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.
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.
Tag is one of the classic yoga games for kids and often a favorite. They love playing with this twist by using Triangle Pose. First, learn how to safely teach Triangle Pose to the children and practice this pose with them.
Once everyone has practiced Triangle Pose then you are ready to play Triangle Tag!
How to Play Triangle Tag:
Materials: None, but sometimes when playing tag with children I recommend using these “pool noodles” as they help with tagging and any accidental pushing. I cut the pool noodles to around 12 inches which provides the perfect size to whoever is “It” to safely tag the other children.
Determine out of bounds lines dependent on the size of the group. Select one person to be “It.” The person who is “It” chases the other kids and tries to tag them.
When she successfully tags a player, the player must freeze in Triangle Pose.
Triangle Pose creates a tunnel which another player must crawl through to unfreeze them.
If a player is tagged while trying to unfreeze another, they must stand in front of the person and do Triangle Pose as well. This creates a double tunnel for someone else to crawl through.
The game continues until all runners have been frozen, and then a new person becomes “It.”
It was so much FUN to be invited LIVE on the I AM a Lovable Me Show. Take a look if you have children in your life that you love and care about and truly want to make a positive difference in their lives! There is so much goodness to share!
Listen and Discover on the Lovable Me Show:
Why kids need yoga NOW in our world today
The benefits of yoga for children
Secrets on getting kids started with yoga
How to introduce children to yoga and mindfulness in fun and engaging ways
Plus learn the shocking truth about what happens to all children after they turn 7
Take a peek at some of the show’s highlights below:
How do children benefit from practicing yoga?
What ages can children begin yoga?
How it adult yoga different than kids yoga?
What are some ways of introducing mindfulness and yoga at home? It doesn’t need to take long. It is really about introducing children to some exercises and helping them discover how they feel and when they could use them. Establishing routines: Poses/stretches you can do in the AM and in the Evening Settling down.
How to model mindfulness yourself
What ages can children begin yoga? Yoga is a lifelong practice. There is no so such thing as yoga perfection. By introducing yoga to toddlers, preschoolers, and school-aged kids you are setting them up for lifelong skills.
Get things hopping with Go Go Yoga for Kids and these Spring yoga themes, poses, games and lesson plans below!
Get your FREE complete Easter Egg Kids Yoga Lesson Plan with all of the Spring yoga poses, games and activities.
Begin with Bunny Breath: Kids love this calming and fun breathing exercise. Pretend to be a bunny as you take short quick sniffs through your nose.
Pretend to Be a Flower: Next get kids moving while pretending to be a seed in the ground ready to bloom into a flower. Does your flower grow quickly or slowly?
Learn some Easter and Spring Yoga Poses: Select 3-5 yoga poses for each yoga session. I like my yoga poses to correspond with our yoga theme. Your Spring Theme Yoga Poses are included in the lesson plan.
Play a Yoga Game: After learning and practicing the Spring Yoga Poses, it is time to practice the poses and work on some balance exercises that are given in the lesson plan. If the children are up for a challenge, try Raindrop Partner Pose. You can find this partner pose and 39 additional poses with the Kids Yoga Challenge Pose Cards.
Circle Showcase: Bring your kids yoga class to a close by having a Spring Yoga Show with the children showing off their favorite yoga pose.
Time for Rest: After the Spring Yoga Show it is time for Stillness and Savasana. Have the children gently curl up as if they are a bunny in their nest or hold. See if they can notice the rise and fall of their breath. It is so very relaxing and calming.
We have listened to you! The Kids Yoga Challenge Pose Cardsare now available on Amazon.com and Amazon UK! This is very exciting news and could have never done it without your support!
The Kids Yoga Challenge Pose Cardswill challenge you and children with balance, flexibility, mindfulness, and more. This card deck includes 40 poses including partner poses, confidence building pose mantras, and fun games to play together using these cards.
I use the Kids Yoga Challenge Pose Cards in every kids yoga class that I teach
The Kids Yoga Challenge Pose Cards include:
40 progressive yoga poses including partner poses
Each pose includes an empowering mantra for mindfulness and meditation
All poses are rated from 1-5 stars based on difficulty (this makes it fun for the kids to learn and practice all poses)
Easy to follow poses to create many original yoga flows
Fun sturdy drawstring burlap bag for storage
PLUS Each card deck INCLUDES 15 Bonus Yoga Games to play using the yoga cards