By Faye Martins
Kids yoga classes must be structured a bit differently than adult classes in order to avoid boredom among the students. Kids yoga instructors can engage the students with interesting and fun games and activities. Teachers can use kids yoga games to introduce new poses and practice old ones. Yoga instructors might throw an impromptu game into class to spice things up, offer a game as an incentive at the end of each class, or begin the class with a game to get kids’ minds focused on yoga.
This fun game builds memory and concentration skills while reviewing many yoga poses. Stand in a circle. Begin by performing a yoga pose and asking the kids to mimic it. Ask the child to your right to choose yoga a pose to model, then everyone must perform the first pose that was modeled, plus add the second pose. Continue to work your way around the circle. Each person adds a new pose, and the class must perform all of the poses in the order they were added. If confusion ensues, ask the person who added the pose to show it again. You might also ask each child to incorporate a sound with the pose, or to name it.
Work on core strength with this silly yoga game that uses a textured ball. Students should sit in a circle, with legs stretched out in front of them. Pass the ball from person to person by grabbing it with the feet and releasing it to the next person’s feet. As children gain strength and familiarity with the game, they can throw the ball across the circle to anyone.
Teach children a bit of cooperation by playing this game of mimic. Children should stand face to face with partner. One child initiates a movement, and the other child must try to mirror the movement as closely as possible. Teach kids to begin with simple movements, such as raising a hand overhead. Then, kids can progress to other movements, like climbing a ladder, facial movements, and yoga poses. After a time students can switch roles, giving the other child a chance to lead.
Musical Yoga Mats
Set up one yoga mat for each student in a circle, oval, or square shape. Place a yoga card on each mat. To begin, students should stand on the outside edge of the mats. Play energizing music as the students move around the mats performing a specified movement, such as skipping, hopping, walking backwards, or galloping. When the music stops, children must rush to the nearest mat and perform the given pose until the music starts up again.
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