Your yoga practice has probably evolved quite a bit from when you first started. I know when I got more comfortable with my asana, my time on the mat became more than exercise: it turned into play time.
Whether I'm trying to master new poses or I just need some time for me, yoga is fun for me because I view it as playtime. If you're trying to get your kids into yoga, helping them view the practice as something playful might get them hooked for life.
The best yoga games for kids are ones that are fun and easy to follow, so don't put too much pressure on yourself or the kids. Yoga is perfect regardless of how it's done!
Best Yoga Games for Kids
#1. Yoga Story
A child's imagination is one of their strongest attributes. You can incorporate yoga poses into any story whether it's a bedtime story or group storytime at the library.
Every time the story mentions an animal or object, incorporate a yoga pose. It's important to ditch your knowledge of what you know a pose to be called and let it suit the story and the child's imagination.
If you're teaching a group of kids, you can let them tell their own story as a group. You start the story with an animal or object and then let each child take a turn adding their own piece to the story.
#2. Go on an Adventure
Kids love nothing more than imagining they're going on an epic adventure.
Whether they're pretending they're climbing the Himalayas, taking a boat through a dark swamp, or intermingling with the dinosaurs, you can find a yoga pose for almost any adventure you or your kids can create a yoga series to suit anything your imagination can dream up.
#3. Sing and Flow
There are so many great kids' songs out there that perfectly fit a yoga practice! Come up with poses to match the song or let the kids take the lead and guide the practice with their own poses, either as a group or individually.
Remember yoga looks different for everyone, so if their idea of a pose is a little different from what you think is "correct", just go with it!
Songs you can use to accompany your practice are Old McDonald Had a Farm, Baby Beluga, Six Little Ducks, and To Market, To Market.
#4. Follow the Leader
This ageless game is a perfect way to get your kids to focus. Put your group in a circle and take them through a simple flow.
You can use sun salutations, a dancing warrior flow, or even the standing poses of the primary Ashtanga series if you've got older kids in the class. For a more interactive experience, incorporate things like dragon's breath or animal noises.
#5. The Wave
Gather the group into a circle and position yourself somewhere among them. This is similar to the Wave we do at baseball games except it will be a yoga pose that starts with you and goes around the circle.
You'll start the wave with a simple pose and then the child to the right of you will repeat it, going all the way around the circle one by one. For an extra challenge, progressively make each pose more difficult.
Older kids might appreciate poses that make them interact with their neighbor for some adorable partner yoga.
#6. Copy Cat
Arrange everyone into a circle and put your hands at your heart in Anjali mudra, asking your students to do the same. Make eye contact with a student (or say their name) and point your hands at each other to connect.
The student should mimic you as if you're their reflection in a mirror. They may also lead the poses if they're able/willing. The goal is to get the two of you moving in sync.
If they've never played this game before, start with something like a warrior sequence or a sun salutation A until they get the hang of it. Once everyone has gotten comfortable with the game, partner the kids up and let them create their own sequences.
#7. Intention Setting Practice
This is best suited for students over the age of 7, but it's a fantastic way to get kids thinking more deeply about things like courage, empathy, and acceptance.
If you're working on acceptance, for example, start with some sun salutations, gradually building the difficulty. Do one legged planks or chaturangas, down dog with a pigeon leg, or even get the kids off the mat and onto the hardwood floors with socks on.
Instead of jumping/stepping, they'll slide their feet from pose to pose. As things get harder, emphasize the importance of accepting where you're at whether it's in yoga, school, or sports.
#8. Human Mandala
This game is a great way to get a class comfortable with their peers. Everyone should be sitting in a circle knee to knee. You start the flow with breathing exercises, and everyone coordinates their breath and movement with everyone so it's an endless, connected circle.
For older kids, set up an easily-followed flow and slowly flow before you ask them to connect theirbest yoga games for children are ones that are fun!
The best yoga games for children are ones that are fun! It doesn't matter how creative you are with your sequencing or poses. All kids care about is moving, having fun, and feeling like they're playing and having fun. Also check out these great youtube videos for kids!