Skill Practice through Movement & Play

Age Group: PreK - 5th 

Number of Students: At least 4 students; more will make a better sound

Duration: 10-15 minutes +


Students will follow the leader as they create a calming rain sound using their hands and bodies.


  • Open space


Note: This game is played with the teacher as the leader, and with the students following. This game signifies a rainstorm starting soft, getting louder and louder until it is pouring, with lightning and thunder, and then the calm after the storm when it is quiet again.

  1. Gather students in an open space.
  2. First, silently rub your fingers together, and the students do the same.
  3. Then you rub your two hands together, making a very soft sound, and the students follow.
  4. Next you very softly clap your hands together while the students follow. (It should still be quiet.)
  5. Then snap your fingers.
  6. Now go back to clapping and clap a little louder than you were snapping.
  7. Then a little louder.
  8. Then clap loudly.
  9. Then stomp your feet and clap, making a lot of noise.
  10. Now do it in reverse until it is silent again.
  11. Questions?
  12. Begin game

Reflection Questions:

  1. How did the noises make you feel?
  2. How did performing each action make you feel? (Rubbing hands together, snapping, clapping, etc)
  3. Have you ever felt like you were in a situation that felt like a rainstorm? How could you use this game to help you calm down?

(Teach these poses for the games the students will play next week)

Age Group: PreK - 5th  

Number of Students: 2 students +

Duration: 20 minutes +


Students will learn and practice a variety of yoga poses for strengthening their bodies and finding balance and calm.


Open space


  1. Gather students in an open space
  2. Teach yoga poses and practice several times. See if you can connect several poses together! (Guide pictures are below.)
  3. Questions?
  4. Begin yoga practice.

Halloween Cat Pose:

Have you ever seen a scary, Halloween cat? They love to make this shape with a rounded back.

  • Make a table with your body
  • Bring your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips to get on all fours
  • Find a flat back, like a table!
  • Round your back like a Halloween cat!
  • Tuck your chin and tail under
  • Meow!


Playful Doggie Pose 1:

 Do you have a dog? Have you ever seen your pet stretch in these funny positions?

  • Start in your table position on all fours, like how you made your cat!
  • Tuck your toes and press your hips up to the sky! You’ll make a triangle shape.
  • Don’t forget to wag your tail!

Playful Doggie Pose 2:

  • After playful doggie pose 1, drop your hips and legs to the floor and look out and up!
  • You can keep switching from playful doggie pose 1 and 2!

Quiet Mouse Pose:

Can you be quiet as a mouse? You may not have a mouse as a pet, but you might have a hamster or Guinea Pig. Or you might see your pet cat chasing a mouse!

  • Sit on your heels with your knees forward
  • Fold forward and bring your head to the mat
  • Let your arms hang by your side
  • Can you stay quiet as a mouse?

Sleepy Rabbit Pose:

Let’s take a little nap and sleep like rabbits do! After a long day of hopping, rabbits get tired and need to take a rest.

  • Sit on your heels again, and fold your head forward, like your mouse pose!
  • Can you grab the back of your heels?
  • Now try to lift your hips up to the sky!
  • Now take a nap, you sleepy rabbit!

Slow Turtle Pose:

Have you read the story of the Tortoise and the Hare? A turtle is similar to a tortoise and they move very slowly and take their time! Maybe it’s their hard, heavy shell!

  • Take a seat and open your legs wide in a straddle
  • Bend your knees!
  • Fold forward and see if you can reach your arms under your knees!
  • Can you try to move or wiggle your way across the room like a turtle?

Jumping Frog Pose:

Have you ever had a pet frog? It’s hard for them to sit still! They have long legs for jumping and hopping! Let’s try and hop like a frog.

  • Start standing with your feet open wide
  • Bend your knees and sit as low to the ground as you can
  • Don’t forget to keep your knees open wide!
  • Now try and jump up high! Say Rib-bet!
  • Make sure to bend your knees when you come back down!
  • How many hops can you do?
  • Can you hop all the way across the room?
  • Whew! Watch out, your legs will get tired!


Puppy Pose:

Puppies are a lot of fun and have tons of energy! They need some down time too to stretch and rest. Can you make your best puppy pose?

  • Start in your table shape
  • Keep walking your hands forward to bring your heart to the floor
  • Can you feel a stretch in your belly?
  • Puppies like to take deep stretches like this!


Balancing Bird Pose:

Have you ever noticed birds standing perfectly on a perch without falling? Have you ever seen them stand on one leg like a Flamingo? They have great balance and grace! Can you try to balance like a bird?

  • Start standing
  • Give yourself a big hug around your shoulders!
  • Sit like you’re going to sit in a chair
  • Can you try to cross one leg over the other?
  • Don’t lose your balance!

