about the gifts.” There are many opportunities throughout the day that can be made into games, allow the participants to be aware of their gifts’ growth and what is happening in the body, and the importance of centering. Here are a few games we have enjoyed over the years.
Game Shows: These programs are based on chance (or so we perceive) yet there are many times when perceptions can be used to predict the choices of the contestants.
One of our favorites in the past was Deal or No Deal with Howie Mandel. The premise of the game was that the contestant choose a briefcase out of a field of 30 that may hold a specific amount of cash. After they’d chosen their briefcase, they then chose, one at a time, a remaining briefcase in the hopes of eliminating lower dollar amounts. This choosing of cases went on for some time and periodically they’d be offered a “deal” they could choose or refuse in the hopes of what was possibly a larger dollar amount in the first briefcase they chose.
We turned this into many different possible games. Which case holds the biggest cash prize? Which case will they pick next? Which case has the lowest dollar amount? All of these different questions were based on what we “felt” and it was great fun when we often knew more than the person playing the game.
Wheel of Fortune has been around forever and remains a popular program. Not only is it a great show to get everyone’s brains working with the puzzles, but we often would try and predict what color or dollar amount the wheel would land on, who would make it to the final round and, at the beginning of the show, who the winner would be.
Try the programs you like, keeping in mind how you can make a part of the show be about relying on instincts for answers. It’s fun by yourself and even more fun with more involved. If a spectacular vibe comes true, why not celebrate by doing something that is a reward? Get Frosties, have some ice cream, do something that makes it silly and fun for everyone but most of all memorable. You’ve just given a family member praise for relying on their natural gifts, reinforcing their abilities and also building confidence in their gifts.
Games for the Car: Often when waiting to pick up someone, you are waiting a bit before they’re able to leave. If this is the case, make a habit of trying to predict different things: What time will they show? What color hair will the next person out the door have? What color coat will they have? All just a few that we’ve used in the past. We’ve even made predictions about regulars who we come to depend on – mostly about what they’ll be wearing, or what color that mohawk will be today. Still it’s fun and it is exciting to the children when they get it right.
If you’re waiting in an area where a car may come by on occasion, why not use perceptions to predict what color car will come by next? Or what model? If it’s a convertible will it have the top down? There are endless possibilities.
Random: If I have a repairman coming to the house, I often text my friends and have them predict a time the worker will arrive based on the window that I’ve been given by the company providing the service. I never fail to get a reply from everyone I ask, and they check back when it gets closer to the window of time to see if they’re still in the game. Now my kids write down what time they think the repairman will show!
If you know you’re expecting something in the mail, why not make a game of it? Choose a day you feel it will arrive, and if more than one person chooses the same day, go for that something extra. Add a color of the envelope, what kind of condition it is in, how it will be signed and more. My kids have even taken to predicting who will sign a card or a note when they are expecting correspondence from a set of Grandparents.
When we walk our favorite forest preserve we are often visited by the local hawk. He’s often showed up right before we get an important email or message (one of the hawk’s meanings is communication/messages), or we hear his call right before a phone rings. When we’re expecting some news, we start our walking with a grounding and centering circle and then we ask the hawk to give us a sign if we are to hear our news soon. He never fails to be accurate.
There are many different things you can make into a game, make it fit to your family’s needs and interests.
Mystery Bag Game: At Blue Papaya, we began playing the mystery bag game three years ago during the winter months. Everyone attending is instructed to use a traditional brown paper lunch bag. They need to put an item in the bag, and they should be the only individual who knows what it is. This item can be anything except a living creature. We’ve had daffodils, plastic toy animals, jewelry, food, tiny keepsakes – Atala even layered her item to make it harder for everyone to sense and to see if they picked up on the item or the container she’d put it in.
When our group begins to gather, we assign each bag a number or a letter. We then do different things with them. First we just see what impressions we get by focusing on them without touch. All these impressions are written down by everyone at that time. Then we pass the bags around one by one, this time we state what we initially perceive and then we state what we feel by holding the bag. Some people hear songs, others smell something (without truly smelling the bag), some get a sense of color while others get a sense of the purpose of the item. One year we had a necklace that had been bought either through a garage sale or estate sale. Nearly everyone had a sense of baking and comfort, which of course had nothing to do with the necklace. Were we perhaps feeling the energy of a former owner who wore the necklace often? Perhaps, we’ll never know for certain.
The reveal is the most intriguing aspect of the night, and the most educational because we then begin to see how everyone senses differently. No answer is wrong because this is all about our unique ways of perceiving.
Take a chance and try a few of these activities. Not only are they enjoyable, they’re helping you and your child learn which gifts are sharp, which need some work and most importantly, to trust that voice on the inside.