Think back to the good ol’ days of recess and PE when you were a child. Do you remember playing classic games like Hopscotch, Duck Duck Goose, or Freeze Tag with your best buddies? There’s a reason classic games are still played today – they are FUN! So why reinvent the wheel? Take an oldie-but-goodie and yoga-fy it for a whole new (yet familiar) experience.
Hopscotch: Draw a classic hopscotch setup on a yoga mat with permanent markers. Label each square with a standing posture (mountain, tree, dancer, warrior 3, etc). If you don’t want to permanently label the squares (so you can change it up), tape a piece of paper or yoga card into each square with the chosen pose. Now play hopscotch (here’s how if you’ve forgotten). On the way forward, do the pose on the right leg and switch legs on the way back.
Child, Child, Tree: Played exactly like Duck, Duck, Goose, but rather than sitting in a circle, players wait in child’s pose for “It” to tag them. “It” goes around the circle tapping each player saying, “child…child…child”. If “It” taps a player and says, “Tree!” that player then stands and runs around the circle, racing “It” back to his/her spot. The first person standing in tree pose in the empty space is safe. The other person becomes “It”.
Trees Tag: Remember Freeze Tag? Trees Tag is the same, except if you are tagged by “It”, you must freeze in tree pose until another player unfreezes you with a high-five.
Partner Pose Peace: This is a yoga-fied version of the classic card game War. Simply pass out yoga posture cards to the two players. They each flip over their card at the same time. Each player is responsible for performing their own pose and also somehow linking it with their partner’s pose. For example, if the partners’ cards were downward dog and fish, they’d have to create some sort of partner pose connecting the two.
Pick Up Sticks: This is played exactly the same as your great-grandparents’ version of Pick Up Sticks. Dump out the sticks and take turns removing one from the pile without disturbing the other sticks. The yoga happens when you assign different colored sticks to different postures. For example, if you pull a yellow stick, you must do a forward fold. If you choose a red stick, you do a balance pose, etc.
Yoga Limbo: Use a yoga strap and have kids travel underneath it in different poses. Try to stick with backbending postures since our children spend so much time bent over their desks at school during the day and slouching on cushiony chairs at home. Poses like warrior 1, extended mountain, and reverse table are great ways to move under the strap. Kidding Around Yoga has a song specifically for Yoga Limbo:
Yoga Jenga: Write (or draw) yoga poses on several Jenga blocks. When a child pulls out a block with a pose written on it, everyone must perform the pose while the player carefully stacks the block on top.
This is not even close to a complete list of classic games you can yoga-fy. Board games can be adapted to a yoga class (like use Scrabble tiles to form names of yoga poses) and even video games can be yoga-fied (play Mario Cart while balancing in tree pose). Please share your ideas for classic games with a yoga twist in the comments below!