With a group of children you can play a variety of Yoga games. These may include the cobra snakes slithering through a dog tunnel, statues, geometric body shapes or visiting a farm or zoo. For older children Alphabet Yoga, Salute to the Sun, and particularly partner Yoga, are great.
If you have a large class have a wind down activity planned for afterwards!
1 . ACTION SONGS FOR 3 TO 6 YEAR OLDS.
Yoga poses can be incorporated into many well known songs .
“Old Macdonald Had a Farm” (or a Zoo)- cow, cat, dog, snake, frog, lion, tiger, camel,deer, duck, crocodile, fish, butterfly, rabbit etc.
“I Went to Visit the Zoo” (or the Jungle) one day and saw a ….. …….. across the way and what do you think 1 saw it do? ... (fill in appropriate pose and use sound effects too)
“Miss Polly had a Dolly” Hug one leg to the chest, foot held in opposite elbow, and rock like a baby.
“Row, Row, Row your Boat” In a line, legs straight and wide apart, with the children sitting inside each others legs (make sure you all move the same way together- choose a boat captain to direct the rowers forward/backwards) or sit in pairs, facing each other, soles of feet against each others, or do individually with legs together straight out in front.
2. CATS , DOGS AND COBRAS
Sitting in a circle. Choose every alternate child to be a dog and hold the pose for as long as they can. Every other child is a cat crawling under them or a cobra snake wriggling under if they're too big. Make sure all the children are going the same way around the circle back to the start. (they may need a rest half way). The same game but using a held cat pose with cobra snakes wriggling underneath around a circle. Give the children a turn of being the other animal. For a challenge try going backwards!
You can also line up 1/2 the group side by side to make a tunnel of dogs and the other 1/2 of the group wriggle under as snakes . Good group cooperative skills and a test for arm and wrist strength.
3. YOGA STATUES.
Another alternative is when the music stops hold up a large picture of an animal that the children know the yoga pose to, which they hold. When the music starts they do that animals yoga action. When the music stops again use another animal picture and so on. This is a good way to introduce yoga poses to children and to familiarize them with the dynamic and static form of the poses .