Flying Bird Pose:

Birds are such amazing animals! Not only can they balance, but they can spread their wings and soar! Have you ever wanted to fly? Let’s take a flight!

  • Start standing
  • Can you kick one leg behind you?
  • Try to bring your body level with the floor
  • Find a flat back! Can you feel your tummy engage?
  • You can bring your arms by your side or open them in an airplane!
  • You’re flying!

Slithering Snake Pose:

Do you have a pet snake? They are reptiles and don’t have any arms or legs! They have to move by wiggling their body! They also shed their own skin and can eat a mouse in one bite!

  • Start lying on your belly!
  • Place your hands under your shoulders
  • Lift your head and heart off of the floor and wiggle like a snake
  • Keep your feet flat to the floor!

Fluttering Butterfly Pose:

Have you ever had an insect for a pet? Some kids like to catch insects and keep them for a while then let them go back outside. Have you ever had a caterpillar? If you keep it long enough, it will build a cocoon and turn into a butterfly! Some zoos have butterfly gardens where they house tons of these beautiful, flying creatures!

  • Start seated
  • Bring your feet together like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich!
  • Let your knees open wide and flutter!
  • Be careful not to fly away!

Lizard Pose:

Maybe you haven’t had a snake as a pet, but you might have had a lizard. A lizard is another reptile. They have long tongues and like to stick them out!

  • Start in a table position
  • Step one foot to the top of the mat
  • Step your other foot to the back of the mat
  • Open your foot at the top of the mat all the way to the side
  • Bring your hands inside of your foot and wait for a fly - stick out your tongue and catch one!



Reflection Questions:

  1. What was your favorite yoga position? Why that one?
  2. How did you feel trying all of these different yoga positions?
  3. Why do you think yoga is important for your mind and body?
  4. When do you think it is a good time to try yoga?

Age Group: PreK - 5th 

Number of Students: 4 students +,  need an even number

Duration: 10-15 minutes +


Students will practice working together to blow a pom pom ball across the room and back.


  • Open space
  • Straws for each student
  • several pom pom balls


  1. Gather students in an open space and divide into even teams. You can have as many teams as you like, as long as there are at least 2 people on a team. (If 10 students, do two teams of 5; 16, do two teams of 8 or four teams of 4, etc).
  2. Have students line up behind one another in their teams at one side of the room. Make sure each student has their own straw and each team has a pom pom ball. *Note: it might be helpful to make sure each team has a different color ball to ensure they do not get mixed up during the relay race.*
  3. Explain the game.

Instructor: “We are going to race each other and use our breathing skills to move a pom pom ball across the room and back. Team member #1 from each team will start. They will use their straw and blow the ball to the other side of the room and back to their team. They will sit behind the last person of the team and team member #2 will blow their ball to the other side of the room and back and then sit behind team member #1. This will continue until all team members have gone and the last team member comes back and sits at the back of their team line.”

  1. Demonstrate how to blow through the straw to move the pom pom ball.
  2. Questions?
  3. Begin game

Note: Since this is also a breathing exercise relay, make sure to not make the space from one side of the room to the other very long. Use the short side of the gym, OR cut the long side of the gym in half or in a third to make it shorter.

Reflection Questions

  1. Did you face any challenges during the game? What were they?
  2. What did you notice about your breathing while playing? Did you have much control over your breathing?
  3. How do you think you can improve your breathing?

Age Group: PreK - 5th  

Number of Students: 2 students + 

Duration: 15-20 minutes +


Students will practice mindful movement by creating shapes with their bodies, then learning a few breathing exercises. 


  • Open space


Body Shapes

  1. Gather students in an open space
  2. Draw a shape on a whiteboard or a piece of paper; everyone must try to make that shape with their body. (Good figures to use are circles, lines, and certain letters.) This can be done individually, in pairs, or in small groups
  3. Questions?
  4. Begin game


  1. See if the students can tell a story with their shapes or connect them all to make a dance
  2. In groups, have all students connect and make one large shape as a unit.
  3. A fun challenge in pairs or groups is to see if they can make the shape while working together silently.


