As a teacher and a parent myself, I understand that more than anything that we want to help set our children up for success. We want our children to be prepared and confident at school, sports, activities, and at home.
We desire for our children to be in a collaborative, creative, calm and supported classroom environment. That is the kind of classroom I strive to provide for my students and you can be sure that is the kind of environment I want my own children in.
The good news is that we can help our own children and students be successful in their experiences. By incorporating easy breathing exercises, mindfulness, and simple stress-reducing yoga poses into brain breaks, kids will become more focused and attentive. That will then help our children to develop greater empathy toward one another and feel more confident and successful themselves.
Kids Need Brain Breaks
Yoga for kids is becoming more common throughout schools, clubs,and activities. With only a few moments each day, you can help kids achieve the benefits that yoga provides. These can be done at home, school, camps, or clubs.
I am a firm believer that children need active brain breaks throughout the day to learn best. Research has shown that students learn best by taking a break or moving their bodies every 15 minutes. Sadly, recess and physical education times are already being reduced in schools, which takes away the active movement that children need.
When using yoga with children, it does not need to be in a structured class with objectives and benchmarks. You are simply allowing the children to move their bodies in good and healthy ways. It doesn’t need to take long and can subtly be incorporated into what you are already doing.
Favorite Kids Yoga Brain Breaks:
Pick a Card Any Card:
When children are waiting for the next activity or standing in line, fan out the Kids Yoga Challenge Pose Cards and select one child to pick a card. Everyone then practices the pose. This is perfect to use during a transition time when you only have a few moments.
Let it Go:
Practice fun breathing exercises. These techniques reduce stress and improve focus before tests, transition times, or during an activity that you know will require concentration and focus.
Waiting quietly in line for the next activity can definitely be a challenge for children. Make the time pass quickly by selecting a balance pose from the Kids Yoga Challenge Pose Cards. The children will then hold that balance pose while counting by 5’s or 10’s. I also like to have them count to 10 in another language.
As a thank you for sharing your time and thoughts, I will then send you a FREE coupon code for our Kids Yoga Challenge App.
The Kids Yoga Challenge App is perfect for taking your yoga on the go! The Kids Yoga Challenge App will challenge kids with balance, flexibility, mindfulness, and more. This app includes 40 yoga pose cards including partner poses, confidence-building poses, and mantras.
Thank you for all of your support! I look forward to hearing from you and seeing you inside the free kids yoga app.
I love creating new games to use in my kids yoga classes. Kids naturally love to play games and they are a good way to get them moving. Games also lead to laughter and fun which helps build community and friendships. Yoga Games such as the Kids Yoga Obstacle Course are also the perfect way to practice all of the fun yoga poses that the kids have been learning.
How to Create a Kids Yoga Obstacle Course:
Kids LOVE obstacle courses and this is one of my favorite ways to get kids moving in healthy and good ways. This is exactly what kids need as their school days involve a lot of sitting as well as the national increase of video games and screens.
Every kids yoga class that I teach follows the Go Go Yoga for Kids Lesson Plan Format. This lesson plan framework ensures that kids are getting exactly what they need with breathing exercises, poses, movement, teamwork, mindfulness and more.
Select 4-5 poses that you want to introduce to children. I use the Kids Yoga Challenge Pose Cards as visuals for the poses. I will place the selected cards into a colorful gift bag and allow the students one at a time to draw out a pose to learn. After the yoga poses have been introduced and practiced, it is the perfect time to begin The Yoga Obstacle Course!
Be creative with this! Please do not go out and buy anything. Use whatever objects you have available to make an obstacle course.
Obstacle Course Prop Examples
Hula hoops laid on the ground to do high knees through
Jump ropes laid parallel so kids can jump across them like a river
Cones to jump over or hop to
Yoga blocks for stepping stones
Yoga mats placed end to end for bear walks, log rolls, frog hops, etc.
The ideas are endless for using creating different obstacles and I do like to change it up to keep things fresh and fun.
Place the objects in a large circle. Between each obstacle I place a yoga mat and a Kids Yoga Challenge Pose Card.
Get Ready to Go!
First, I demonstrate how to go through the obstacle course. I make a big show out of hopping through the “rings of fire,” (hula hoops) or carefully crossing over the “icy river on blocks of ice” (yoga blocks).
Kids are completely mesmorized as they watch you carefully navigate through the obstacle course. Be sure to pause after each obstacle to hold the pose on the yoga pose card.
Next, I put on some fun music and it is the kids turn to move around the obstacle course and perform the yoga poses that are shown on cards. They love this and would do it forever if allowed. I recommend not letting the obstacle course go on “forever” as you want to keep things fresh and fun. Learn more Secrets to Teaching Yoga to Children here.
One of my favorite things to do is to visit schools and introduce yoga to the students. Recently I was invited to a nearby city’s elementary school for their Literacy Night. This included the students coming back to school in the evening, with their parents and in their pj’s. How cute and fun!
The kids got to visit an author in different stations, learn about their books, and do an activity. Go Go Yoga for Kids was thrilled to be a part of Literacy Night! It includes three of my favorite things; kids, books and yoga!
I had six different groups come through of all varying sizes and ages. I had planned for this so knew that my yoga activities would be good for large sized groups and for varying ages.
Spring had just sprouted in our area and the children were excited about the upcoming Easter Holiday so I made sure that our yoga poses and games were theme related.
First I read aloud one of my favorite bunny books, The Very Bad Bunny. Children are memorized with this story of a bunny that tries to be good, but makes some mistakes. His family is upset with him until they realized what a bad bunny truly is.
Spring Poses That We Learned and Practiced:
Bunny (Chair Pose)
Flower (Lotus Pose)
Bird (Warrior 3)\
Raindrop Pose (Partner Poses)
I had each of these pose names placed in an Easter Egg. I called on individual children to draw out the egg and read the pose. I then showed the pose visual using The Kids Yoga Challenge Pose Cards and we practiced the pose.
Each session lasted about 20 minutes which was just the right amount of time to introduce yoga to children in some fun and engaging ways.