Need some fresh ideas and games for teaching virtual kids yoga classes?
Or moving to socially distant learning soon and want some refreshers on virtual or distance kids yoga games?
Well, it’s still winter here in Minnesota, and still the pandemic. I’ve been meaning to write this post for forever but something about writing an article about playing yoga games on Zoom was making it all feel so… permanent.
But guess what, 2020 is almost over, and there is brightness on the horizon!
Either way, I wanted to share this collection of kids’ yoga games that work well for virtual learning, distance learning, and socially distance kids’ yoga classes on Zoom or at six feet apart.
If you are a classroom teacher, you can use these games too! Some of them have more yoga poses and sequences than others. Most of them are great for kids in any space though!
I’ve been teaching kids yoga classes virtually since September. Last year I just recorded video classes for my kids starting in March, but this year I got to try out the live Zoom format. It’s so much better than just recording videos! (Not the same as in-person, obviously, but ya know. Take what you can get).
I did end up with a good selection of recorded mini-classes that you can see on my YouTube channel here.
But since September, I’ve been slowly accumulating ideas for teaching virtual kids yoga games and stories over Zoom. Some of these I modified from kids yoga games I already played with my students, and a few of these I found in searches online.
I wanted to compile a list of these fun kids yoga and mindfulness games that work on Zoom or in socially distant settings.
Scroll down to grab a free printable version of the games!
Starter tips for teaching kids yoga classes and games on Zoom
If you can, have them keep their sound on!
I love hearing my students. We have smaller classes on Zoom so it’s not too overwhelming. I can still mute them if needed but I rarely do that. It’s fun to hear their ideas and exclamations, as well as when they nail a tricky pose, like Crow Pose!
Have your students bring props.
Plan ahead with an email, or have a list ready to share when they join. Common props for kids’ yoga classes include stuffed animals, blankets, pom poms or cotton balls, basket or cardboard box, paper, coloring tools, whiteboard, markers, etc.
Once you have a set of students a few times, you can encourage them to make a “yoga class box” to keep their supplies handy for next time!
My students even made Calm Down Glitter Jars with me in one class and those went right in the box!
Play around with the Zoom features. Seriously. They keep rolling out updates too, so make sure to keep checking things out.
Virtual backgrounds, filters, and polls are our favorite features. You also may want to share your screen at times, including sharing your computer’s sound if you use music.
So, how do you really connect with and engage your students over Zoom?
The first rule of connection and engagement is authenticity. Be yourself! Have fun, and bring energy, for sure, but most importantly, be real with your students.
Other ways to engage and connect with your students:
- Share your experiences and emotions
- Ask questions, and let them ask YOU questions
- Learn their names quickly, and their pets, their stuffed animals, and siblings’ names! Then SAY their names often with lots of positive praise and encouragement
- Vary your tone for more excitement and entertainment (I love throwing in random accents and silly voices)
- Have a set outline of class so they know what to expect (I often write it on a whiteboard behind me so they can see it)
- Set the expectation for everyone to participate to ease embarrassment or discomfort of being on screen
- Spotlight your video on Zoom so they see YOU as the biggest picture (this can also lesson video anxiety)
Social / Emotional Connection Games for Zoom
This or That?
This can be a simple SEL warmup game on Zoom. (I also turned it into a yoga game below!). Just give kids two quick options and have them tell you what they prefer IN THAT MOMENT (not for all time). They can write it in the chat, or be off mute and say it out loud. Make sure you go fast, though! Good options:
- Cookies or cake?
- Summer or winter?
- Movies or books?
- Pokemon or Ninja Turtles?
- Elsa or Anna?
- Math or science?
- Pepperoni or cheese?
- Chocolate or vanilla?
- Basketball or Soccer?
- Here’s a huge list!
Would You Rather?
A very similar game to This or That, Would You Rather is often a little sillier and can lead to some long conversations. It works best to call on one kid at a time to answer these so they can talk it out. Again, there is a yoga version of the game below! Here are a few examples:
- Would you rather have a giant tongue or giant feet?
- Would you rather dance like a monkey or dance like a bear?
- Would you rather be a scuba diver or an airplane pilot?
- Would you rather smell like onions or garlic for the rest of your life?
- Here’s another great list!
Truth or Dare
This version of Truth or Dare for kids is “whole group.” This means someone still chooses “Truth” or “Dare” but then the whole group either answers the truth question or does the dare. I start as the person doling out the challenges and questions, but if you have good ground rules (No sex, drugs or harm) then you can let the kids help out as well. Examples:
- Truth: Have you ever snorted milk out your nose?
