A yoga card deck is a must-have for your bag-of-tricks! My favorite deck is from Kidding Around Yoga. They are like a “class in a box” that you can take with you for instant fun and activities wherever you teach and in any environment. You can simply pick a few cards from each section (poses, meditation, mindfulness, breathing, music, and games) to create a class on the spot. Or pass cards around to your class and let each child teach what is on the card. Want to get more creative? Here are some of our favorite KAY Card Deck activities:
Musical Mats: Pre-select pose cards based on your students’ experience and ability and pass one out to each child. One at a time, the child teaches the rest of the group how to do the pose and sets the card on their mat. Once everyone has shared their pose, play Musical Mats! Play a favorite song (we like Yogi Shake) and everyone dance, skip or somehow move around the room. When the music stops (or when the song tells you to “pick a pose”), kids have to find a mat (a different one every time) and do the pose that the card shows. You can add scarves to jazz it up.
Yoga Headbands: Each child takes a pose card (don’t peek) and straps it to their head using glow necklaces or a headband so other kids can see it, but not the owner of the card. Then take turns asking yes or no questions to try to figure out what card is on your head (Am I alive? Can I fly?). When someone is ready to guess the pose, they have to perform the pose, NOT say the name aloud.
Pompom Challenge: Set out any number of cards in a grid (like 4×4 or 10×5, whatever you’d like). Then inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth and blow a pompom. Whatever card your pompom lands on is the activity you do. Blow as many pompoms as you’d like. You could have two teams blowing the pompoms at each other (each team gets their own color) just to add to the fun.
Card Toss: Take turns tossing the cards in a basket. Whichever cards make it into the basket are the activities and poses you do. Keep moving further back to make it more challenging. Or toss the cards as you hold a yoga pose.
Pick a Pair: In pairs, kids pick two pose cards. They have a set amount of time to create a new pose combining the two cards they have. For example, if one child picks Sandwich and the other picks Star, what would a Star Sandwich look like? The other kids can try to guess which poses they combined.
Be the Teacher: Each child picks two pose cards and one other card (meditation, mindfulness, etc.). Then, one at a time, they teach the rest of the class how to perform the poses and leads the activity. Have a short class or a large number of kids? Each child only teaches one card. This is great to do when you are having one of those days where you aren’t feeling well. Plus, teaching other kids really boosts confidence!
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)