When we first started practicing yoga with our kids years ago, we searched all over for a good book or website that provided helpful hints for getting our kiddos into yoga. How do we make it fun for them so that they want to do it? How do we help them to focus, breathe, be calm, be present, be mindful, be confident, be peaceful, and be love? There is no one right way, and what works for one child may not work for another. However, here are some fun yoga games that our kids love, and maybe yours will too. Give them a try and let us know how it goes. Do it with them! That’s the best part!! =)
Game 1: Yoga Talent Show
a. Everyone selects a mask (or just pretend to be an animal if you don’t have masks or costumes).
b. Act out your character in a yoga pose
c. Take a silly picture
Game 2: Yoga pong
a. Work as a team to blow the puff balls through an obstacle course or around a circle.
b. Contest to see who can grab the most puff balls with their toes and then make the best/fastest picture with their puff balls
c. Puff ball pedicures
Game 3: Yoga Memory
a. Go around the circle and remember each person’s pose
b. Can be done simultaneously with names, favorite color, favorite hobby, etc.
c. Can be done simultaneously with scarves, beanie babies, etc. by doing silly things with them such as dance moves or putting them on their head etc.
d. Laughing game variation [A Favorite in our household! Make a silly laugh and then try to remember and repeat everyone’s laugh. You will eventually start to laugh for real, and your body and your mind will thank you for it! So will your kids!]
Game 4: Yoga Phone
a. Kids sit behind one another like a train (two trains of 10 each)
b. Last child (caboose) thinks of something silly or yogic to say and whispers to the person in front of her.
c. By the time it gets to the first person, it’s completely different and silly.
Game 5: Partner Yoga
a. Buy a deck of Yoga Cards
b. Make teams (will rotate like musical chairs)
c. When music stops, they find a mat and do the partner pose on the card on that mat.
Game 6: Yoga Trip
a. Each person builds on the story. Ex. First person says, we’re going to Hawaii and we’re going to fly there (do airplane pose); Next person says, we’re going to the big island by ship (boat pose); Next person says, we see beautiful butterflies (butterfly pose); Next person says, we’re going surfing (surfers pose); etc.
b. Do it backwards. Can you remember it?
Arts and Crafts/Party Favors:
Activity 1: Coloring Mandalas
Activity 2: Make Natamalas (meditation necklaces)
Activity 3: Make talking sticks (only the person holding the stick gets to talk and the others have to listen).
Activity 4: Affirmation jars, windmills, rocks, shells, or signs. Fill them with happy thoughts. Activity 5: For younger kids, write down yucky feelings and feed them to a monster to make the worry go away. You can make it or use a dinosaur stuffed animal.
Meditation before leaving:
1. Hoberman Sphere: breathe and repeat a mantra as you pass it around.
2. Shevasana: can be a “where’s your favorite place” visualization or a chakra meditation.
Yoga Birthday Parties are fun too!
A typical birthday class may be something like:
1. The scarves name memory game
2. The yoga trip safari story
3. The yoga phone or laughing game
4. Make Natamalas
5. Hoberman sphere
7. Sign the yoga mat
Keepsake Activity: Each child leaves their shoes at the door on a yoga mat. Before leaving, they sign the mat or draw something in it. The birthday child then gets to keep the mat as a special momento.
If you are looking for great yoga music for children, check out the Kidding Around Yoga music on Itunes!
There are so many wonderful yoga books for kids as well. See our blog about that on the blog page of this site. One of them was written by an adorable yoga dog we all know and love. 😉
The most important thing to remember is just to have fun!
Wuf Shanti, Wuf Peace, Wuf Namaste`!