Welcome to our Kids Yoga Lesson Planning 101 Free Training! Throughout this training we have learned how to put together engaging, successful, fun, and memorable kids yoga classes. Now we will learn how to build community.
Get all caught up here with the Most Important Parts Every Kids Yoga Class Needs:
Building Community comes toward the end of your kids yoga class. Everyone has had fun, learned a lot, and now it is time to bring the energy level down a little.
As a teacher, I know that it can be tempting to skip or rush this portion of class if you are feeling short on time. I encourage you to really make time for this building community portion of class. It is a very important part for your students as well as for you, their teacher.
As you begin to bring your yoga class to a close, it is important
and beneficial to reflect on all that you have learned and accomplished during
class. It makes the students feel stronger and more united as a class.
This is personally one of my favorite parts of class as it ties everything
together. The children share what they have learned and what they have enjoyed.
I love hearing about their favorite parts and often times I am surprised. Many
times it is not what I think such as mastering a difficult pose, but instead it
might be how they felt or how they connected with another student and maybe
made a new friend.
Here are a few of our favorite ways to Build Community in your Kids Yoga Classes. Give them a try. They love it and it truly begins to bring your class to a close.
Now you are ready for Part 7 of the Kids Yoga Lesson Planning 101 Training:
The Kids Yoga Challenge!
Congratulations! Now you are well over halfway through with your yoga class. Your students have moved, breathed, learned a lot and had fun! Now it’s time for Part 7 of your Kids Yoga Class with The Yoga Challenge!
With the Yoga Challenge portion of your kids yoga class, your students will have the opportunity to work on a challenge by themselves or together with the group. Select one of the options below and spend 7-9 minutes having fun with the Yoga Challenge.
The 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 use The Kids Yoga Challenge Pose Cards to 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 favorite Kids 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 favorite Kids 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!
The Yoga Challenge is an important part of your kids yoga class for differentiation and meeting the varying needs of your students. Everything can be modified.
This challenge allows the children the opportunity to work on more difficult poses by themselves or within the group. This builds trust and community.
Although the official Opposite Day has been declared on January 25, kids love to celebrate Opposite Day anytime. A fun way to do that is with The Opposite Yoga Pose Game and dog pose.
Kids love this yoga game and it really stretches their minds as they think creatively and move their bodies in different ways. Kids don’t necessarily need to have an understanding of all the yoga poses to be able to play. Use The Kids Yoga Challenge Pose Cards to help this game be even more successful and fun for kids.
Have the child think of an opposite yoga pose for it. For example; Down Dog Pose could be Boat Pose. Or Frog Pose would become Happy Baby Pose and the opposite of Mountain Pose is a Headstand.
The next child then selects a card and everyone demonstrates the opposite of.
Continue around the circle until everyone has had a turn.
**If the child cannot think of what an opposite yoga pose, he or she can make one up or the group can help them think of one.
How many more opposite yoga poses can you think of? It is okay if the children (or you) do not know the name of the poses they are making. Just make them up and have fun!
A helpful tip is to look at the pose card and see what they can come up with. This is a fun game that allows collaboration and teamwork within the group. It is the simple act of moving their bodies in creative and different ways that will produce many benefits.
Kids love yoga games! Yoga games are often a favorite part of the class as children naturally love to play games. Games are also another great way to get kids moving, build strength, follow directions, work together and practice yoga poses in fun and engaging ways.
I also love how games help break the ice with new groups and allow kids to get to know one another. Games also lead to laughter and provide opportunities to maybe step outside a comfort while working together to achieve a goal.
I like to have a repertoire of yoga games that can be played and used in a variety of situations such as varying group sizes, ages, indoor, outdoor yoga games. I also like to include games with partners, quiet and mindful games, games that bring the energy level up and games that bring the energy down.
These games could be used during a yoga class, a school setting, camps, during other kid-related activities, or a home with your children.
I do recommend having a set of yoga pose cards to when playing the games. We useThe Kids Yoga Challenge Pose Cards and they provide a great visual and are about the only prop or material needed.
As you dive in deeper with some of our favorite kids yoga games, please feel free to adapt for varying age levels, setting, age appropriateness, and number of children. This can be done by making a few simple adjustments.
A huge tip is that you spend no longer than 10 minutes playing a yoga game. Keep the interest level and excitement high. Always end on a high note which leaves them wanting more
The goal of yoga games is to get kids excited about practicing many different yoga poses, while they gain strength, improve balance, experience teamwork and have fun!
Congratulations! You have made it to the main part of your yoga class where you can introduce and teach poses to your students. Kids enjoy learning new yoga poses and often get excited about adding new ones to their repertoire.
How to Teach Yoga Poses to Kids
When teaching yoga poses to kids, I have found it helpful to group the yoga poses together by a theme. It is also helpful to only introduce 4-6 yoga poses per class. This really gives children the opportunity to practice the yoga poses and remember them outside of class.
I have found that concentrating on fewer poses in class allows the children to truly focus, pay more attention to correct form and achieve success. They will feel themselves getting stronger, longer and more flexible as they become more comfortable with the poses. Your theme-related yoga poses are also a great way to differentiate and accommodate for the varying needs of your class.
How to Introduce the Yoga Poses
When introducing the yoga poses, it is important to be excited about the poses and build anticipation. This is a great technique and you will have the kids in the palm of your hand and so excited to learn what the next pose will be.
Gather the children in a circle
Have some sort of seasonal bag or prop (colorful gift bag, basket, stocking cap, sand pail) that you have placed the 4-5 pose card visuals. I use The Kids Yoga Challenge Pose Cards.
Call on a child to come and “draw out” the next pose.
Everyone practices the pose. Discuss what parts of your body you feel working and getting stronger.
Call on another child to draw out the next pose and practice.
Continue in this format until all of the poses have been drawn.
I like to give the students a “test.” Since I am a teacher they find this highly interesting and engaging. I call out a pose that we have learned and the students must get into it as quickly as they can. For younger ages, it is fine to show the Kids Yoga Pose Card to help them find success.
How to Teach Yoga Poses to School-Aged, Tweens, and Teens
After learning and practicing the yoga poses with older students, we will flow the poses together. Our yoga mats are already placed in a circle and I then place the yoga pose cards (that we just learned) in the center in the center in the circle and also order that we will flow. The children really enjoy this and they feel very grown-up.
They are definitely not too grown-up, however, when the Yoga Flow ends and it is time to practice the poses with a Yoga Game! Kids never ever want to pass up a yoga game!
Stay tuned for our favorite Kids Yoga Games in our Kids Yoga Lesson Planning 101 coming up next!