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Mindful Movement Programming for Kids: 4 ways to incorporate play to teach kids to move mindfully

In the first edition of this series, Merrithew Instructor Trainer Joe McCarthy shares some of his favorite ways to mix games with mindful movement for kids.

Working with kids can be a lot of fun, and mixing in games with Mindful Movement helps keep their interest piqued while aiding in their coordination balance and cognitive training. Some of the games I like to include in my kids’ classes are:

Kids Yoga Foam Disk Flying Foam Disk Tosses
Throwing the Flying Foam Disks around with a partner or as a group is great excitement for kids and works on their balance, leg strength, coordination and ankle control. The Flying Foam Disks are easy to grip and safe to toss and crawl over, making movement feel more like a game.

Agility Ladder Agility Ladders
Moving forward, backward or sideways through the Agility Ladder is a fun way to challenge their balance, coordination and speed. You can set this up circuit-style and incorporate matwork exercises so some kids are on the mat while others are doing the Agility Ladder drills.

Agility Cones Training Cones and Agility Disks
Mix up these colorful cones and disks for some spider drills. The kids will be running and laughing the whole time as you call out which cone or disk they should run to next. Try to surprise them to keep them on their toes!

Breathing exercise Breathing exercises with fluffy pompoms
This is an easy and fun way to teach kids the importance of the breath in exercise. Place a mini pompom on the back of the mat and have them try to blow it across the length of the entire mat. To strengthen their breath, have them practice with fewer breaths each time until the pompom reaches the other side of the mat.

What are some ways you mix games with Mindful Movement? Share your ideas in the comments.

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