- Truth: Would you rather have a new pet or a new sibling?
- Truth: Do you sing in the shower?
- Truth: What is your favorite meal that someone makes for you?
- Dare: Balance a spoon on your nose for 10 seconds
- Dare: Go get your toothbrush and brush your teeth on video
- Dare: Do your best Buzz Lightyear impression
- Dare: Show off a Tik Tok dance
- Here’s a great list of more kid-friendly Truth or Dare questions!
Pass a Laugh
A pretty simple game that brings out LOTS of giggles. You start and say “Hey, [someone’s name”]. Then make a silly laugh (be creative!) They have to repeat your laugh back to you in the same way. Then they call on someone else and create a new laugh! Make sure everyone gets a turn. You can let them stay on mute to show they are opting out if needed, but chances are halfway through, everyone will be eager for their turn.
2 Truths and a Lie
Share 3 QUICK things about yourself. Two are true and one is a lie. Let students guess in the chat which number they think is the lie. Give everyone a turn!
Yoga Games to Play on Zoom
This or That? And Would You Rather? With Yoga Poses!
These two yoga-based zoom games are the same as above, but instead of chatting their answer, give them two yoga poses that “match” the options. Then they do the Yoga Pose that corresponds to their choice! It goes a little slower but it’s a great way to get some movement in right away. It also takes a little more planning. I spread out all my kids’ yoga cards ahead of time to try to pick ones that work well with different options.
- With Pizza Pose and Child’s Pose, you can have them choose between “Pizza or Spaghetti and Meatballs”
- Airplane Pose and Horse Pose they can choose between “Superman or Hulk”
- Downward Dog and Cat Pose = Dogs or Cats?
- Locust Pose or Falling Star = Would you rather be able to fly or be invisible?
- Warrior 1 or Warrior 3 = Would you rather win the Olympics or be a secret superhero?
This is a fun one that gives kids the option to choose a pose and try to win against you, the teacher, at the same time!
I recommend using a set of kids’ yoga cards (I like the ABC Yoga Pose Cards) and hold up four, showing them one at a time. Then put a post-it note number 1 – 4 on each one. Hold them all up so the kids see their choices and you CAN’T see the kids.
Once they know their 4 choices, say Go! They choose a pose, and after about 5 seconds, call out a number 1-4. Finally, peek and see what poses they are doing. If you choose the number of the pose they did, I “got” them. If not, they win! We keep going with new poses regardless.
This is a great game for upper elementary and middle school kiddos, they get autonomy and little competition.
Just like you’d expect, Yogi Says is a great option for a kids yoga game over Zoom. Typically it works best and is more fun when you don’t get kids “out,” just say you got them, but they can keep playing.
Honestly, even my 6th and 7th graders still love this game! I mix in more “P.E.” style movements like pushups, jumping jacks, and plank. We really get a lot of movement going with those.
Once you know your students well and have done a few rounds of storytelling yoga with them, give them the option to help you create a silly story! You can have each child pick an animal or a character and have their pose ready. Or you can have them choose a transportation vehicle, or a location.
I like to give them a whole list of options and write them on the board behind me so they can see them during the story. Then, start your story, do a pose and tell a little bit of the adventure. Call on the next child and have them continue! These can be silly and make absolutely no sense, but that’s part of the fun!
Hop Hop Pose
An energetic game that works well on Zoom, or in distance learning. Basically you say, “Hop” a bunch of times in a row, and then name a pose. The kids hop every time you say hop, and they freeze in the pose when you name it.
It works best when they know a lot of the poses, or if you can hold a pose up to the screen for them to see when you say it. Instead of saying “hop,” you can also say, “skip,” “leap,” “roll,” “jump,” “spin,” etc.
Giant Yoga Board Game
Make a big board game on a whiteboard or a big piece of chart paper. Write in yoga poses, movement activities, and board game directions like, “go back 2,” “skip a turn,” “roll again,” etc. Put each child’s name on a post it note.
If they have their own dice, they can roll them at home (or in a distance setting). Or you can use Google’s dice roll feature and share your screen. Move the kiddos across the game board and do the yoga poses with them when they land on those spaces. Try to get to a winner!
Another option is to let kids make their own game board during the class with you.
Tape two of each yoga pose upside down on a whiteboard or large chart paper. Number the backs, or use post it notes to give each card a different number. Let each child pick two to flip over. Do the yoga poses to help you remember. If they are a match, the student gets a point! If they are not a match, turn them back over after doing each pose for a few breaths.
