By Faye Martins
Kids yoga classes must be interactive and engaging for children. Yoga instructors should use yoga games and themes to keep children interested. There are many different types of yoga games that will hold kids’ interest, but they should be carefully chosen based on the age of the students. Preschool-aged children are usually highly energetic. They delight in learning about the world through role-play and fantasy. Kids yoga teachers can nurture their growing imaginations by playing games that utilize visualization. Preschool children are also filled with a zest for learning numbers, letters, colors, and new vocabulary. Instructors can also incorporate these concepts into the yoga instruction for a well-rounded class.
Do You Hear What I Hear?
Help kids wind down at the end of yoga class with this game of listening. It will deepen concentration and focus, while also helping them practice memory skills. Ask children to lie or sit in a comfortable position. Corpse pose is a good pose to use at the end of class, and then you can transition to a visualization exercise right after this game. Ask kids to relax, close their eyes, and just listen. Speak in a quiet, slow voice as you say something like, “I hear the lights humming. What do you hear?” List one or two other things that you hear, then give the children another quiet minute to listen and make a mental list of all the sounds they hear. Ask each child to share three things they heard.
You might begin yoga class with this high energy game. Choose some dance music with a good beat and turn it up loud. Let the kids express themselves by dancing any way they choose. Stop the music every few seconds or so, asking the kids to “freeze” into a yoga pose until the music resumes. This is a fun game to help the kids practice the poses. It will also give the instructor a good idea of which poses the children know, or which ones need to be reviewed.
Parachute Yoga Games
Parachute games get the entire body moving for a great warm-up or a fun way to end class. Throw several foam balls on top and play “Popcorn” as everyone shakes and pulls the parachute to try to pop the balls off. Practice teamwork by working together to lift the parachute up to the sky. Make a tent by pulling the parachute down as everyone takes a seat underneath it, tucking the edges of the parachute beneath their bottoms. As you sit under the falling parachute, see if there is enough time for everyone to quickly name their favorite yoga pose.
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