By now, we all know about the incredible health benefits of kids yoga. Unfortunately, though, we're so fixated on this part alone that we forget our children don't care for such things and just want to have fun. So, in the spirit of proving that yoga can actually be super fun, we rounded up 5 creative yoga games for kids aged from 4 to 10 that'll make them fall in love with the practice from that very first pose.
Oh, and a friendly reminder: Nothing can make your little one wanna head to that yoga class more than her new, fresh-off-the-shelf gear. So, make sure you stuff that gym bag of hers with all the essentials, starting with the #1 contender, a.k.a. a cool children's yoga mat. This piece of equipment doesn't just help your kiddo feel right at home but can also keep her safe from all the floor germs – a huge boon when she's forehead-down and striking a child's pose (pun intended!).
And a tip: If you don't know where to start, we can hook you up with a wide variety of kids yoga mats that aren’t just practical and comfy but also colorful and downright adorable. So, whether you're looking for the best non-toxic yoga mat or something that screams "I'm a princess!", we got you covered.
If there's one thing we (adults) know about yoga is that breathing exercises are of paramount importance in almost every sesh. Of course, kids don't know that – which is where these animal breaths step in. This fun yoga game imitates the way certain animals move when they inhale/exhale and is the perfect way to get your kids acquainted with mindful breathing.
Have your little ones sit on their cute yoga mats with their legs crossed and their eyes closed.
Then, choose one of the four breath types below and repeat 5 times.
For the hibernating bear breath, tell them to inhale through their nose, hold their breath for three seconds and, then, exhale.
For the lion's breath, instruct them to inhale deeply through their nose, tilt their head back, open their mouth wide open, and exhale loudly while sticking their tongue out. This one is a crowd-pleaser, especially amongst pre-schoolers.
For the bunny breath, have them sniff quickly three consecutive times and then exhale through their nose in one deep breath. Advise them to keep their mouths closed the entire time.
For the bubble bee breath, tell them to put their fingers in their ears, inhale through their nose and exhale through their mouth while making the sound of a humming bee.
Whoever said "Simon Says" is a simple child's play, probably never heard of this study (1) . So, according to experts, this time-honored game can enhance a kid's academic performance by working on specific skills such as self-regulation and auditory awareness. But, here comes the question: What's stopping you from throwing yoga's benefits into the mix? If the answer is "Nothing!", here's how you and your little ones can play "Yogi Says."
Have the kids stand on top of their yoga mats.
Pick one to be the "Yogi."
Tell them to think of a yoga pose and share it with the rest. If they don't know the name of the pose, help them out.
If he/she says "Yogi Says" before the name of the pose, then everyone has to do it. If not, whoever does it, has to perform another challenging task (think bunny hops) for 4-5 seconds.
Then, designate another kid as the "Yogi" and keep doing so until everyone gets a turn.
A borderline-genius twist on musical chairs, this yoga game for kids is the best way to keep revelers entertained on a slow weekday evening. Before you crank up the music, though, make sure you roll out a set of thick yoga mats to prevent your little ones from landing hard on the floor and hurting themselves. PS: You can make the game even more enticing by laying around a bunch of yoga mats with design such as this bunny and owl cutesy or this dinosaur extravaganza.
Pick a song. This one is perfect because it already stops randomly for easy play.
Set up the mats in a circle. Remember to use one less than the number of kids that are playing. So, if you have 6 kids playing, roll out 5 children mats.
Start the music and have the kids walk around the circle clockwise.
Once the music stops, tell the kids to sit on one of the child mats. Whoever is left standing needs to pick one play mat and sit aside.
Continue playing rounds until there is one kid left.
The Human Chalkboard
A surefire way to increase sensory awareness, body chalkboard is a fun game you can count on every time you roll out your kid's organic yoga mat. Between the easy-to-follow rules, the social side of the game, and its flexible nature -which FYI, allows kids to get creative-, the game is a must-try for every parent who wants to turn yoga time into fun time.
Divide the kids into pairs of two and have each group sit on a yoga mat.
One child should sit with her back turned against the other, posing as the "chalkboard."
Using her fingers, her partner should draw a yoga pose on her back.
Then, the child in the front should guess which pose is that, and then, perform it. 5. Then, they switch places.
Harry Potter Yoga
Themed yoga is nothing new. From celebrating fall equinox to reaching chocolate nirvana, there are a lot of options out there to marry yoga with something you love. The only problem in our case? Kids are a tough crowd to please. So, this is where you call in the "big guns" and by "big guns," we mean Harry Potter. If this idea sounds perfect for your little witch- or wizard-wannabe, have them put on a robe, keep their toy wands at the ready and get the fun started. You can even incorporate some of the books' charm into this custom yoga routine by having them balance along with broomsticks, meditate to the mesmerizing tunes of the movie or transform into Hedwig by striking the owl pose. The options are endless.
So, what are your go-to yoga games for kids? We'd love to hear your top picks in the comments down below!
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