Part 4 of your Kids Yoga Lesson Plan: Active Movement
There is a reason that Active Movement is near the beginning of a kids yoga class. The children are so excited to be there from The Welcome then after theirBreathing Exercisesand Sun Salutations, they are good and ready to move their bodies around the room and use their large muscle groups.
Why Active Movement is Important
Active Movement provides the chance to put all of their well-intentioned energy to good use and let the kids have some fun while moving their bodies and making them strong.
The main benefits of Active Movement are to get students’ hearts pumping, build strength, and get their wiggles out (especially in the younger ages)! They will then be good and ready for the Themed Yoga Poses that will follow.
Yoga is more than breath, it is also about strengthening your whole body as well as your mind!
Follow the Leader
Do Not Overthink
Just move your body in good and healthy ways! That’s it! Turn on some music and for sure join in the fun! The kids love it! After a few moments, turn the music off, settle the children back into a circle. Have the children place a hand on their heart and feel it pumping energetically.
Make Your Heart Happy
I like to explain to the children how they made their hearts so happy. I tell them that sometimes their hearts get very bored when they are sitting for such a long time in front of the TV or video games. I ask them to put their hand on their heart and feel how happy they made their hearts now! Look around the room after you do this. Light bulbs are going off! The children have definitely made a connection with how to make their hearts happy!
After the first part of your Kids Yoga Class which is The Welcome, the next portion involves helping your students slow down and become aware of their breath and how their bodies feel. This is not as easy as it sounds!
When I first started practicing yoga, I used to believe yoga was only about the movement and holding poses. I quickly learned that your breath is actually more important than the poses. If you can hold the pose, but aren’t taking the long deep breaths, then you are actually not doing yoga. It is the breathing that makes it yoga. On the other hand, you could lie in Child’s Pose and breathing for an entire yoga class and that would be yoga.
Breathing with purpose during yoga lets you hold the pose longer and feel stronger while holding it. In addition to this, breathing deeply and consciously helps to strengthen the nervous system, calm anxiety as well as settle into the class and be in the moment.
Kids, however, do not care about any of the above! Therefore it can be difficult to teach children to become aware of their breath. Kids are busy and wiggly, so it is important that you bring these breathing exercises to their level and interest.
Do not worry, we have you covered! There are several ways to practice mindful breathing in a yoga class, but the main goal is to make the children aware while slowing down their bodies and their breath. This is done through child-friendly breathing exercises.
Congratulations on taking the time to truly gain an understanding of why each part of a kids yoga class is important. By following our Kids Yoga Lesson Planning 101 Free Training, everything will easily fall into place for you and your students. A well thought out and organized lesson plan will also create more lasting memories and help with explaining yoga to a child.
The Welcome is the very first part of your kids yoga class and it is the first real class interaction you will have together. The Welcome helps set the tone for how your class will go and helps explain to your students what they will be doing and learning as well as what you expect of them.
When you establish and make a connection
with your students right from the start, it makes such a difference throughout
your class as you introduce and teach breathing exercises, yoga
poses, games, challenges, relaxation, and more.
I think about this in my school classroom as well. Children need to know that they are safe and cared for. When you have a connection and a trust established, then you can truly teach the content, relax, and have fun teaching.
In the beginning of my kids yoga class, I
like to gather the students in a circle and welcome them warmly while having
them introduce themselves. This will help you get an overall sense of their
mood and abilities from the start. It is also the ideal time to reinforce their
names with their faces which comes in handy with the management of the class.
I like to have my students share their name
and answer a question.
Sharing something that they are good at
What do you already know about yoga?
Share why yoga is good for you
Demonstrate any yoga poses that they already know
Ask a theme related question (in relation to the yoga theme of class) such as “Which superhero would you be and why?”
I also like to briefly go over my 3 No-Fail Rules at this time. You only need these three rules to keep your class running seamlessly which is a big deal for the success and involvement of your classes. These 3 No-Fail Rules and many classroom teaching videos are all included in our online Kids Yoga & Mindfulness Teacher Training course. Enroll now and work through at your own pace and time with our support throughout.
Remember, you only get one chance to make that first impression. The Welcome does not need to be long, but it is the best opportunity to let kids know how excited you are that they are there and to introduce them to the theme and format for the class.
Get things hopping with Go Go Yoga for Kids and these Spring yoga themes, poses, games and lesson plans below!
Get your FREE complete Easter Egg Kids Yoga Lesson Plan with all of the Spring yoga poses, games and activities.
