Easter was one of my favorite holidays as a child.
I wanted to plan a special Easter lesson for my students this week. A trip to the local dollar store and I had all I needed to have some Easter yoga fun in my classes this week!
We began by sharing what the children liked about Easter or something they did with their family on Easter. I passed around my flower wand and each child got to share their favorite thing about Easter…dying and decorating eggs, Easter baskets, jelly beans, chocolate, Easter egg hunts and of course the EASTER BUNNY!
In honor of the Easter Bunny, we started with a BUNNY BREATH. The children wriggled their noses, preparing to take quick, short breaths through their noses. I love how creative they can be…some of them said they were sniffing around for some carrots.
Next I announced that we were going on an Easter Egg Hunt…The kids were so excited!! I had hidden some plastic eggs around the room with a special surprise inside. Each child got to find one egg and bring it back to their yoga mat. Then one by one, each child opened their egg and found a sticker inside (animals, insects and objects associated with Easter or Spring) and got to lead the class in doing the yoga pose on the sticker.
Some of the Poses we did together were:
Easter Bunny (Rabbit)
Bee (Bumblebee Breath)
They even got to make up some poses like Snail, Chick and Egg Pose.
Hope this inspires you to have Easter fun with your students or kids at home. It’s a great way to reuse those easter eggs for a rainy day activity too!
HAPPY EASTER to everyone!
STICKERS ARE FUN!
I remember having a sticker collection when I was a kid and begging my mom for a pack of stickers whenever we went to the stationery store. To this day, I still love using stickers to make gift wrapping and card giving special.
That’s why one of my favorite (and most inexpensive) props for my yoga classes are stickers.
They come in a variety of shapes and characters…and kids love ‘em!! You can use stickers to teach any yoga theme …
animals, insects, flowers, trees, transportation, dinosaurs, super heroes
the possibilities are endless…
Stickers are also great for special occasions like Valentine’s Day, Easter or Christmas and make an extra special treat for the kids to take something home from yoga class!
The best part about stickers is that you find them at your local Dollar Store or Target in the seasonal or stationery aisle. Here are some I found at Dollar Tree for Valentine’s Day!
Stickers make for a super easy lesson plan because each child gets to choose their favorite sticker and lead the class in the yoga pose. Sometimes they even get to make up their own poses for animals that are not a yoga pose and that is sure to bring lots of laughs!
Part of the fun of teaching yoga is remembering the simple things that put a smile on a child’s face.
Winter lesson plans would not be complete without a Hibernation Theme, which is a great way to introduce the idea of the resting and stillness component of yoga to children. I found another great library book which I got to use in some of my classes last week.
SLEEP, BIG BEAR, SLEEP by Maureen Wright is an amusing tale of a bear who confuses all of Old Man Winter’s warnings to go to sleep with some silly mixed up instructions, like Drive a Jeep, Dive Deep, Climb a Mountain Steep…which takes him on a wild and wacky adventure!
There are lots of yoga poses and fun movements in the book, including:
BUMBLE BEE BREATH
RIDING A JEEP
SWEEPING THE HOUSE
Of course the best part of the book is when the bear finally hears Old Man Winter yell
“IT’S WINTERTIME, NOW GO TO BED!“
This is also the perfect lead in to SAVASANA, where the children got to experience some quiet time to rest their bodies and minds like the bear. To ease them out of relaxation time, I asked children to give themselves a BIG BEAR HUG while turning over to come into fetal position.
The book was a big hit with the kids and we all had lots of laughs and yoga fun!
In honor of Martin Luther King’s Birthday, this week’s theme in my classes was PEACE.
I have been meaning to try one on Todd Parr’s books in my classes and found this awesome one called The Peace Book.
The colorful, quirky illustrations really capture the spirit of diversity and each page has a positive message about the many ways we can create PEACE in the world.
We began with a discussion about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The children shared about his “dream” for all people to get along and be nice to each other. I explained that we could help this dream of peace come true by finding that peaceful place INSIDE through our yoga, OMs, breathing and meditation.
The book has lots of YOGA POSES:
We swam like Sharks and Fish, splashed with our Elephant trunks, slithered around like Snakes, barked in Downward, Upward and 3 Legged Dog, turned into a Buttefly (caterpillar), stretched out while Painting the Sky, offered a HUG to a friend and more… It was so cute to see the children expressing their love for one another.
The message at the end is that each one of us can help make the world a better place!
After SAVASANA, I played Elizabeth Mitchell’s Peace Like a River, which is a catchy, beautiful song that can be done with actions for younger children (see video below). For the last verse, we all held hands and made a CIRCLE of PEACE. I let them know that we can share the PEACE we have insdie with everyone around us and create PEACE in the world.
We has some more Snowy Yoga Fun with this great book A Perfect Day by Carin Berger.
On another trip to my local library (where I have been spending some time perusing the children’s books like I used to as a child), I discovered this great book to use in my classes this week. It never ceases to amaze me how a simple book can turn my yoga classes into a magical field trip to wild and wonderful places! Children just love it when they get to go out on a winter adventure even in the warmth & coziness of their own classroom…
We started class with a Winter’s Breath…I asked the children to take a deep breath in and place their hands out in front of their faces so they could feel the warm air as they exhaled. Then we did a cute SNOWFLAKE MOVEMENT warm-up where we pretended to move and twirl and fall like snowflakes to the ground to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star which can be found on the Intellidancing Youtube page.
The illustrations in A Perfect Day have a vintage collage and playful feel to them and the kids loved all the fun winter activities and yoga poses we got to explore together.
Here are just some of the fun YOGA POSES and MOVEMENTS they loved:
Skiing in CHAIR
DOWNWARD DOG and UPWARD DOG
Building Snowman GROUP POSE (children in CHILD’S POSE for base, some kneeling and making BALLOON BELLY BREATHS and the rest standing with arms outstretched in a circle around them)
Snow Fort (children lined up in two rows with arms outstretched to make a ROOFTOP while one child went inside FORT)
Sledding on our YOGA MAT SLEDS
Snow Angels (Movement then RECLINING STAR POSE)
Warm Hugs (Give yourself a HUG)
Hot Chocolate (Stirring with ARM CIRCLES)
Then I played some soothing music and did a guided visualization which they really enjoyed. Even a snowy day can be an opportunity to take kids on a magical yoga journey!