Teaching Kids Yoga through Games

Yoga can be another way for children to play, move and relax. It can also help children in other ways, "Social Work Today" magazine reports, including improving self-control and self-confidence. Adapt traditional childhood games for kids' yoga, or invent other approaches which use yoga cards, storytelling or improvisation. Remember to keep kids' yoga simple, fun and positive; don't adjust or correct children in poses too often, the Gaiam Life website recommends.


Meditation Share

Teach basic meditation and focusing. Ask kids to lie or sit down and close their eyes. Invite them to imagine a beautiful place they remember or invent. Encourage kids to recall smells, sights, sounds, tastes and sensations they experienced. After a minute or two, go around the room, asking each child what they thought about.

Red Light Green Light

Adapt this simple childhood game for yoga. If you or a child says "red light" or "stop," say a pose the kids know well. Have them hold the pose until the next green light.


Dog Dog Cat

Adapt "Duck Duck Goose" to keep kids moving and laughing. While kids wait for the next "cat" to be tagged, have kids hold a new yoga pose.


Yoga Pose Soccer

Divide kids into two groups, one on each side of a room. Give each team a yoga pose that allows for mobility, such as downward-facing dog, table top, tree, dancer, prayer squat or dolphin. While kids stay in their given pose, they try to get a balance ball to the opposite team's goal or side of the room. Let teams switch poses after a few minutes. Give both teams a standing or floor pose to keep things evenly matched.


Balance and Singing

Teach kids how to balance, with a twist. Ask them to hold a pose and sing a familiar song. If kids do not know the words, they can hum along. See which child is the last one balancing and singing.


Old MacDonald

Sing "Old MacDonald" while learning yoga poses. Let each kid call out a new animal. If there is an official yoga pose for that animal, have everyone hold it while all the kids sing the verse. If there is not an official yoga pose, ask them to make one up.


Downdog Tunnel

Line up kids side by side in downward-facing dog pose. Each child gets to run around the line and crawl through the downward-dog tunnel. Have kids realign onto the left end of the tunnel, so the next child on the right end is set up to run around and crawl through.

Author: Clarissa Adkins

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