We All Win Games to Play on My MAT
YogaKids games and activities promote cooperation and “win-win” thinking. Each child is recognized as an equal part of the whole. When exploring variations of the following activities, or coming up with your own, remember to encourage cooperation, appreciation, and success for all participants. There is no single winner; instead, WE ALL WIN!
If you are doing these games at home with a single child, feel free to modify the games to fit your needs. You may use an adult yoga mat to do poses with your child, and even use tape and the printable cards in the online resource area to make your own affirmations mat! Use the words, animals, or the number of squares to create endless variations of games for My MAT.
Note: When using numbers that correspond to the mat squares, you can use whatever system or orientation makes sense with the game you’ve chosen. For instance, ladder and hopscotch games may start with the numbers 1 and 2 at the base of the mat; counting games may start with 1 and 2 at the top.
Lay mats end-to-end in a circle. Have each child start on the bottom two squares. One player takes a turn tossing a beanbag onto the mat in front of herself/himself. Every child moves to the corresponding square on their own mat. (They can hop to get there!) The active player leads the group in a yoga pose they associate with that affirmation. Each child takes a turn.
Single player version: child takes the same actions as above, but challenges herself/himself to land the beanbag on every square to “win.” The top two squares and bottom square (labeled: “I am,” “a YogaKid,” and “ME!”) are considered “wild cards” or “player’s choice” squares.
How Do You Feel Today?
Ask the children to think about how they feel today. Then have the children stand on the affirmation square that feels the most like they feel today — or the opposite of how they feel today! Have the child say the affirmation while doing a pose of their choosing (or creation). The entire group then repeats the pose and affirmation. Each child takes a turn sharing and leading.
Partner Pose Match-up
Print and cut matching affirmations cards. Half of the group stands on different affirmations on their mats. Distribute the matching cards to the other half of the group. Each child with a card finds their partner. For example, if a child gets the “I am happy” card, the child should locate the person standing on “I am happy.”
Partners work together to create a partner pose that feels like their affirmation. Each pair then takes a turn leading the group in the created pose and accompanying affirmation — this time using “we” instead of “I.” (“We are strong!”)
Group Affirmation Flows
Have one child begin with the first affirmation on the mat (“I am beautiful”). The child chooses a pose to go with this affirmation (for instance, Child’s Pose). The children then do the pose together and say the affirmation aloud.
The second child leads the group by repeating the first pose/affirmation, then adds a second pose for the second affirmation (“I am loving”). The third child leads the group by beginning with the first affirmation, followed by the second, then adds a third pose for the third affirmation (“I am kind”).
“I am beautiful” – child’s pose
“I am beautiful” + “I am loving” child’s pose, down dog
“I am beautiful” + “I am loving” + “I am kind”
child’s pose, down dog, tree pose
…and so on, building on the list of poses until each child has taken a turn.
Single player version: Same as above, but the single player decides each pose and tries to remember all fourteen poses in a row!
Dice Rolling Poses
Use two different dice, each one representing a specific column of affirmations on the mat. For example, a red dice represents the left column, a blue one represents the right. One child begins by rolling both dice to determine the two corresponding affirmation squares.
For instance, if a child rolls a “2” for the left column and a “5” for the right — the child counts up to the second affirmation on the left column (“I am brilliant”) and the fifth affirmation on the right column (“I am caring”). The child leads the group in a pose that makes him or her feel brilliant and caring. All the children perform the pose together while saying, “I am brilliant and I am caring.” Each child takes a turn rolling the dice and leading poses with affirmations.
Up the Ladder
One child rolls two dice, adds the numbers, and advances the corresponding number of squares. The child then leads the group in a yoga pose that reminds them of the corresponding affirmation. Each child takes a turn.
One child chooses an animal on the mat and leads the group in a pose inspired by that animal (snake pose, for instance). Encourage creativity! Have all the children take a turn choosing an animal from the mat and leading the group. Once everyone has had a turn, put the different poses together to create an animal flow.
Each child takes a turn choosing an Affirmation card and spinning the Twister spinner. The participants follow along by placing the selected body part on the selected square. Have everyone repeats the affirmation aloud. Hold the position and allow the next child to have a turn. Move the new body part to the new square. Continue until everyone has had a turn, or for as long as children are interested. What fun new yoga poses were created? Variation: If you don’t have a Twister spinner, you can also use dice. Roll one die; odd number is left and even number is right. Roll a second die; odd number is hand and even number is foot.
Pick a Card and Pose
Using the same Affirmation cards, each child takes a turn drawing a card out of a bag/box. Standing on the matching affirmation square – declare the affirmation while doing a pose that represents that affirmation. The game can continue by shuffling the cards. The teacher can also pull out the cards and have the kids recall which pose they did for that affirmation.
Take turns being the leader. When it is your turn, repeat one of the affirmations on the mat and demonstrate a pose to go with it. “Yogi says… I am caring.” If you say, “Yogi Says,” then everyone follows along. See who is listening! Continue the game until everyone has had a turn being the leader. For more playtime, continue with additional affirmation cards or ask the children to come up with an original affirmation and pose to go with it.
Musical Mats (done with the mat cut into individual squares)
Place the affirmation squares randomly around the room. You can begin with the number of students in the class (10 squares for 10 students) or an even division of them (10 squares for 20 students). Play fun music. Instruct the children to dance around the room. Periodically pause the music. When the music stops, they must find a mat and stand on it, declaring aloud the affirmation on their mat. Each mat must have at least one child on it. The teacher removes one mat and continues the game. The children will now need to team up and “share” a mat – still ensuring each mat has at least one child on it. (As the number of children increase on each mat, they only need to touch it with one foot) Continue until appropriate. This might be 10 children touching one final mat (“I am me” is a good one to end with) or 5 children each touching 2 final mats. Everyone wins, so be sure the number of children in the class can fit on the final number of mats. Variation: Maintain the number of mats as children in the class. When the music stops, they must find a new affirmation mat. The child who lands on the “I am a YogaKid” mat, shares their favorite YogaKids pose and the class follows. Continue until each child has had a turn to share on the “I am a YogaKid” mat.
Coloring Book and Dice Template
YOGAKIDS POSE EXAMPLES:
I am a YogaKid – Choose your favorite YogaKids pose.
I am beautiful – Swan pose; Swans symbolize grace and beauty.
I am loving – Give big hugs with Roller Coaster pose.
I am kind – Butterfly pose; Be kind and gentle as we gently flutter our butterfly wings.
I am caring – We care for our pets, Down Diggity Dog Down.
I am brave – Brave Warrior pose.
I am happy – Pedal Laughing pose; Laughing is great for the digestion and toning the belly.
I am proud – Eagle pose; the eagle is the national bird of the United States of America.
I am honest – Talking Turtle pose; Be impeccable with your word, be honest and truthful.
I am brilliant – Reach for the Sun pose; Pull in the sun’s brilliance.
I am strong – R is for Roar pose; Roar like a lion who is known as very strong and the king of the jungle.
I am amazing – Morning Glory pose; You are an amazing and beautiful flower.
I am me – Child’s pose/Polar Bear pose; Take a moment and think of something you are really good at. You have a special gift. Don’t forget to share it with the world, and appreciate other’s special talents and treasures.
Please note: The above poses are examples only. We recommend mindful and creative play!
YogaKids Pose Cards
More Fun from YogaKids!