Yoga is a great way for children to have fun while developing essential skills like coordination, flexibility, and balance. It can also be a great way for parents to bond with their kids while enjoying the benefits of exercise. When it comes to teaching yoga to children, it’s important to make it fun, educational, and interactive. In this article, we’ll take a look at some lesson plans for kids’ yoga that are sure to keep children engaged and excited.
The lessons in this article are designed for a parent participation class that lasts for 45 minutes. The first thing you should do when starting the class is to set expectations. Make sure that the children understand that they need to keep their hands to themselves, use their words, say “Excuse me,” and wait for their turn before talking. It’s also important to remind them to have fun!
For this particular lesson plan, we’ll focus on the theme of “Going into Space.” When you go into space, you need a team, and you all work together, sharing a home. This theme is all about cooperation, compromise, effort, and helping each other. Combining everyone’s energy to work together towards a common goal. Ask the children, “What is more fun to do together?”
The first activity in this lesson plan is to play a name game. You tap your thigh with your hand to create a rhythm and sing, “Hello… (the name of the person)” three times, and then you say, “It’s nice to see you here.” Go around the circle repeating the same song for every child. This is a great way for everyone to get to know each other and feel more comfortable in the group.
Next, you can move on to the sun salutation. While going through the movements of the sun salutation, take a moment to thank the sun for the light and heat it gives us, and also for the growing food it provides us. This is a great way to teach children to appreciate the natural world and to be grateful for what they have.
After that, you can read a book about the planets. This is a great way to introduce children to the wonders of space and to get them excited about the theme of the class. You can choose a book that is appropriate for the age group you are working with.
The next activity is to do yoga poses with the theme of going into space. Encourage the children to put on their space suits and do yoga poses that mimic the actions of putting on the suit. For example, forward bends can represent putting on pants, cat and cow poses can represent putting on gloves and boots, and reaching up and back can represent putting on a helmet and backpack of oxygen. You can also practice walking on the moon by lying down on your back and reaching opposite arm to leg. Repeat the same moonwalk while standing nice and slow, pretending to walk like there is no gravity. Other poses you can do include crescent moon, crescent lunge, 5 points star (shooting star), half-moon pose, and falling star (like half-moon but reaching forward instead of down).
Playing music during the class can be a great way to keep the children engaged and excited. You can choose songs that are connected with the theme of going into space, such as “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” by Chantal Kreviazuk and Raine Maida, “There’s a Lot of Space in Space” by A Rocket to the Moon, or “Rocketship Run” by The Laurie Berkner Band. You can also choose songs that encourage movement, such as “Move & Freeze” by Christopher Kavi Carbone or “The More We Get Together” by Rafi.
The next activity is a game where the children pretend to be the earth, spinning on itself, while the parent is pretending to be the moon circling around the kids. This game is a fun way to incorporate movement into the class and also helps children understand how the moon orbits around the earth.
Another game you can play is to pair up the children and have them create their own galaxy. Each pair can choose a planet and a corresponding yoga pose to represent it. For example, if they choose Mars, they can do the Warrior II pose. If they choose Saturn, they can do the Tree pose with their arms raised above their head like the planet’s rings. This game encourages children to work together and be creative while also learning about different planets and yoga poses.
After the games, it’s time to wind down with some relaxation. One of my favorite ways to end a kids’ yoga class is with guided relaxation. I like to have the children lie down on their yoga mats, close their eyes, and take a few deep breaths. Then, I guide them through a visualization, taking them on a journey through space.
During the visualization, I describe a peaceful, quiet place in space where the children can rest and relax. I encourage them to imagine floating weightlessly, feeling safe and comfortable. I might describe a beautiful view of the stars or planets, or the feeling of gentle movement as they float through space.
After the visualization, I like to give the children a few moments to simply rest in silence. Then, I bring them back to the present moment by having them wiggle their fingers and toes and take a few more deep breaths. Finally, we end the class by saying “Namaste,” a traditional yoga greeting that means “the light in me honors the light in you.”
In conclusion, teaching yoga to children can be a fun and rewarding experience for both the teacher and the kids. By incorporating themes and games, you can make the class engaging and educational. And by ending with relaxation and mindfulness, you can help children feel calm and centered. I hope these lesson plans have given you some ideas for your own kids’ yoga classes. Remember to have fun and be creative, and to always prioritize safety and respect for each child’s individual needs and abilities. Namaste!