Today, we have tons of awesome ideas for simple activities for kids using one easy prop. Ladies and gentlemen, roll out your yoga mats!
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Therapists, teachers, and parents are notorious for being able to turn even the most mundane materials into super fun activities for kids that efficiently target all kinds of motor skills, cognitive skills, and more!
Below, we have lots of great ideas for turning one of the most simple materials – a yoga mat – into a skill building power house!
Simple Activities for Kids Using a Yoga Mat!
1 || Kneeling
Position the child in tall kneeling with knees on the rolled up yoga mat (with or without feet touching the ground). This is a great position for reaching activities and midline crossing activities. Or try half kneeling with the child’s front foot or back knee on the rolled up yoga mat during reaching activities.
Have kids assist with rolling up the yoga mat when you’re finished using it by walking on knees.
2 || Standing
Position the child in tandem stance on the rolled up mat (how you would walk forward on a balance beam) or in neutral stance with the mat placed horizontally and play catch or even try passing a Zoom Ballback and forth!
3 || Jumping
Use a permanent marker to draw lines on the yoga mat (like a ladder) for kids to jump over or draw a hopscotch board!
Cut the yoga mat into squares and have kids jump between the “lily pads”. You can also write numbers or letters on the squares and call out a sequence for an added auditory processing challenge!
4 || Balance
Using a permanent marker, draw a thick, straight line lengthwise down the mat. Use it as a makeshift balance beam to work on heel to toe walking, walking sideways, or walking backwards. You can also place toys or objects on either side of the line for the child to stoop or bend to retrieve as they walk across the line.
5 || Crawling
Place pillows or cushions under the yoga mat to create an uneven surface and have babies or kids crawl across for a great balance and strength challenge!
A rolled up yoga mat is also a great prop for supporting babies under their tummies in quadruped or under their chests during tummy time!
6 || Stepping
Roll up a few yoga mats and tape them down with painters tape to make an uneven/unsteady step. Have kids practice stepping up onto, down from, or over the mats!
7 || Sensory Input
Use a yoga mat to make a “kiddo burrito”! Have the child lie on the mat at one end and roll him right up in the mat for a calming proprioceptive and tactile squeeze!
8 || Stretching
Roll up a yoga mat and have a child perform tasks in standing (e.g. working at an easel) with heels on the ground and toes on the mat for a passive calf stretch in standing. You can roll the mat as much or as little as needed depending on the child’s range of motion.
9 || Straddling
For babies and toddlers, roll up a yoga mat and use it as a bolster and have them straddle it. Have them reach down to either side to pick up toys or to pick up the pieces of a puzzle to put together. Great core strengthening and midline crossing opportunities here!
10 || Yoga!
Let’s not forget the obvious here. Yoga mats are also great for…you guessed it…yoga! Here’s one of our favorite yoga routines for kids!
Let’s hear it! What are your favorite ways to play with a yoga mat to develop motor skills?
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