Begin with Bunny Breath: Kids love this calming and fun breathing exercise. Pretend to be a bunny as you take short quick sniffs through your nose.
Pretend to Be a Flower: Next get kids moving while pretending to be a seed in the ground ready to bloom into a flower. Does your flower grow quickly or slowly?
Learn some Easter and Spring Yoga Poses: Select 3-5 yoga poses for each yoga session. I like my yoga poses to correspond with our yoga theme. Your Spring Theme Yoga Poses are included in the lesson plan.
Play a Yoga Game: After learning and practicing the Spring Yoga Poses, it is time to practice the poses and work on some balance exercises that are given in the lesson plan. If the children are up for a challenge, try Raindrop Partner Pose. You can find this partner pose and 39 additional poses with the Kids Yoga Challenge Pose Cards.
Circle Showcase: Bring your kids yoga class to a close by having a Spring Yoga Show with the children showing off their favorite yoga pose.
Time for Rest: After the Spring Yoga Show it is time for Stillness and Savasana. Have the children gently curl up as if they are a bunny in their nest or hold. See if they can notice the rise and fall of their breath. It is so very relaxing and calming.
Are you ready for a new and fun idea that will get kids to listen? The Listening Game is one of my favorite new mindfulness games to use in my kids yoga classes. This simple game works like magic in getting your student’s attention while helping them be quiet and mindful.
I have used this with kids ages 2-16 and it is amazing how it completely calms and focuses them.
This is also a good game to use as a teacher to transition from a loud large group activity to a more calming and mindful time.
This chime is also the perfect size for popping into my kids yoga bag to take to class or in my teacher bag to use at school.
What I Would Say to the Kids: How many of you think you are really good at listening? Children raise hands
Great! We are going to see what great listeners we can be and play The Listening Game!
Sit up nice in tall in your seat with your hands resting in your lap. Now I am going to play a chime. I want you to listen for as long as you can. When you do not hear the chime anymore than raise your hand. Are you ready?
Play the chime once. Notice when the children raise their hands when they cannot hear the chime anymore. They can also open their eyes.
Oh, you are such great listeners AND you look so relaxed!
Have the children take two or three rounds of breath together and then play again. A note from experience, remember to not overplay this game so it will not lose its effectiveness. 2-4 rounds is enough at one time.
Let’s get started with yoga games! I’m going to tell you about the Top 10 Yoga Games and we’ll also learn why games are important with kids yoga.
Kids remember the poses when they play games with them. They are also a great way to practice the poses with games. Kids love games. They’re a great way to get kids moving, practice poses, and working together. I also love taking my favorite familiar childhood games and turning them into yoga games for kids. Some of these games need materials but the majority do not.
Top 10 Yoga Games for Kids:
First is Yogi Says which is similar to Simon Says where you will have a leader. The leader will say different things such as “Yogi Says hop on one foot,” “Yogi Says jump up and down,” “Yogi Says do Tree Pose.” You can incorporate action movements as well as yoga poses.
2. Next, you can turn on some music with freeze dance. When you stop the music everyone can hold a favorite pose the best they can.
3. For Animal Pick you can fill a bag with all stuffed animals or toys and kids can take turns drawing out an animal and thinking about what yoga pose the animal might do. For example, a stuffed dog could be down dog.
4. A few more yoga games is Yoga Stories. I’ve got a lot of good books that I recommend with this. Any story that includes animals in it. You can pause as you’re reading the story and see if kids can come up with a yoga pose for the animal.
5. Musical mats is just like musical chairs. It’s another fun yoga game. Put your mats in a circle and turn on some music. When the music stops make a yoga pose right there on the mat hold it.
6. The Yoga Obstacle course is another favorite of kids. You can use anything – couch cushions, hula hoops, jump ropes. Place them all in a circular formation along with some yoga pose cards or different poses that kids can do. Then the kids can move around the room with the obstacle course, also stopping at variable points and holding their yoga pose.
7. Yoga Shapes is also a favorite one. You can write a shape down, like a triangle or square, on a piece of paper and kids can try to make that with their body.
8. Yoga Jenga I created by just taking the familiar Jenga game and writing down names of poses on the blocks. You play with normal Jenga rules with pulling out the blocks and learning each pose as you pull it out and then placing it on top.
9. Yoga Says is also fun for the kids. Have them pick 3 to 4 poses that they’ve learned and they are center stage and their job with the yoga show is to show the poses and kind of transition in between them so that it flows pretty seamlessly.
10. Another great game for younger ages is Follow the Leader where you can lead or the kids can take turns leading movements and yoga poses and everyone does what the leader is doing.