Last month we were lucky enough to be sent a packet of some Mindful Munchkins yoga cards.
Before writing up a blog review I wanted my little Miss (Indiana, 5) to test them out for a decent amount of time beforehand so we could give a true account, rather than just reviewing from a one-time play.
I should mention that Indiana attends a kids yoga and mindfulness class weekly and has done so for the past year, so she genuinely enjoys practicing and was familiar with a lot of the card poses. Although some of the names are different from the traditional yoga pose names – she really connected with the instructional rhymes and was able to get herself into most poses by simply listening to the short instructions without me physically needing to help.
Indiana has played with the cards on 8 different occasions within the month, and each time she has come up with a new way to engage with them. A few examples include, lining all of the cards up beside each other and practising each pose one after another, trying to teach her 15-month old brother some poses (and surprisingly he has been a willing participant, nailing the downward dog pose!) and of course putting together her own routine to display to anyone who is happy to sit and watch (thanks friends and grandparents ).
The cards arrived in a super cute reusable drawstring bag, which I personally prefer compared to a cardboard box because we have found all of our card game boxes eventually wear down. Especially with kids who want to try and pack their own stuff away, yet those dexterity skills are still being developed (a.k.a the box gets worn and torn and cards get lost). So the bag was a huge win for us! The cards are laminated and come with rounded corners to help decrease the chances of papercuts.
I think any intentional mindful practice with kids is a great way to slow down. It is truly amazing how unexpectedly, Indiana will focus on her breath and say things like “Mum, pretend you are blowing out a candle”, or “I think we need to try our tree poses because I’m getting so frustrated!” from her previous yoga class experiences. Don’t get me wrong though, there are still times where different emotions cannot or are not expressed and acknowledged through a simple tree pose, but rather through a meltdown!
However, if we can add some mindfulness practice into our children’s lives, we are giving them a chance to practice and develop their emotional intelligence. From a scientific perspective, the research on mindfulness has only been seen as positive.
So if you are looking at a way to engage in some yoga (which incorporates mindful play) for your child or children aged between 2-8 years, then these handy little cards are a great option. Kids can turn themselves into frogs, mountains, trees, sharks, surfers and more. The illustrated yoga cards would also be an ideal resource tool for not only parents but teachers too.
Check out the Mindful Munchkins store where you can order the physical cards that we have or download A4 size cards to print from their website here.