One of the (positive) surprises of teaching yoga online (through FB Live, IG Live, Zoom, Teams, etc.), is that I am able to teach children that live across the country (and world)! Little yogis that I wouldn’t have had the honor of teaching have been able to join in on some digital fun.
Of course, teaching online presents it’s own set of challenges, and for me it is finding games and activities that work well across a screen. So many of my favorite go-to games required kids to physically interact with each other. So the time I’ve spent planning online classes has really required me to stretch my creative muscles! Here are some of my favorite virtual activities to use with young yogis (and their families):
- Love It, Like It, Leave It: The teacher thinks of items, places, or actions and the children respond with “Love it”, “Like it” or “Leave it” actions. If children love what the teacher says, they do a Star pose. If they like it, they do Chair pose. If they would rather leave it (they don’t like it at all), they do a Ragdoll pose. Once they are in the pose, they hold it for 3 full breaths. To play, the teacher shouts out “puppies” or “football” or “salad” and in response, the children get into the pose that fits their opinion. Once the game is familiar, children can be the leader. This game works really well on a screen because you can see the children participate the entire time and it doesn’t require any verbal response from the kids.
- Hop Hop Pose: Teach 4 poses before starting the game – your choice of poses. They can be postures you are working on, poses for a theme, or just favorites. To play, everyone starts hopping on one foot. Every once in a while, the teacher announces one of the 4 poses and the children immediately freeze in that pose, holding until the teacher says, “Hop!” Then everyone begins hopping again, until the teacher announces another pose. Freeze. Then keep hopping. Vary the time between poses, the time you freeze, and which foot you are hopping on. It’s fun (and more exhausting) to choose poses that require lots of movement, like poses that have bellies on the floor, seated, balance, or on hands and knees. Again, once kids know how to play, they can be the leaders.
- Pass-A-Laugh: Everyone is off of mute (if using Zoom). The first person (or teacher) says someone’s name and laughs in a silly way. Once he is through laughing, he puts himself on mute and the person he called repeats the laugh. The new laugher announces someone else’s name that is not yet on mute, makes up a new silly laugh and then puts herself on mute. Her person repeats the laugh. Continue on, working your way through everyone (you can tell who hasn’t gone yet by looking at their mute status). The last person to go throws their laugh back to the person who started the game.
- Freeze Dance: Play an energetic song (Kidding Around Yoga has lots of options) and encourage students to dance, wiggle, jump, and move in any (safe) way they’d like. Stop the music at random times. When the music stops, children freeze in a yoga pose of their choice until the music begins again. To make it more challenging, assign a balance pose to freeze in.
It is so important to children’s physical and mental health to stay active and practice their yoga, even if on a screen. Most games you love to play with your students in person can be adapted to a virtual experience, too. For more ideas to build your Kids Yoga skills and business, take a look at KAY’s Virtual MIni Workshops!
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).