  • Rainbow Breath
    • To do the Rainbow Breath, breathe in as your arms go straight overhead. As you breathe out, arc your arms to the sides in a downward motion creating an imaginary rainbow.
  • Square or Box Breath
    • Breathe in to a count of four, and hold the breath for a count of four. Then breathe out to a count of four, and wait for a count of four before breathing again. You’ll have to play with this a bit to find your perfect rhythm. Kids often like to draw a square in the air while they breathe, to help them stay on track.
  • Sphere Breath (Can also be done with hoberman sphere)
    • Put your fingertips together and form a sphere with your two hands. As you inhale, inflate the sphere. As you exhale, flatten your hands together. Imagine your belly filling with air as your hands expand to form a sphere.
  • Darth Vader or Ocean Breath
    • Kids love this one. Breathe in deeply through your nose. Keeping your mouth closed, exhale while you make a “Darth Vader”–type noise in the back of your throat. If your kid isn't a huge Star Wars fan, you could also refer to this as “Ocean Breath” and describe the sound as the sound of the ocean.
  • Mountain Breath
    • This breath can be done sitting or standing. As you inhale through your nose, raise your arms as high as you can and bring your palms together high over the top of your head. Imagine you are as tall as a mountain. As you exhale through your mouth, bring your palms together in front of your chest.
  • Dandelion Breath
    • Sit up and let your spine grow tall. Imagine a soft dandelion flower. Take a deep breath in and then blow the air out slowly, sending the seeds into the air. Repeat three times.
  • Counting Breath
    • Sit up and let your spine grow tall. Take a deep breath in, counting silently 1 . . . 2 . . . 3. Then let your breath out, counting silently 1 . . . 2 . . . 3. Repeat three times.
  • Belly Breath
    • Lie down on your back. Place one hand on your chest. Place your other hand on your belly. Take slow deep breaths and feel your chest and your belly move up and down as the air goes in and out of your body. Repeat three times.
  • Balloon Breath
    • Lie down on your back and let your hands rest by your sides, palms up. Inhale through your nose and imagine filling your body with breath like a big balloon. Exhale and blow the air out through your mouth. What color is your balloon? Repeat three times.

Reflection Questions:

  1.   What was your favorite breathing technique and why?
  2.   Which shapes felt awkward and which felt natural in the body?

3.   What will you try next time you are stressed and need to calm down?

Note: From this selection, pick and choose what’s best for your students.

Age Group: PreK - 5th

Number of Students: At least two students or more, need even pairs of students

Duration: 15-20 minutes +



Students will learn and practice mindfulness


  • Open space
  • Optional Props (see “Instructions with Props” section)

Instructions: Activities with No Props

Body Scan

  • The body scan is a key practice in mindfulness, and an easy one to teach to children.
  • Have your kids lie down on their back on a comfortable surface and close their eyes;
  • Then tell them to squeeze every muscle in their body as tight as they can.
  • Tell them to squish their toes and feet, squeeze their hands into fists, and make their legs and arms as hard as stone;
  • After a few seconds, have them release all their muscles and relax for a few minutes;
  • Encourage them to think about how their body is feeling throughout the activity (Roman, 2015).
  • This simple exercise gets kids to be more aware of their bodies and helps them find a way to be present in the moment.

Heartbeat Exercise

  • Paying attention to one’s heartbeat has a role in many mindfulness exercises and activities. To begin, tell your kids to jump up and down in place or do jumping jacks for one minute.
  • When they have finished, have them sit down and put a hand over their heart. Instruct them to close their eyes and pay attention only to their heartbeat and, perhaps, their breath as well (Roman, 2015).
  • This exercise teaches children to notice their heartbeat, and use it as a tool to help their focus. These skills will come in handy as they start engaging in more advanced mindfulness activities.

Mindful Posing

  • One easy way for children to dip their toes into mindfulness is through body poses. To get your kids excited, tell them that doing fun poses can help them feel strong, brave, and happy.
  • Have the kids go somewhere quiet and familiar, a place they feel safe. Next, tell them to try one of the following poses:
  • The Superman: this pose is practiced by standing with the feet just wider than the hips, fists clenched, and arms reached out to the sky, stretching the body as tall as possible.
  • The Wonder Woman: this pose is struck by standing tall with legs wider than hip-width apart and hands or fists placed on the hips (Karen Young, 2017).
  • Ask the kids how they feel after a few rounds of trying either of these poses. You may be surprised.


  • While on the subject of superheroes, this can be a related “next step” to teach kids how to stay present.
  • Instruct your kids to turn-on their “Spidey senses,” or the super-focused senses of smell, sight, hearing, taste, and touch that Spiderman uses to keep tabs on the world around him. This will encourage them to pause and focus their attention on the present, opening their awareness to the information their senses bring in.
  • This is a classic mindfulness exercise and encourages observation and curiosity—great skills for any human to practice.


  • The Safari exercise is a great way to help kids learn mindfulness. This activity turns an average, everyday walk into an exciting new adventure.
  • Tell your kids that you will be going on a safari: their goal is to notice as many birds, bugs, creepy-crawlies, and any other animals as they can. Anything that walks, crawls, swims, or flies is of interest, and they’ll need to focus all of their senses to find them, especially the little ones (Karen Young, 2017).

