SITE UPGRADE COMING SOON: On or around January 31st, 2022, I'll be moving Mindful Teachers to a new, more mobile-friendly platform.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Four Mindfulness Games for One or More Children

photo courtesy Sara J. Weis

by Sara J. Weis, adapted from her book Go Go Yoga for Kids, Vol 3: Yoga Games & Activities for Children

To an adult, a child’s life may often seem relatively carefree. We tend to forget that being a child means consistently encountering different circumstances and experiences. Their emotions are big and often hard to tackle. Taking a moment to breathe, stretch, and move mindfully helps them become more focused, calm, alert, and ready to learn.

Go Go Yoga for Kids: Yoga Games & Activities for Children has more than 150 fun yoga games, activities, poses and challenges for small or large groups of kids aged 2-14.

The following four activities for one or more children don’t require a lot of space or any special equipment. They can be used in the classroom or with your own kid(s) at home.

Give Yourself a Hug (body awareness; self-compassion)
Number of Players: 1+ 
Materials: None 
Recommended Ages: 2-6 
How to Play: Tell the children to wrap their arms around themselves and give themselves a gentle hug. How does that feel? Next, instruct them to move their hands up and down their arms. Have them squeeze a little tighter and notice how that feels. Do they like a tight hug or gentle squeeze better?

Mindful Touch (five senses) 
Number of Players: 1+ 
Materials: Blindfold, small objects, bag or pillowcase 
Recommended Ages: 3 and up 
How to Play: Each player takes a turn to be blindfolded. When it’s their turn, they should try to guess the object in the bag by using their sense of touch. (Try to make the objects something children would be familiar with such as a comb, pencil, sunglasses, etc.)

Penny Walk (mindful movement) 
Number of Players: 1+ 
Materials: Pennies 
Recommended Ages: 4 and up 
How to Play: Give each child a penny. Instruct them to walk while balancing the penny on their bare feet or shoes. This is harder than it sounds and is good practice in dealing with frustration. If one coin becomes easy, then try two coins.

See the Rainbow (five senses, meditation)
Number of Players: 1+ 
Materials: None 
Recommended Ages: 4 and up 
How to Play: This is a meditation that allows the children to keep their eyes open. Ask them to look all around the room and notice all of the red things. Next, say a different color and tell the students to notice all the things that color. (Do this silently, without sharing what they see.) Continue changing the color until you have made it through the rainbow.

Something special happens when children practice yoga and engage in games. They are most likely unaware that it’s happening, but they are actually learning crucial skills and behaviors that will carry them throughout life.

In Yoga Games and Activities for Children I focus on games as well as poses because it’s important to remember that just learning and holding yoga poses with children is not enough. Kids love to play! Children find success in yoga because there is no competition. It is all about individual progression, which in turn allows any child to enjoy yoga.

Adapted from Go Go Yoga for Kids, Vol 3: Yoga Games & Activities for Children. ©2020 by Sara J. Weis.

About the Author

Sara J. Weis is an elementary school teacher, kids’ yoga instructor, and teacher trainer. She is the author of Go Go Yoga for Kids: A Complete Guide to Using Yoga with Kids, Yoga Lessons for Children, and Yoga Games & Activities for Children. She is also the creator of the Kids Yoga Challenge Pose Cards and The Kids Yoga Challenge App. Additionally, Sara has taught thousands of adults how to successfully teach yoga and mindfulness to children in her online Kids Yoga and Mindfulness Teacher Training.

additional related posts: