Want to Play? 7 Principles to Keep the Game Going

I have been a father for a while now, a partner for a bit longer, and a yoga teacher for both adults and for children for even longer… If I have learned one thing from all of the hard work and heartaches that come with those complex relationships, it’s that play is extremely important.

I’m not talking here just about children. Adults are just big kids, pretending to be all grown up, and have made everything so damn serious. Whether it’s relationship, work or yoga, we have weighed it down with seriousness. Just because we are grown, it does not mean that we are mature. Really, we too are still figuring out how to live up to being who we really want to be.

Play is a great place to relieve tension in a relationship, resolve complicated issues without even talking, role-play different scenarios, exchange rolls for a bit, test the boundaries (You can get really kinky here if we are talking about grownups), and most importantly reconnect to each other.

If we talk specifically about children, play helps to develop skills such as planning, problem solving, explaining, conversing, negotiating, empathy, sense of self, self esteem, confidence, resilience, sharing, staying focused, and achieving goals. This translates into curriculum areas covering numeracy, literacy, social and emotional learning and more. Sounds good, right? And that’s why play is coming back into school curriculums and therapy. 

Playing is where it all happens. It is where we develop real skills in positive communication, trust, leadership and so much more. While playing, we learn to take things lightly, laugh about ourselves, and move on. Oh my, how much do grownups need this too.

Fun and play are a social endeavor, it is something we do together; and as such, it is a great way to bring people together. Whether it is children at school, partners, families, or communities.

We all crave connection. We can find some really serious and boring ways to make them happen or strengthen them, or we can just play!

Stress stands in the way of loving relationships, happy families, learning at school, productive work, and functioning communities. Play can be the medicine, care to partake?

So yes, play is important. And to get the most out of play, we need to learn how to play well. 

The principles of awesome play I have gathered I constantly need to remind my children, children in yoga classes, serious adults in yoga teacher trainings, and of course myself. When we forget how to play, quarreling starts; when we play well, we have fun and the game can continue forever!

So here they are:

1. Announce yourself

We need to know what part you are playing in the game, so that we can interact with you in the way you want us too.

Kids version: I’m a princess, I’m a robber, I’m a policewomen, I’m a unicorn…

Grownups version: Wanna play? I feel like dancing, take me out tonight, I’m the leader, as you wish, I’m excited!

2. Yes to everything

Hearing no, is not fun. When I hear you say yes, it feels like you want to play with me. You can redirect the game with your suggestions, but don’t dampen my spirit by denying me all together. If someone says “no”, “you can’t do this”, “you are a monster and not a princess”, “I don’t want to” etc, the game ends. Saying yes keeps it all going.

Kids version: Yes, you are a princess. I’m a dragon and I’m going to eat you alive, RAHHHHHH!

Grownups version: Yes, I want to play. Acro Yoga? I’ll be the base and you’ll be the flyer.

3. Yes! And…

This is the way to keep it all juicy! Yes to everything, AND there is always more! I’m into everything you suggest, I’m so excited, so I’m adding to it even more.

Kids version: 

Kid A – I’m a princess!

Kid B – I’m a dragon!

Kid A – Yes! And I am a prisoner in a castle.

Kid B – Yes! In a very tall tower!

Kid A – Yes! And it is so tall it reaches the clouds!

Kid B – Yes! And I fly around the clouds and I can see you at the window and the tower is on fire!

Kid A – Yes! And the tower is on top of a volcano, and the volcano is erupting!

Kid B – Yes! And there is the biggest lightening storm ever! I’m coming to save you!

Grownups version:

Grownup A – Yes! Let’s do Acro Yoga.

Grownup B – Awesome! And let’s learn one new trick today?

Grownup A – Yes! And should we go out for dinner afterward?

Grownup B – Yes! And I really want to go out dancing too.

Grownup A – Me too! We’ll have an awesome evening!

Grownup B – Oh yes! And when we are all done and tired, I can’t wait to snuggle you all night!

4. Go more with what is fun

Go with what works, move with the flow… Don’t force anything, and don’t insist on a particular way. Whatever works, do more of it; let go of the things that don’t work. 

We are complex beings, and we cannot be everything for everyone, or dream to agree on everything, want the same things, and answer each other expectations to the fullest, so take it easy! 

Take the easy path, and enjoy the journey.

5. Create opposite rolls and twists in the plot

If it is always the same, if the game is not evolving, if it is not exciting enough, one of us, or all of us may lose interest. It takes hard work sometimes, and a lot of energy, to keep the game going. And yes, sometimes we need to break it up for a bit and have some time on our own. 

But really we do want to keep the game going for as long as we can, and to do this we need to be creative, throw in some unexpected characters and events, and be extraordinary at times.

If we both have the same roll, there is not enough happening to keep the game going; there needs to be a bit of a Yin and Yang to keep it electric. At the same time don’t get stuck in one roll, change and evolve to fit the game and the circumstances.

Kids version: We can’t all be doctors in the long run, so there needs to be doctors and patients. Good and bad is a big concept as well, like super-heroes and villains. 

Grownups version: A bit of teasing, and lots of surprise can help in keeping the fire going. Dominating and submissive can work for some, but remember to switch rolls too. 