Instructions: With Props

  • Blowing bubbles. Have your kids focus on taking in a deep, slow breath, and exhaling steadily to fill the bubble. Encourage them to pay close attention to the bubbles as they form, detach, and pop or float away.

    Pinwheels. Use the same tactics from blowing bubbles to encourage mindful attention on the pinwheels.

    Playing with balloons. Tell your kids that the aim of this game is to keep the balloon off the ground, but have them move slowly and gently. You can tell them to pretend the balloon is very fragile if that helps.

    Texture bag. Place several small, interestingly shaped or textured objects in a bag. Have each child reach in and touch an object, one at a time, and describe what they are touching. Make sure they don’t take the object out of the bag, forcing them to use only their sense of touch to explore the object.

    Blindfolded taste tests. Use a blindfold for each child and have them experience eating a small food, like a raisin or a cranberry, as if it was their first time eating it.

Use a Chime

  • Relay the following instructions to your kids:
  • Please get into your mindful bodies–still and quiet, sitting upright, eyes closed.
  • Now place all your attention on the sound you are about to hear. Listen until the sound is completely gone.”
  • Ring a “mindfulness bell,” or have a student ring the bell. Use a bell with a sustained sound or a rainstick to encourage mindful listening.
  • Please raise your hand when you can no longer hear the sound.”
  • When most or all have raised their hands, you can say, “Now slowly, mindfully, move your hand to your stomach or chest, and just feel your breathing.”
  • You can help students stay focused during the breathing with reminders like, “Just breathing in … just breathing out …
  • Ring the bell to end.

The Mindful Jar

    • This activity can teach children how strong emotions can take hold, and how to find peace when these strong emotions feel overwhelming.
    • First, get a clear jar (like a Mason jar) and fill it almost all the way with water. Next, add a big spoonful of glitter glue or glue and dry glitter to the jar. Put the lid back on the jar and shake it to make the glitter swirl.
    • Finally, use the following script or take inspiration from it to form your own mini-lesson:


  • “Imagine that the glitter is like your thoughts when you’re stressed, mad or upset. See how they whirl around and make it really hard to see clearly? That’s why it’s so easy to make silly decisions when you’re upset – because you’re not thinking clearly. Don’t worry this is normal and it happens in all of us (yep, grownups too).


    • [Now put the jar down in front of them.]


  • Now watch what happens when you’re still for a couple of moments. Keep watching. See how the glitter starts to settle and the water clears? Your mind works the same way. When you’re calm for a little while, your thoughts start to settle and you start to see things much clearer. Deep breaths during this calming process can help us settle when we feel a lot of emotions” (Karen Young, 2017).


  • This exercise not only helps children learn about how their emotions can cloud their thoughts, but it also facilitates the practice of mindfulness while focusing on the swirling glitter in the jar.
  • Try having the kids focus on one emotion at a time, such as anger, and discuss how the shaken verse settling glitter is like that emotion.

Reflection Questions:

  1.   Which exercise resonated with you the most and why?
  2.   Did you find it difficult to practice mindfulness? What do you think would help you?
  3.  What will you practice next time you need to relax and settle your feelings and thoughts?

(Need to review and learn yoga poses from the week before)

Age Group: PreK - 5th

Number of Students: 4 students +

Duration: 15-20 minutes +


Students will test their knowledge of yoga poses and expand their creativity by using clues to create poses.


  • Open space


This can be done in many different ways. It's good to have a group that is familiar with a variety of yoga poses, or if not, first give a brief demonstration of a couple yoga poses to get them familiarized with different postures. This game gets students to use their memory to recall certain poses and to practice motor control. It creates better mind and body connections, as they become more thoughtful about their poses.

How to play #1: 

  • Give students challenges that allow them to come up with a variety of poses.
  • For example, you can say: "I challenge you to demonstrate a pose that requires you to stay balanced," or "I challenge you to think of a pose where both hands are on the ground."
  • As you add more challenges, you can watch their creativity expand. After each challenge, you can try to sequence the poses together.

How to play #2: 

  • This game will help children realize how all of their body parts have advantages and can make them stronger. Call out two different body parts that should be touching the floor or yoga mat and have them show that pose.
  • For example, you could say: “Two hands/Two Feet,” This could mean the children could show down dog, plank, cat, cow, standing forward fold, or a new pose that they invent.
  • There are no wrong poses. It is just a fun way to get your body moving in different ways.

Reflection Questions:

  1.       Were your poses different or similar to others?
  2.       Which scenario was more difficult for you? Which was easier?
  3.       How will you continue to develop your creativity?