Games are something that all children, no matter what age, love! You can see children completely relax and older children lose their inhibitions in a really good game. There are already many yoga games that you can play with kids. However, if you want to find some new ones, you can always “yoga-fy” a game you already love! I’ve included three examples of games that have been yoga-fied to get your creative juices flowing:
Ping Pong Shake
You will need:
A medium sized box (oblong tissue boxes work really well)
Lots of ping pong balls (or balls of a similar size)
A belt, or scarf to attach the box around your waist
Make enough boxes for the number of children you have in your group. It doesn’t need to be one each. However, if you have a lot of children playing, you might want to get more than one child shaking at once. Make a hole in the box, large enough to fit the balls through. Fill the box with balls, attach it via a belt or scarf around your waist. Put on some cool music (Kidding Around Yoga’s Yogi Shake or Shake My Sillies Out seem appropriate). Then you have to shake all of your balls out of the box without using anything other than your shaking tushy!
Although this game doesn’t use any yoga poses, it is all about the shaking! Did you know that by simply shaking you can stimulate the energy flowing around your body and awaken both the body and mind? In fact, Ayurveda, which is considered a sister science to yoga, will often prescribe shaking your body when you don’t feel well as the first step in the treatment of sickness. Shaking can also increase your levels of oxytocin, or the love hormone, in our bodies. When we increase oxytocin, we feel a sense of happiness. We shake away our blues, which can also help with depression and anxiety. Most of all, shaking and this game is just so much fun, your kids will be in stitches watching the different styles of shakes and wiggles people have!
Dice Race (with a treat!)
You will need;
A large bar of refrigerated chocolate
Two medium sized yoga dice – these can be blank dice to draw on, or even cardboard cubes
A knife and fork
Dressing up clothes, including some adult sized gloves!
This is a real treat game as it involves eating chocolate! What kid doesn’t enjoy chocolate, right?! However, if you wanted to be healthier, perhaps you could find an alternative to chocolate (a frozen banana)? On your dice, draw (or write) six different standing poses (eagle, dancer, warrior, chair, tree and triangle work well) putting the same six poses on each dice. Have the kids line up and take turns rolling the dice. When they get two poses that match, they run to the chocolate and put on all the dressing up clothes (a hat, scarf and gloves work well, but you can add more to make it harder). Then they start to eat the cold chocolate but only using the knife and fork! Everyone else waiting in the line is standing in the yoga pose that was rolled! They must stay in this pose and the person eating the chocolate continues to do so until another match is rolled! Sometimes, the children only get as far as putting the dressing up clothes on before this happens, sometimes they are munching away at the chocolate for a while!
I Went to my Yoga Class and…
This last game is more relaxed than the others and can be used when you want to calm things down slightly, as it needs a lot of concentration and focus. It’s a twist on the classic game, “I went to the shops and I bought…” It’s been changed to (you guessed it), “I went to my yoga class and I did…” You sit in a circle and each child repeats and acts out the poses that were before them and then adds one of their own. For example, I went to my yoga class and did the Cow pose. I went to my yoga class and did the cow pose and the Downward Dog pose, etc. This is a very simple game but quite effective in strengthening the memory and teaching lots and lots of yoga poses!
Find more ideas about playing games as part of your yoga practice, listen to our Mindful Conversations with KAY podcast!
Like what you read here? There’s so much MORE to explore and learn with Kidding Around Yoga. Check out our website for our live and online teacher trainings, Yoga Alliance-approved 95-hour RCYT trainings, specialty online courses, original music, merchandise, and beyond! KAY even offers a 6-hour workshop designed to teach school educators and homeschool families how to bring yoga and meditation right into their classrooms (EduKAY) and an online course specifically for families to incorporate these practices in their family’s routine (Yoga for Families).