A great way to get kids moving and enjoying yoga is by turning the poses into a game. Gather up the kids and incorporate a yoga aspect to games that you already play. Check your game closet and re-sales for inspiration. Here are some games that I incorporate when I teach YogaKids classes or just want to play around with my own kids.
Yoga Parachute: Place pose cards (picture cards of kids performing yoga poses) under a kid’s toy parachute. Take turns running under and grabbing a card. You can even say a little rhyme to go with it. As we all lift the parachute up and down we say “1,2,3,4… get down on the floor… 5,6,7,8 pick a pose that feels great!” The child whose turn it is goes under the parachute on “4” and tries to be out with a pose card by “8.” After everyone has a turn, create a flow with each child performing the pose on his or her card.
Yoga Jenga: Place small stickers on several of the jenga blocks. Make a key indicating to what pose each sticker corresponds. When the child pulls out a Jenga block from the tower, they will see what pose should be performed by all players. When the tower falls, have all the players hold a challenging pose for several breaths. I like to use Lizard pose!
Yoga Limbo: Even a broomstick will work. Try Down Diggety Doggie Down and crab walking under the stick. Don’t forget to play Chubby Checker’s Limbo Rock song!
Dice Game: Use oversized dice. Roll the dice and add them together. (Multiply for older kids.) That’s how many seconds to hold a certain pose.
Suspend Game (by the brand Melissa & Doug): This is a fun game of balance. When you roll the dice, do a certain type of pose corresponding to a different color (green = backbend, yellow = balance, red= twist, blue= inversion, etc.) . The game includes a stand and several sticks that players will suspend and balance on each other. When it falls down, hold a challenging pose for several breaths.
Moo, Moo, Cat: Just like Duck, Duck ,Goose – but we substitute yoga poses, like Moo and Meow.
Puzzles: Before you play with the kids, assemble an easy kid’s puzzle face down. Write several poses on the blank side so that the words overlap on different pieces. Break apart the pieces and assemble again face down with your YogaKids. You can every try to do all the poses in a flow series.
Scrabble or Bananagrams: Use the tiles to create pose names that can be linked together. Can the poses be performed together to make a flow that feels fantastic? You can also arrange the tiles in a mixed up order to spell a pose. The kids can unscramble the letters and do the pose.
Boggle: Do you see any words that could be poses? Can you make up poses for any words you find?
Operation: Get your Awesome Anatomy! Players perform surgery and then do poses that could help that part of the body feel better. Twisting helps our “spare ribs” feel good!
Peace – It’s like the card game “War” but We All Win because we are doing yoga! Take a stack of blank index cards and write a name of a pose on each card. Divide the cards among 2 players. They each flip over their card at the same time. They need to each perform the pose but try to link it together to make it a partner pose. Imagine what a Downward Facing Dog Pigeon might look like!
Kids Choice Game: Challenge your students to turn a game that you already have into a yoga game
Be creative, stay active, giggle and have fun with the YogaKids in your life!