It’s summer and the living is easy. Unless the kids are bored and the complaining, whining and fighting begin. Before you let the negative atmosphere ruin the moment, stop and take a deep yoga breath and introduce some simple games to bring everyone back to what summer is all about—family time and fun.

Here is a game that all of my yoga kids love that I call Rhino. Rhino’s have very sharp hearing. Their ears swivel around to hear from all directions. In this game all of the kids sit in child’s pose with thier hands cupped around their ears to help amplify the sound. I go around and pick one person who quietly leaves the group and walks soundlessly to someplace around the room or yard. This person then makes any kind of sound as quietly as possible. The rhinos must listen attentively and point to where they think the sound is coming from. I usually count to three and then everyone opens their eyes to see if there were correct. This game can turn the loudest of groups quiet in just minutes. It helps promote awareness and being present in the moment.

Another great game that quickly turns the screams to silence is called Keys. Sitting in a circle, everyone takes turns passing a set of jangly keys trying not to make a sound. Create a consequence for the key jinglers such as standing in tree pose for three breaths or doing frog hops around the circle. This game helps promote awareness of body movement.

My children have always loved games in which they have to act out a scenario. This game helps children develop self-confidence. Write a list of ideas for your group to act out or just use facial expressions to show different emotions.

Some scenario ideas are:
You just won a million dollars.
You are walking in the woods alone and think you hear someone or something following you.
You have to give a speech in front of your whole class and the pages got mixed up.

For a greater challenge start with one emotion and then switch to another.
You went to buy something in a store that you had saved your money for and discover that you are short 25 cents. When you walk out the store, you find a quarter in the water drain on the sidewalk.