If you have ever taught kids Yoga, you likely understand the importance of bringing FUN into the Yoga room. Unlike adults, who generally want a pretty calm and focused setting for their practice, kids need more of a "buy in" when it comes to benefiting from all Yoga can offer them. One great way of adding some fun into their practice is to work with themes - animals, superheroes, seasons etc.. With the upcoming holiday season, today I thought I would give you a couple ideas on how to plan your next kids yoga class around this festive and exciting time.
Use Holiday Music
For those children and youth who can handle having music playing while they practice (It may be far too distracting for some) using their favorite holiday songs to create a practice is a great option! I find it most effective to create actions for different lyrics with the yoga poses (see my example below), but even using Holiday Music as the music for a game of "Musical Mats" helps make it more festive!
Sample Yoga Sequence to Jingle Bell Rock:
Jingle bell, jingle bell, jingle bell rock - Begin in Table Top - Downward Dog (Show kids how DD looks a bit like a bell)
Jingle bells swing and jingle bells ring - Walk DD out, peddle feet
Snowing and blowing up bushels of fun - Hands and feet walk toward each other
Now the jingle hop has begun -Tadasana - arms raise up (jazz hands for effect :))
Jingle bell, jingle bell, jingle bell rock - Step feet out for Warrior 2 (staying with the beat of the song of course)
Jingle bells chime in jingle bell time - Warrior 2 to one side
Dancing and prancing in Jingle Bell Square - Warrior 2 to the other side (like you're dancing!)
In the frosty air. - Feet step together
What a bright time, it's the right time - Chair Pose (at Bright and Right)
To rock the night away - Stay in Chair pose but "rock out" doing the twist or other dance move
Jingle bell time is a swell time - (To the beat..) Right foot forward, left foot back - set up for toppling tree
To go gliding in a one-horse sleigh - Toppling Tree Pose
Giddy-up jingle horse, pick up your feet - Set up for toppling tree other side
Jingle around the clock - Toppling tree pose
Mix and a-mingle in the jingling feet - Encourage the kids to freestyle the last chorus or verse
That's the jingle bell,
That's the jingle bell rock
Use Holiday Books or Stories
Find a book that tells a Holiday story that you can "act out" using Yoga poses! Stories with a lot of animals are always good as there is a Yoga pose for almost all animals, but you can get as creative as you want making things like Santa, Candles, or gifts into their own poses and shapes.
Some Books you might try....
The sky really is the limit with how creative you can be when planning fun Yoga classes for kids! I'd love to hear some of your ideas for creating engaging children's yoga programming - leave me a comment below! If you are looking for Yoga classes for your child be sure to visit the Your Best Kids page for details.