Many kids’ yoga classes incorporate games. Long Island-based Katie Feldman has gone a few steps further.
A children’s yoga teacher for five years, Feldman developed her own games with her students. Now she has just produced five professional versions of these as part of her company, Spiraling Hearts Yoga Games & Activities.
Yoga Bingo ($29.50), where you match and practice 16 yoga poses, gives each player a bingo card; players draw cards and have to perform a pose to get a chip. This game, for kids 5 and up, is for two to six players and is a great interactive alternative to a static board game. Instead of shouting ‘Bingo!’ when you complete four poses in a row, you call out ‘Yoga!’
The Matching Game ($19.50) has three decks of cards — one with kids doing yoga poses, one with kids doing poses plus the name of the pose, and one with a photo symbolizing the pose. Depending on the age of the child (this game is for ages 4 and up), you can match photos, or match the pose to its photographic representation. More than a simple memory game, it also teaches yoga poses.
Feldman came to yoga taking classes with her older daughter. Creating the games was a “family project”. Her now-teenage daughters, Jessica and Melissa, took the photos used in the games, and the children featured in the photographs are volunteers from her classes.
Spiraling Hearts games debuted at Toy Fair 2007 and are just hitting retail shelves; they can be found at Balance Yoga and Healing Arts, in Huntington, and Yoga Rocks, in Oyster Bay. They are also sold at www.spiralinghearts.com. Feldman contributes a portion of sales to children’s charities, including Boys & Girls Club of America and Kids Peace.
Other games include the new age-y Chakra Energy ($29.50), where kids collect chakras, colored chips that symbolize different bodily energy centers; and Sun Salutation ($19.50), a step-by-step game to learn its 12 poses. The Simply Hearts book ($17.50) encourages kids as young as 2 to find the hidden hearts in 19 different illustrations from lion to mouse (all drawn by Feldman); an instruction guide describes each pose for at-home learning.
Feldman continues to teach 16 yoga classes a week, and is developing more games to help kids “learn yoga through play.”