Your guide to making teaching kids yoga games super easy and fun!
This spring I had one of those – fully enjoying life to the fullest moments and in a split second later everything changes. Without too many details the end result was a broken jaw which is now wired shut… so teaching yoga – how does that work?
There are a few essential key requirements for teaching yoga – legs, ankles – don’t break them. Back – keep it strong and flexible. And the voice – pretty hard to teach when you can’t be heard. I’m pretty careful about keeping my throat hydrated and eat super healthy to avoid getting sick but talking through my teeth was not one of those instances I thought about before… until now.
So I’ve had to get pretty creative in the past few weeks on finding ways to teach without talking too much (cause that hurts) and it’s really hard to understand what I’m trying to say – there will be more lessons on that another day…
Last week though we had one of the best classes ever and I hardly said a word. So if you are looking to rest your voice, tired of screaming while teaching yoga, or are looking for activities to keep your own kids entertained… Give these a try – they work like magic!
Arrange your mats in a circle. Choose a leader for Sun Salutation and a direction. The leader does the first movement of the series and the person (either clockwise or counterclockwise) follows their lead until it comes back around to the leader who then does the next pose in the series. This works great too if not everyone knows the series – all you have to do is follow the person beside you.
We get lots of fun variations of poses thrown in to keep everyone on their toes and it’s a great way for students to try and remember the series as they take their turn as leader. Alternate which direction you flow in as well to keep everyone thinking.
It’s amazing how quiet this can be as everyone concentrates – its really very meditative. Plus it gets everyone doing the poses to the best of their ability.
Props needed: a set of Yoga Pose Cards.
This is always a favourite as it involves choice and chance. Go through your deck and select the poses that your students are familiar with and capable of doing. Some days I’ll make it all fair game, except the upside poses where we need a wall for support. Other days I have certain poses I want us to focus on.
Arrange your mats in a circle. Fan out the selected cards and have each student pick a card. Choose someone to start and they show their card, and teach the pose if needed else everyone just does the pose. Then moving around the circle to do each persons selected card. When you get the end reverse the sequence so that you get both sides done on poses that are bi-lateral.
When done you can talk about whether the series flowed well – if it was easy to get from one pose to another and then if you have time swap cards around and see if you can make it flow smoothly.
This is a game I originally created for an Easter Egg Hunt but now use it all year long with pictures of different animals and themes hidden inside the eggs.
Using the little plastic easter eggs that pop open – insert a photo of an animal or a yoga pose inside the eggs. Hide them outside if you can, or around the room. I get the kids to each find 3 – 5, after their they get to help others find theirs. Then we go back to our mats, take turns opening the eggs and sharing with the class the pose.
Another good twist on this one is to open your egg, don’t let anyone see what’s inside and start to do the pose. Everyone else has to guess what pose it is – BUT they have to be in the pose before they can say it out loud. This variation helps to get everyone participating in each pose.
To spare your voice even further ask for a volunteer to read the guided relaxation story, the one is always wiggly would be perfect! They’ll get more out of it by reading instead of squirming and so will everyone else!
Try these all in one class or choose one activity to get kids moving without you needing to create the plan. These kids yoga games are perfect for the classroom, after-school programs, sports team warm-ups at home and even outside in a campground!
Let me know how it goes in the comments below and share the new variations you and your kids come up with!