Yoga and stretching is a great way of moving the body and staying active. Here we have ideas for some exciting yoga games that you could play with the children to encourage movement. Scroll down for a printable version of the games to keep as a reminder, or just read the ideas below.
Note: Don't worry too much about getting the poses exactly correct: children will find a shape and a stretch that suits them!
You will need our yoga cards.
Print (and laminate if you like) two sets of our yoga cards. Lay them face down and the children take it in turns to turn two cards over to try to find a pair. When a pair is found, the children attempt that yoga pose. The winner can choose their favourite pose for everybody to do again. You could also use the two sets of cards to play snap!
Play music and the children can either dance or exercise, for example star jumps or high knees. After about 30 seconds pause the music and hold up a yoga card. The children should try to hold the pose shown on the card for about 20 seconds before starting the music again.
Guess What’s Next
The children will need to be familiar with the yoga cards to play this. It is similar to the freeze game but this time, when you pause the music, don’t show them a card. The children should guess which card you will turn over and arrange themselves into that posture. This becomes a memory game as the children need to try to remember which cards there are and which ones have already been drawn as the game continues.
Play this game like Simon says but include the yoga cards.
Skip Count and Stretch
Decide on a number to skip count and a number to get to, and then draw a card to see what position you need to hold. For example, you might decide to skip count in 5s all the way to 100. Then draw a card to see which pose you need to do whilst you are skip counting.
Follow The Leader
Put the yoga cards at random spots around the space. The children follow the leader as they move around copying how they move: for example, skipping, hopping, etc. When the leader arrives at a yoga spot, they stop and do the posture and everybody copies the leader.
Hide and Seek
This is a great game to play if you have an outdoor space. Hide the yoga cards and let the children try to find them. When they find a card, they copy the yoga pose on it.
Turn over a card and, without letting the children see, give them a clue to see if they can work out which card it is. When they think they know, they should get into the position that they think it is. For example, "This pose requires you to be balanced whilst standing up" could be a clue for tree pose.
Put the yoga cards face down in the space. Make up an adventure such as exploring the jungle. Move through the space as though you are in the jungle, until you come to the first card. Turn it over and include it in the adventure story. You could ask the children for their ideas for the story. For example, you could be walking through the jungle pushing vines aside when you reach the boat card so you tell the children you have reached a river. Oh no! How will you cross? Use your binoculars to look around... A boat! Everybody do boat pose!