6. Think in associations

To keep the play going for longer it is important to free our mind and not get stuck on one way to do it. 

Try not to create too many rules, and jump excitedly to the next great idea whenever the energy goes down. Whatever was fun and worked well can be enhanced and taken to the next step by thinking in associations and moving forward in some continuum to something even slightly related. 

When things get to a totally cathartic state, we take it all down to a new beginning.

7. If in doubt, do what everyone else is doing

Sometimes you are out of ideas or just not sure what to do; well, then just tag along and go excitedly with what everyone else is doing. When a great idea comes into your mind, jump right back into the center; until then simply support everyone else’s ideas as long as they agree with your conscious.

If you have other ideas to keep the game going in an awesome way, please share here.

And now, get off your screen, and get out there to play!


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Rainbow Yoga trained more than 30,000 Kids Yoga Teachers since 2007. We make yoga fun for children and young people of all age groups and for the whole family too! Our yoga consists of many poses and stretches that have different physical benefits for our health and well-being, breathing, relaxation, meditation and mindfulness exercises for our minds, and social interaction, playfulness, meaning, deep life lessons and fun for our spirit.

Thinking about the impact of all those amazing certified yoga teachers, educators, parents and therapists we have trained to teach yoga to children and yoga for teens; we are making a huge difference for the next generation bringing peace, love, kindness and resilience into their lives. Education departments, schools, health programs and individuals in many countries have adopted yoga as a form of exercise and a method to decrees stress and increase wellbeing. We are the biggest and most-loved kid’s yoga teacher training in the world and we are here tp provide you with everything you will need to teach successful, exciting, meaningful, engaging and fun yoga to children, teenagers and families.


Rainbow Kids Yoga offers the most comprehensive, practical, and engaging children yoga teacher training certification in the world! Our course will enable you to deliver children yoga classes that will connects your students to themselves, each other, and the environment. Through unique and engaging practices of mindfulness and yoga your students and community will be able to find connections, enhance well-being and thrive as grounded, integrated and well balanced individuals.

At our training, all while having fun, you will become a children yoga instructor through a lot of experiential practice, insightful theory, yoga poses and sequences, mindfulness practices and relaxation. You will learn how to build fun, engaging, and fitness-level-appropriate children yoga classes for all ages, from toddlers to teenagers. At our kid’s yoga teacher training you will find over 300 videos presenting how to make yoga poses accessible and fun! Believe it or not, yoga can be extremely boring for children and for adults too… In Rainbow Yoga, we make yoga in a fun so that children learn easily and want to do more of it. Yoga is so good for you, but for children to want to want to do yoga you will need to learn to spice it all up and this is what our kid’s yoga online teacher training is for!

This is the perfect resource for yoga teachers, parents, educators and therapists to find and discover hundreds of yoga poses, yoga games and mindfulness practices for children in a way that makes it is easy to learn and easy to enjoy.

Yoga poses for kids: Yoga encourages a positive and healthy lifestyle for the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of children as it helps in the development of strength, stamina, and endurance, high levels of positive energy, resilience, focus, self-awareness, and awareness of our environment.

Yoga for children empowers them with increased concentration, calm, peace, and contentment at a mental level leading to inner and outer peace and harmony. The Rainbow Kids Yoga Teacher Training includes a digital manual (a hard copy that can be purchased) as part of the course. This is specialized online yoga teacher training. Here we will focus on how to teach yoga to children and teens, and how to help them release stress, relax, stretch, energize – All in creative and fun ways while taking into consideration their unique needs, whether they are physical, social, mental, or emotional. 

You will learn to teach the youngest yogis and those with emotional and mental challenges techniques to assist them with impulse control and self-regulation. Our courses provide a platform and a foundation to promote the healthy development of the hearts, bodies, and minds of young individuals.

The Rainbow Kids Yoga Training is the largest and most well-regarded Kids Yoga Teacher Training in the world. Our graduates teach everywhere using our diploma including schools, kindergartens, daycare centers, early learning centers, Yoga studios, gyms, fitness centers, birthday parties, private and group classes and more.



Join our Yoga Revolution and become a kids’ yoga teacher today through our online yoga teacher training or in-person yoga certification courses. You will be left with a smile on your face, a wealth of knowledge and an ignited spirit to spread the love and joy of yoga.

For our online training, you can allow 24 hours to receive your access and for physical products such as the Rainbow Kids Yoga Book, you can allow 2-4 weeks to receive it by mail. The books are printed on demand before being shipped, but it is worth the wait 😊


Rainbow Yoga is a fun and constantly evolving family mission and lovingly born in 2007, to give people the tools to teach fun, engaging, and creative in=person and online yoga classes for kids, teens, families, partners, and communities. Rainbow Yoga is interactive and social and all about connection; we touch, hug, move, breathe and co-create together our yoga magically and playfully.

Rainbow Yoga offers a variety of unique and comprehensive teacher training certification courses all over the world offering a well-rounded, in-depth learning experience through a combination of play, practical theory, and fun.The Rainbow Yoga Teacher training is renowned for being captivating, dynamic, loving, and life changing. It is condensed with a lifetime of knowledge and hands-on experience from the Founders of Rainbow Yoga, Gopala, and Angel Yaffa. Delivered by world-class faculty around the world.