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Play Like Lions

Mind and body are closely connected, and we can help kids learn to use movement as a tool to feel calm and focused. In this activity, inspired by this week’s featured creature, kids move and communicate like fierce and powerful lions! 

The Guide

  • Learn about lions: Watch a video about the African lion from National Geographic kids to learn more about these amazing creatures. 
  • Move and communicate like lions:
    • Stalk and pounce: Invite your child to pick a spot or object outside to focus their eyes on as they pretend to stalk (moving slowly on all fours) through the grass. Kids can alternate between stalking and pouncing, too!
    • Groom: Like housecats, lions spend a lot of time licking their fur to keep clean. Lion tongues have small hooks called papillae that act like a comb when they glide across their fur. Kids can pretend to lick their “paws” and rub their paws over their mane to keep clean.
    • Greet lion friends: Lions rub heads as a way of greeting each other and spreading the family scent. Family members can greet each other like lions by gently nuzzling heads together.
    • Rour: The lion’s roar is the loudest of all the big cats and can be heard 5 miles away! Practice your roars together and see how far your roars can travel. 
  • Lion-inspired mindful movement: Try out lion pose together to release tension and help kids feel feel more focused and in control of body and emotions. See a how-to video of lion pose here.
  • Make a lion’s mane: Offer kids recycled materials, art materials and/or nature objects and invite them to create their own lion's mane to spark imaginative play. To make a mane out of a paper plate, cut out the center of the plate and invite kids to glue construction paper, collage scraps or colorful fall leaves along the outside. Attach a stick to turn your mane into a puppet.

Why is this activity great for kids?

Pretending to be another creature is a super way to help kids learn about animals while also developing empathy. When kids try out different ways to breathe, communicate and move like lions, they feel more present in the moment, experience a calmer nervous system and feel more alert and focused
Lw activity blog

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