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.
Balance Made Fun:
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.
Grab a Buddy:
Children love working in small groups. It helps them feel a sense of companionship and trust. You can find many partner ideas and illustrations here. The Kids Yoga Challenge Pose Cards also includes partner poses.