Leading a fun and focused kids’ yoga class can be an easy task if you simply use a ball! An old-school, readily-accessible, ever-popular ball. A collection of various sized balls can create a collection of yoga-based games and activities ready to play in no time at all.
Plank Pinball: Players come into plank pose in a circle. Roll a beach ball or two (or more) into the middle of the circle. Players hit the ball with their arms/hands, keeping it within the circle. Add to the challenge if you have a big class by having a couple kids come into poses (like warrior or dog) in the middle of the circle acting as bumpers and deflecting the ball as it moves past. If kids get tired, have some switch to reverse table and whack the ball with their feet instead.
Plow Pass: This is a fun relay race. Divide the class into teams and have them line up on their backs, head-to-feet. The first player on each team hold the ball with their hands, lift it above their chest and grab it with their feet. Keeping the ball in their feet, they carefully lower it to the next player’s hands. That player then grabs the ball with their hands, lifts it above their chest and passes it to their feet. The feet lower and pass it to the next person’s waiting hands. Continue until everyone has handled the ball.
Over Under: Again, divide the class into teams. Each team stands in a line. The front of the line holds a ball. When you say, “Go” the player with the ball passes it between their legs to the person behind them. The second player lifts the ball up and passes it over their head (in a backbend) to the third person. That player passes it under their legs, and so on. You could do this in a circle as a whole-group activity and include several balls of different sizes in the race.
Warrior Catch: Either as a whole group in a circle, in teams or pairs, kids come into a warrior pose. Announce which warrior pose everyone should come into (warrior 1, 2, or 3). Then the warrior play catch with the ball, holding the posture while both throwing and catching. After a couple of tosses, switch which warrior pose they hold. Repeat. You could really kick up the challenge by using other poses, like boat, dog, or happy baby.
Orange You Grateful: Kids sit in a tight circle, knee-to-knee. The first child holds a ball in their feet and says, “Orange you grateful for ________”. Then they pass the ball to the next player using only their feet. That child then shares what they are grateful for.
Silly Story Ball: On a big beach ball, write the names of various poses all over it. To play, kids stand in a circle and toss the ball to one another. When a child catches the ball, he looks at his right thumb. Whatever pose his thumb is touching is the pose the class does and the player starts a story with that pose. If his thumb landed on “boat“, then everyone would do boat pose and he’d start a story, “Once upon a time, a boat was floating on a stormy sea”. Then he’d throw the ball to someone else and wherever their thumb lands is the next pose to do and incorporate into the story. Encourage imagination and silliness! Continue until everyone has had a turn.