More and more schools and educational institutes are showing a keen interest in Laughter Yoga. Many Laughter Yoga professionals want to update their knowledge and skills when doing Laughter Yoga with school kids. I have done several presentations in Indian schools, and here are some guidelines I would like to share with you:
Sitting vs Standing – Children love Laughter Yoga but at times they can get very excited while doing laughter exercises and are likely to get out of control. Mostly, I do laughter sessions in the morning assembly in the presence of their teachers and principals. In case, I conduct the session in the classrooms I ask them to sit on chairs as it is easier to control them while they are sitting.Normally, children do not need to know much about Laughter Yoga, but you should tell them about the concept, benefits and the different steps of Laughter Yoga in a simple way. Remember, to keep your explanation short and to the point as children are easily distracted.Start leading the session step by step (warming up, breathing, cheers like very good very good yay) Do not talk about childlike playfulness because they are children. This you need to tell the adults. For children, positive cheers and positive affirmations will work.Jumping & Laughing: Children love to laugh and jump around. Therefore, modify the exercises and make them more dynamic. For example, instead of doing cell phone laughter walking around, do this exercise jumping and switching the sides from left to right.Breathing and laughing: The new style of breathing for children is stretching your arms out and while breathing in bring the fist closer to the chest and say Hold it Hold it thrice, and while exhaling slap your thighs and laugh while running around.
Here are some exercises that you can do with children:
Exercises With Animal Themes
Let them take turns picking out what animal they are all going to be – Elephant, rabbit, penguin, chicken, lion, snake, bird etc. Create laughter exercises around these animals using their sounds and movement and watch the children really enjoy the session.
Call And Response
Play games like follow the leader and make them respond to Ha, (ha) Ha, ha (ha,ha) hahahaha (hahahaha) etc.
Make them do exercises with sports as a theme and create new variants to hold their attention: Here are some games that you can weave together with laughter.
Baseball, Cricket, Weight lifting, Sumo fighting, Rocket to the moon, Tarzan, Mexican wave laughter, Action oriented
Use action theme to motivate the kids as they love to imagine themselves as super heroes and want to do daring acts. Try to incorporate the following in your exercises.
Pop corn laughter, Ants-in-their-pants, Ice down the back, Hot sand, Red light/green light laughter, Electric shock, Wide mouth fish laughter, Peek-a-boo or shy laughter, Aloha Laughter, Singing ha ha choirs
Singing and dancing are two elements that come naturally to kids. Make the most of them and use them in your session.
The Tootsie Roll, Banana Mango Kiwi, Ho ho ha ha grounding dance, Gibberish Songs
Teach them to sing and talk and even argue in gibberish. Tell them that next time when their mom gets mad at them they should talk to her in gibberish.
Popular Children Songs
Intersperse your sessions with lots of songs that will keep the children happy and excited. Try the following:
I love my body; every little cell in my body is well
Do the hokey pokey
If you are happy and you know it clap your hands