Sunday, February 24, 2008

Yoga Games for Children: Fun and Fitness with Postures, Movements and Breath (SmartFun Activity Books)… by Danielle Bersma

I work with children. I am a paraprofessional in a special needs school, and was very excited to read this book, to see if there might be anything I could use with our kids.
One of the things that I noticed right away is how many of the games and exercises were done in groups or pairs. This is fantastic in my opinion! It seems to me that these days kids are more isolated than in the past. I am not sure what it is, but I rarely see little girls walking and holding hands or boys roughhousing. Fighting yes, just roughhousing, no. I also have noted that most parents do not hold their children’s hands any more. This is very sad in my opinion, as touch in and of its own is healing. Touch during play is a good thing!

So, I was very pleased to find that there were things that there were games where the kids held hands or leaned back against each other. I believe this helps to build co-operation and understanding.
There are also plenty of games where it is individuals alone. My favorite is Sun Salutations! It incorporates many basic yoga positions, and it will be a lot of fun for the kids. The Mountain is a close runner up. I can just see the kids enjoying those games, and having fun.
The relaxation exercises are ideal as well. Sometimes kids, as well as adults, need to just let it go and breathe. This book gives several examples of how to do this.
I will not be able to use many of these games with my special needs classroom. We have a low functioning group and the understanding is not there in some cases, and the physical abilities are not there in others. My niece is a preschool teacher in a daycare facility, as well as being Assistant Director. She is very excited about trying many of these games with her class! I had a hard time holding onto the book long enough to finish reading it before passing it on. She is thinking that if it works out she can suggest it for other sites in the corporate system she works in .

This book would also be great fun for any family with young or even not so young kids. I raised four kids of my own, and know how valuable that together time is, and there are many fun suggestions here. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has young ones in their life.