I was honored to speak at the Opening Minds Conference and Expo in Chicago. It is one of the biggest early childhood events of the year and I was so excited to be a part of it. I presented on How to Easily Incorporate Yoga in Your Preschool Classroom with Poses, Games, and Mindfulness Within Your Existing Curriculum.
I may have slightly overpacked, but I had so many props, resources, and ideas that I couldn’t wait to share with fellow educators, counselors, parents, child care providers, and healthcare professionals about the importance of introducing yoga to young children.
Many of my favorite props are detailed in Go Go Yoga for Kids: Yoga Lessons for Children but there were also many seasonal kids yoga props and games that are very timely and effective such as our Open Hearts and Minds Valentine Box and poses as well as our Snowball Kids Yoga Lesson Plan.
An hour and a half can be a long time for a session so I made sure to break it up with some breathing exercises, poses, yoga games and videos that everyone seemed to enjoy. A few favorites were Birthday Candle Breath, Balloon Breathing, how to effectively teach Tree Pose to children and ways to instantly incorporate yoga into the classroom in minutes. We used the Kids Yoga Challenge Pose Cards for some of the exercises, but any yoga pose cards could work.
One of my passions is definitely helping children get fit and literate. One easy way to do this is by incorporating quality read aloud books along with yoga poses. I took the opportunity to walk through some of my favorite children’s books and explain how to incorporate yoga poses and games with them. Kids love this and they retain what they are learning all the better if they are moving as well.
For example, practice forming some Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Palm Trees and different letter shapes with your body. For more information check out our How to Teach Yoga to Kids with Picture Books video or see a list of our favorite read-aloud books.
I so enjoyed meeting the attendees. They had wonderful questions and feedback. It was definitely a joy to be able to share my passions of kids, teaching, and yoga with others.