Part of the fun of introducing children to yoga is teaching classes and leading events. I do both of these on a regular basis and understand that while they are both important, they are both completely different in terms of planning and preparing for.
I am the type of person that likes to try to be prepared in all that I do. When I plan for my kids yoga classes that I teach regularly, I already know the ages and number of children ahead of time. This allows me to select age appropriate themes, yoga poses, props, and prepare an engaging lesson plan.
When leading those one time (medium or large sized) kids yoga events such as at bookstores, stores, parks, schools, libraries, and expos, there are different ways to go about planning and preparing. To see where Go Go Yoga for Kids has been recently, check out the links above.
There is definitely an element of the unknown to consider. How many kids will actually show up at the event? How large of an age range for children will there be? What other distractions and varying surroundings are there to think about such as the weather, other people, and surrounding noises?
All of these unknowns can make planning difficult, but I have come up with a few guidelines that help make these large group kids yoga events go smoothly.
- Over Pack and Plan. I know my children and husband would agree that this is one of my biggest talents (or burdens as they usually help lug all of my props and materials). I always bring extra mats for kids that don’t have one. I also bring seasonal or theme related props such beachballs, snowballs, Easter Eggs, etc). See some of my favorite props here. These props are also great for attention getting in a busy setting. I also have a lesson plan in mind that I want to use with 1-2 additional activities such as related partner poses, marker board, or read aloud books for just in case.
- Arrive Early. This is a biggie. No matter how early I arrive at an event, the time always flies before the class starts. Allow yourself time to check in with the organizer and thank them for inviting you, check the sound system/speaker for your music, and set up/organize any materials and resources. I also like to welcome the kids and help get the mats or beach towels appropriately. I like to have my classes begin in a circle and is helpful for you to help lay down the first couple of mats so others will get the idea.
- Keep It Moving. My recommenced class time frame for an event is for 30-40 minutes. Since you are unsure of the actual numbers and ages of children that will show up, it is better to have your class time be filled with movement, poses, and games and Stillness and Savasana at the end. Your job is to introduce children to yoga. Of course safety is a priority, but during an event is not the time to be sure that every child’s leg is in a perfect 90 degree angle in Warrior 2.
At the end, be sure to thank the kids (and adults who brought them) for coming and give them any additional ideas and resources for continuing to practice yoga at home. Many times, this may be a child’s first interaction with yoga so be proud that you helped introduce them to this practice and the life long skills and benefits that accompany yoga.
Check out our fun Kids Yoga in the Park event here.
Need more on How to Plan a Kids Yoga Class? See our Bestselling books Go Go Yoga for Kids: A Complete Guide to Using Yoga with Kids and Yoga Lessons for Children.