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June 24, 2012

Four Yoga Games for Toddlers and Preschoolers. ~ Ariadne Brill

Helping children feel calm, centered and connected.

Toddlers and preschoolers naturally live in the moment and love to play. Yoga games are a  natural and fun way to enhance on this wonderful ability that children have.

Today I am sharing four games that can help children feel more centered, calm and connected to their parents. No yoga experience is needed to play these games. Simply follow along the descriptions and enjoy!

Bee Breathing

Benefits: The natural vibration of humming has a fantastic calming effect

How to Play:  Invite everyone to pretend to be buzzing bumblebees. Simply start by humming as you walk, run, hop and buzz around the room. As you are playing, invite children to feel their face as they hum to observe how it is soft and makes their whole face vibrate. Invite everyone to buzz into the hive by sitting in a circle together. Together, buzz loudly, buzz softly, buzz very quietly, breathing deeply in between and invite the busy bee’s to think about happy things!

The Seesaw

Benefits: Using touch and team work help children feel caring, supported and connected.

How to play: Sit facing each other, legs placed straight and feet touching. Let your child explore your feet with hers. Lean forward and take each other’s hands. If you can’t reach, that’s okay, place your legs into a V formation and bring the child closer. Arms stretched, hand in hand, slowly seesaw back and forth, taking nice breaths as you move together. Next, take turns pulling each other forward, as far forward as you can go, pausing as you try to touch your nose to your knees as far as you can, gently so as to not stretch too quickly. Chanting see…saw…see…saw…as you play can be very calming too.

Up On the Rooftop (Activity pictured above)

Benefits: This game is all about connection, balance and having fun.

How to play: Facing each other so you are about the same height (parent may need to kneel down), stretch your arms until hands touch. Press hands into each other and step forward so your elbows are bent downwards. Smile, here comes the tricky part! Keeping hands together press forward so your hands go up and over your head so you form a triangle shape with your arms like a rooftop. The shape does not need to be perfect, this is more about connection then making a perfect pose! Finally, bring your noses close together, breathe, balance, relax and enjoy the giggles that are sure to follow.

The Swinging Gorilla

Benefits: Helps children feel strong, explores flexibility, coordination and being silly

How to play: Start by standing with feet a bit apart. Squat down and touch the ground, keeping knees apart and face forward. Bring your hands onto your knees, without losing the bend in your knees. Create a big circle with your arms, like you are holding a hula-hoop. Gently move your arms from side to side as you softly straighten your knees and bend again, try not to lose your balance. Making gorilla noises, repeat, giggle and repeat again.

Peace & Be Well,

Ariadne

Ariadne has three children; she practices peaceful, playful, responsive parenting. She is a certified parenting educator, loves chocolate and is the creator of The Positive Parenting Connection <http://positiveparentingconnection.net> where she shares inspiration, ideas and resources for parents and care givers.

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Editor: Mel Squarey

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