Re: Tips for kids class
I have zero problem with games in kid's class if there is a purpose to them related somehow to Aikido. It might just be learning to work together. Or simple life skills like sitting still, focusing, etc.
One game I do every now and then with the kids, especially if I have a range of abilities, is to have them do "rolling" races. But I modified it a bit -- I tell them the goal is not to win, but to "race" together. So you lose if you go too fast or too slow which is defined by how the other kids are going. I like to get 3 lines of kids going side-by-side and try to mix up the kids so more experienced ones will be going when less experienced ones will also be up. So the newer kids who aren't as comfortable rolling and who tend to hesitate a lot learning rolls will often go a bit faster and "get over" some of their hesitation in the excitement of the game. The more experienced kids learn to roll with more control. And overall the idea is for them to become more aware of everything around them, how to "blend" with the other kids, and how to work together. It also reinforces the notion that the more experienced kids are supposed to "take care" of the newer ones. Be it helping out or simply by rolling slower so they can keep up. Teamwork, responsibility, etc.