I’m a huge proponent of learning via play. Even my professional development trainings for adults are chock-full of games and activities that everybody enjoys! At the end of a training participants regularly provide the same two pieces of feedback: “I learned so much!” and “This is the most fun I’ve ever had at a training!” Beyond the benefits of kinesthetic learning, I believe that if you’re actively participating, experiencing joy, and having fun while learning, you are more likely to retain the lesson. Of course, this applies to children, and I use a lot of imaginative and creative play in my pediatric Movement, Meditation and Mindfulness sessions. Breathing games, such as the one featured below, demonstrate the power of the breath and a child’s ability to self-regulate and control the breath. This week I’m featuring Air Soccer from Teach Your Child Meditation (Sterling 2018). Of course, I have a ton more fun games up my sleeve, stay tuned for my new book slated for release in late-spring 2022!
Happy breathing (and playing!),
Lisa Roberts xoxo
What is Air Soccer? Air Soccer is a fun game that can be played with friends to explore how the breath works, and how changing the breath can change the way we feel (and improve our air soccer score!).
You will need:
· Straws (thick smoothie straws or regular drinking straws. Paper, of course!)
· ½-1” crafting pom-poms, ping pong balls, or balled up tissue paper
· 2 x shoe boxes or small-medium sized boxes (empty, no lids)
How to play:
· Lay a shoebox on its side with the open part facing in. Set it at one end of a yoga mat, table, or area you are playing. This is your “goal”.
· Set your pom-pom (ping-pong ball or balled up paper) on the playing field.
· Gently blow through a straw and move your pom-pom toward the “goal”. Play against yourself and see if you can get the ball into the goal using the least number of breaths. Challenge yourself and place the goal farther away from your starting point each time you play.
Two or more players:
· Set up “goals” at each end of an open area and allocate one goal to each team. Work together with your teammates to score goals for your team while preventing the opposing team from scoring! The team with the most goals at the end of play will be declared the winning team. (To avoid too much chaos, allocate one area of the playing field per player, including a goalie for each team. If there are only two players, they may cover the full area.)
*Tip: The aim is to have control over the direction your pom-pom rolls – short bursts of breath will send it flying, but you won’t have control. Long controlled exhales will help you direct your ball toward the goals and away from the opposition team! Notice how breathing this way makes you feel.
Ready to learn more? Check out the following on-demand educational webinars: