At first glance I wasn’t so sure I’d find this yoga app useful but when I tried it out with our 6-year-old group kids, I was pleasantly surprised. Presented in a story format with water color illustrations, the I Am Love app shows 2 children going on an adventure in Egypt, looking at mountains, flying like laughing doves, finding sea turtles, riding dolphins and so on until the final relaxation.
Several aspects of this app were particularly interesting for our kiddos and me. First, the story is continuous, connecting the poses to each other. This creates opportunities for fluid movement rather than assuming one pose and then another. For example, the “mountain” pose turns into the “laughing dove”, diving down and “kissing knees” before landing at the bottom and seeing a “thirsty lizard”. Secondly, the story itself is a guided visualization. We have only had the opportunity to use this app once in group but I am eager to try it several times to appreciate the effect of the guided imagery with repetition and familiarity. Thirdly, each page contains little added extras in 3 corners of the page. Click on the “pose” corner and children demonstrating how to assume the pose will be revealed along with verbal instructions. Click on the “Breathe” button in the upper left corner and the page actually breaths with you, as the picture gets smaller and larger. Click on the “Guess What?” button in the lower left corner and facts about nature and the body are explained.
Returning from active play is always a tough transition for kids who struggle with self-regulation. Often, I find that moving directly into yoga is not effective, as it requires the kids to shift sets a little too quickly. The I Am Love app proved to offer the just right level of activity, cognitive interest, visual stimulation, and slowly winding down movement to ensure an easier transition. I am looking forward to using it again soon.
Jill Perry MHA, MS OTR/L
If you like these ideas, be sure to check out the nearly 80 activity ideas for promoting social cognition in our Social Adventures Apps.