The cold weather is upon us and we’ve got to find creative ways to keep kids silly and physical even while we are stuck indoors. The “Animal Yoga” game gets kids away from screens, and inspires bonding, laughter and playing.
Children invent signature moves for their favorite animals and then teach it to their friends. Encourage kids to get really specific and ask them questions about the poses. Use an Animal Encyclopedia (we like The Animal Book by Steve Jenkins or The Book of Animal Poetry, published by National Geographic) to spark new ideas They will love playing the “teacher” to your “student” and taking turns with each other. Pretend Play is elevated when parents and teachers help “scaffold” the playing by asking questions and keeping the games focused and even challenging. “The truth is that play seems to be one of the most advanced methods nature has invented to allow a complex brain to create itself.”
(Stuart Brown, Play: How It Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul)
Not only does this game boosts their confidence, but it gives them an opportunity to practice important gross motor skills, turn-taking and finally gives them a great way to calm their body down in savasna. Dr. Bronwyn Charlton of Seedlings group weighs in on why this game is effective from a child-development standpoint!
Watch here for how to play
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Jocelyn Greene is the Founder of Child's Play in Action a resource that brings play-based inspiration to parents and educators. She is the Founder and Executive Director of Child's Play NY - recognized as among the top theater-arts programs in New York. She trains teachers and works in schools and in her studios, facilitating programs and directing hundreds of children each year. Jocelyn received her BFA from Wesleyan University and her MFA in Acting from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts.