Every Fall, there is a rite of passage for kids aged preschool through college which involves preparing to go back to school. Usually, this means gathering school supplies, going school clothes shopping, registering for sports and activities, Meet the Teacher Night or visiting the school before the start date. These are all part of the back to school transitions which help kids and parents physically and mentally prepare.
The worries and fear of the unknown are real and can lead to feelings of worry and uncertainty. While these feelings are normal there are things that can be done to help children emotionally prepare for a successful year!
Parents play an influential role in helping children cope, encouraging a positive back-to-school transition and helping to reduce children’s anxiety and worries. These mini yoga brain breaks can help.
Enjoy the Following Back to School Help and Tips
Have Honest Discussions
It is important to sit down and really talk to your child. It doesn’t matter their age. Spend some time talking about how things may be different. As them if there are are specific things they are worried or concerned about, and talk these through with them.
Talk to them about what they can do to stay safe such as hand washing, using hand-santizer, keeping their distance from others avoid touching their face.
Get a Routine in Place
This is very important for children! Kids thrive on routines in place because they know what to expect and they feel like they have control.
Have your children wake up at the same time and follow a morning routine such as eating breakfast, brushing teeth and getting dressed for the day. Packing lunch the night before also helps minimize morning decisions and chaos.
Plan on certain places to keep masks easily accessible such as on hooks by the door. Have children help prepare the night before with homework completed and packed into a backpack, lunch prepared and in the fridge, and school clothes laid out. These simple steps will save so much time in the morning and really help with building a routine.
Children ages 3 and older are also old enough to have chores and to contribute positively to the family. Chores such as putting away dishes from the dishwasher, watering plants, walking the dog, taking garbage out, all help build responsibility and community within a family.
It’s important to acknowledge children’s worries, but parents also need to encourage their children to focus on the things that are positive and they are forward to.
Before school starts, you can ask, “What are you looking forward to about school school?” or “What have you missed about school?” Once school starts, you can ask, “What was something great that happened today?”
At dinner, we like to take turns sharing something positive about our day. With so much negativity going on, it is important to truly be intentional about looking for the positive.
Be a Role Model
Children are watching and looking to us. They are noticing how we are responding to the changes and new challenges. Children even pick up on the nonverbal with our facial expressions.
It’s OK for us to feel uncertain and worried. However, as much as possible, try to model calm and confident attitudes about returning to school for your child and use cheerful, positive messages.
Please take the time to care for your own well-being and mental health. Be kind to yourself and one another. Seek out help if you needed. You are not alone. Make time for what makes you happy.
While this year’s back to school is different, we can help children feel optimistic by listening to their worries, helping them feel confident by establishing routines and coping strategies. Our kids need us to lead the way for a successful back-to-school transition and to develop the lifelong skills they will need in the future.
Are you ready for a positive and engaging challenge that will improve balance, flexibility, mindfulness and more?
The Yoga Pose Challenge is kid and adult friendly and fun for all ages.
The Kids Yoga Challenge
I have worked with children for over 20 years and know that kids love to have a challenge! They feel like they have a goal to work toward and something tangible to accomplish. When completed, they definitely feel a sense of pride and accomplishment.
You do not need to have the Kids Yoga Challenge Pose Cards to participate in The Yoga Challenge, but it is helpful to understand how challenges can motivate kids intrinsically and extrinsically. Combine this with yoga poses which are so beneficial physically and mentally that it is a win-win all around!
The Kids Yoga Challenge Pose Cards challenge participants with balance, flexibility, mindfulness, and more. Our yoga card deck includes 40 poses. Each pose includes a starred level of difficulty.
How to Be Part of The Yoga Challenge
Each of the yoga poses are given a star rating for difficulty. For example starred Level 1 Poses would include Cat Pose or Mountain Pose while Level 2 Poses would be Horse Pose or a Partner Pose. Find some of our favorite Partner Poses that kids love to show off here. All of the Partner Poses are included in the Kids Yoga Challenge Pose Cards.
It is important to use some kind of yoga pose visual when working with kids especially when working through the Yoga Challenge. You can find downloadable yoga pose posters, other pose cards, or our Kids Yoga Challenge Pose Cards Digital Deck. Simply assign a starred level rating to each pose for the kids to practice and work through progressively.
By practicing the yoga poses regularly, the Level 5Poses such as Crow Pose, Wheel Pose and Lotus Pose will become easier.
It is important for children (and adults) to understand that they are not expected to master all of the Yoga Challenge immediately.
Yoga is a practice and not something that is ever perfected. By practicing a sequence of poses over time, they will become familiar in your body. This means that your body will become more fluid and flexible. The more challenging yoga poses will then come with greater ease.
Ease Up on the Alignment
Demonstrate the pose yourself or with yoga pose cards. But be aware that if you spend a majority of time making sure every child has a perfect complete 90 degrees with their leg in Warrior 1 or that their Plank Pose includes a perfectly flat back, you will lose the attention and enthusiasm of the kids.
Yoga is a continued practice. Children, like adults, will continue to learn and grow with the poses and their practice.
More YOGA CHALLENGE OPTIONS:
1. Balance Poses:
Select a single balance yoga pose for the children to work on. This could be Airplane Pose, Dancer Pose, Tree Pose or may others. We like to useThe Kids Yoga Challenge Pose Cardsto help provide a visual. When placed on the floor, they also provide a wonderful focal point.
Kids love to work on balance in yoga class because it is fun and challenging. They often don’t realize that they are acquiring a skill that improves each time they practice. This is good news because studies have shown that our balance decreases as we age beginning at age 7. With practice, we can maintain this balance.
I understand that Inversions can sound scary to try…especially with kids. The great news is that Inversions do not need to be difficult to do and the benefits are enormous. Find out how to practice our favoriteKids Yoga Inversions here.
3. Partner Yoga Poses:
Kids love partner yoga poses! Partner yoga poses help teach children the importance of teamwork and working together plus they are fun to do and build trust and community with one another. Check out our all-time favoriteKids Yoga Partner Poses here.
4. Group Yoga Challenge:
This type of yoga challenges are some of my favorites. Do not overthink this, it can be anything from standing in a circle and passing a hula hoop without letting go of hands. It can also be a Group Tree Pose or a Down Dog Tunnel. The point is to get the children working together to achieve a goal while having fun!
No matter how you go about it, have fun with the Yoga Challenge! There are many variations to get children interested and engaged so have fun trying them all.
Learn how to easily incorporate fun and beneficial yoga poses as well as mindfulness exercises for some family fun and together time! This free mini Kids Yoga & Mindfulness Masterclass will include the most beneficial yoga poses for these young growing bodies as well as fun yoga games to practice these poses.
You will also learn the top mindfulness exercises that can help calm children and set them up for success and a growth mindset. This mini master class is perfect for parents, educators and caregivers.
Discover in this Kids Yoga & Mindfulness Masterclass:
How adult yoga is different than kids yoga
What ages can children begin yoga
The benefits for children who practice yoga
How to easily & effectively teach yoga to children
Family fun yoga games that all ages will enjoy
How to easily help children relax and reduce anxiety in minutes
What teens & tweens really need with yoga & mindfulness exercises
How to easily implement mindfulness at home with your family in small moments
Ideas for fun yoga poses and breathing and calming exercises to begin doing right away.
Join Go Go Yoga for Kidsand Des Moines Parent for fun home adventures for kids! With all the changes around our world, we are excited to provide a new, fun summer yoga camp experience for families this summer.
Your kids will get a taste of many subjects and activities all in one week! Camp Des Moines Parent will provide fun lessons from instructors and businesses, a private community, fun goodies, and more.
This virtual camp is open to families all over!
How to Enroll:
Select a camp you would like to attend below. Camps are aimed for children 5 to 11 years. Please note that some activities may require a parent’s assistance.
One week prior to your camp start date you will receive a fun packet filled with items you may need for your week of camp, bios of your instructors for the week, and other fun goodies. Most daily lessons will include things you will have at home.
You will be delivered your video each day during the camp week, which will be good for TWO weeks. This means you have two weeks to carve out time, have fun, and experience the lesson.
Interaction and fun are important during camp! You will be included in a Private Facebook Group that is ONLY for the specific week of registrants. All of you will be doing the same fun activities, will be able to share your experiences and make friends. We will also sprinkle in some other fun during the week.
What is included with your admission to camp?
An intro packet filled with instructions, supplies list, instructor bios, and other fun goodies.
(5) Daily videos delivered straight to your inbox with a TWO week access period. Videos are taught by local, Des Moines instructors, and/or business owners. Video lessons may differ but may include art, STEM lesson, themed yoga, nature lesson, and more.
Membership into a Private Facebook Group so you can interact and connect with other families participating in the same week of camp as you!
Sara is an elementary teacher and just celebrated her 20th year of teaching for West Des Moines Schools! Her passions are kids, teaching, and yoga. She holds a master’s degree in education as well as certifications in teaching adult and kids yoga. She is the creator of Go Go Yoga for Kids which includes kids yoga books, lesson plans, resources, apps, and teacher training. She regularly teaches kids yoga classes for a nationally-known health and fitness club and enjoys visiting schools to help inspire children to be an author as well as the fun and benefits that yoga can bring! She lives in Iowa with her husband, three kids, and Bichon Poodle Pup, Rocky.
Get kids fit, flexible, focused, and having fun with yoga! Go Go Yoga for Kids is the resource for all things related to how to easily and effectively teach yoga to children while having fun! All of our resources have been tested and kid-approved with our
Kids yoga is a non-competitive activity that allows them to have fun and exist outside of the daily stresses of life. It helps children learn about themselves by being present and mindful in their bodies. It’s important to change the lessons based on how best to teach yoga to different ages of kids.
When I teach kids yoga, the emphasis is on creativity and having fun as they pretend to be a cat, tree, superhero, or wherever the poses and their imaginations lead them. While learning the yoga basics they are also discovering how the poses make them feel.
Through yoga, children will experience body awareness, empowerment, and ways to slow down and be in the moment, all in a safe and fun environment. Each new year and stage of development brings with it a unique excitement and challenge.
The following general guidelines, found from my interview with Catharine Hannay of Mindful Teachers, will help you decide what types of yoga games and activities are most appropriate for your students or your own children.
What is happening outside right now? The grass is getting green. Trees and flowers are growing and sprouting their leaves. Baby birds are hatching and animals are coming out of hibernation. There are many plants and animals that are changing by the day at this time of year! It is very, very exciting with all of the things that are happening with our Earth during Spring.
Today we are going to combine all those exciting things that are happening with our Earth, Earth Day and the season of Spring! We are going to combine them into a fun Kids Yoga Sequence.
Lesson Plan Tips:
This Spring Yoga Sequence can be done with kids of any age. You can also practice this yoga sequence by yourself. It just feels good in your body for sure and a fun way to celebrate Earth.
You do not need any materials or resources just a place to move your body! I will be using our Kids Yoga Challenge Pose Cards that have yoga pose visuals for the poses we will be practicing. It is always good to have visuals when practicing yoga with kids.
First, we need to warm up our bodies. One of my favorite ways to do this is through Sun Salutations with a Sunrise and Sunset. We are going to first move into Mountain Pose.
Stand up, nice and tall and look between your hands and feel the strength in your arms and legs This will be our Sunrise. Go ahead, breathe in and dive forward into the Sunset. It’s almost like you’re diving into your swimming pool like it’s almost Summertime.
2. Now breathe in and bring your arms up high and relax your shoulders. Breathe out as you dive forward over your legs. Do this a few times warm up your entire body.
Seed to Flower Yoga Sequence
For our first yoga sequence, we are going to pretend to be a seed in the ground.
Go into Child’s Pose and make a small seed shape with your body.
Now, very slowly I want you to go ahead and grow into something that you can find outside. It could be a flower, could be a tree, or a plant.
Feel the warm sun on your back as you slowly starting to grow and sprout. Are you a flower? A tree? A plant?
Caterpillar to Butterfly Spring Yoga Sequence
Now we are going to go through a huge metamorphosis. Do you know what animal does that? It is a caterpillar turning into a butterfly! So let’s go into Caterpillar Pose.
Go on your bellies and into cobra position. Put your head down so you’re spine is straight.
Now you’re just going to raise up like you’re a caterpillar munching the leaves. We know that the caterpillar needs to eat a lot because pretty soon he’s going to make a cocoon.
Step back into Plank Pose because this is going to be our strong cocoon that is hanging on the branch. Caterpillar, cocoon and then you will become a Butterfly!
Jump up through your legs and come into Butterfly Pose. Let’s see our butterflies flap your wings. Oh butterflies can you fly, faster and faster!
Tadpole to Frog: Spring Yoga Sequence
Our last Spring Yoga Sequence Metamorphosis is Tadpole to Frog Pose. A frog starts his life in egg.
Go ahead and find Child’s Pose. This is a very good restorative pose that you can come into at any time. Now we are tadpoles in our eggs.
Let’s go ahead and come forward into a swimming position on your bellies with your arms outstretched. This is just like tadpole swimming in the water. This is good for working your lower back.
Then the tadpole finally becomes the frog. Move into Malansa Pose. Let’s do our best Frog hops!
These are some fun yoga sequences that you can do with kids and as a family! Ready for more Kids Yoga Game & Activities?