Animal Balance Challenge
Everyone grabs a stuffed animal to use for a balance challenge! Use your animal to balance on various body parts as you go through a sequence. Balance on your head, legs, tummy, arms, shoulders, anywhere you can think of.
Try out special balance challenge sequence here:
Hands and Feet
Go through a kids Yoga Flow, but pay special attention to the number of hands and feet you have on the floor for each pose. Say it out loud for kids and tell them you have a pose challenge for them to try afterwards.
Once you’ve finished the Yoga Flow, tell the kiddos you’ll give them a number of hands and feet and they need to come up with a pose that matches. They’ll get pretty creative with it!
- Two feet, no hands: Warriors, Yogi Squat, Star
- Two hands, one foot: Standing Split, Three Legged Dog, One Legged Wheel.
- One hand, one foot: Side plank, Tiger
- One foot, no hands: Tree pose, Dancer
Use a ball, stuffed animal, or a yoga block . Get a bucket or a basket to set on the floor behind your head at the back of your mat. Use your feet to pick up your animal and try to get it into the basket over your head by rolling into plow pose. See how many times in a row you can get a basket!
Mindfulness Games to Play via Zoom:
Pom Pom Poppers
Use a little pom pom, a cotton ball, or a balled up piece of paper. Cup it in your hands and toss it up and catch it with your hands still cupped. See how many times you can get it in a row! Try it with your eyes closed for an extra challenge. Thanks to Kristi, from Kidding Around Yoga for this fun idea 🙂
Cotton Ball Races
Blow a cotton ball or pom pom across your mat. Race your teammates or teacher! Make it trickier by making little hills in your mart of placing obstacles to go around.
Grab a white board and marker or a notebook and a writing utensil. Instruct the students to draw something relatively simple.
Then, have them erase it or turn the page, put the board on their tummy, and draw the same thing. How does it look this time? Finally, draw the same thing while holding the board on top of your head!
Or with your eyes closed, or with your non-dominant hand.
Set this game up ahead of time with a tray and bunch of small objects. Use everyday recognizable objects and arrange them on the tray so everything is visible. Tilt your screen so the kids can see the tray.
Give them 30 seconds to a minute to memorize as much as they can. Turn off your camera and remove one object. Turn it back on and see who can guess what went missing!
You can also try the version “What’s Different” and instead of using a tray of objects, it could be something about yourself. See if they notice you changed your hair, removed an earring, turned your shirt around backwards, or something else subtle about your physical appearance or surroundings.
The students can then also take a turn changing something about themselves!
This one can be done laying down if you are distanced, or simply by turning off all cameras and turning on sound. The goal is to count to 10 (or 20) without having two people speak at the same time, and without looking at each other. It’s a good game to teach kiddos the importance of taking a turn, or waiting and allowing others to take a turn. You can also spell a word instead of counting. You can keep cameras on for younger kids.
Movement (and some yoga) Games that Work Over Zoom
This is a fun dance activity that I tried with Shari from Karma Kids Yoga. (she has tons of other great zoom game ideas as well!). Get everybody up and standing, and have a playlist of music ready to match different types of families! The idea is to move and dance as if you were all members of this specific family type.
- Family of …circus clowns circus music)
- …hulu dancers (hawaiian music)
- …cowboys and girls (western music)
- …rock stars (heavy metal)
- …ballet dancers (classical music)
- … superheroes (superman music)
- And so many more!
This game has also been called the Leader of the Orchestra, or simply Follow the Leader. One person is selected as the seeker and closes their eyes (or leaves the room). Once the seeker isn’t looking, a Leader is selected. They start doing a movement or a pose. It can be rhythmic, or simply slow and steady.
Once everyone is doing the same movement as the Leader, the Seeker looks at the screen or around the room. They should slowly change who they are looking at. The Leader will slowly change positions or change the movement activity. Everyone else should immediately follow what the leader is doing so as to not give away who it is.
The Seeker has three guesses to figure out who is the leader of the orchestra!
This game can go quickly on Zoom, but it’s still fun to see what movements they try and see if you can keep up with the leader!
Artist and the Clay
Here’s another fun game from Shari of Karma Kids Yoga. One person is the artist and everyone else is the clay. The artist gives the directions to the clay on how they should move their body. “Stand with your feet apart” “Put your left hand on your right knee” “Turn your head to the right,” etc.
It’s fun to see how you can mold and shape the clay students into new and silly poses!
Thanks to Shari, Kidding Around Yoga, and other amazing kids yoga teachers for some of these ideas! I love seeing how folks are being creative and so clever during these crazy times.
Get your free printable version of the list here: