Teacher Thursdays- Imagination & Kids Yoga Props

Imagination

Photo Credit- Embellished Minds

This is the first in my weekly Blog Feature called TEACHER THURSDAYS for Yoga Teachers of all ages or Parents who want to teach their child yoga.

The best part part about teaching children yoga is that I get to use my CREATIVITY and IMAGINATION.

Just like the children use their imagination to BE a Frog or a Lion or a Tree, I get to use my imagination to make yoga FUN for my students.   There are so many amazing resources out there for kids yoga teachers, from Books to Yoga Card Decks to Games and Plush Toys. For some of my favorite resources and music, which are a staple in most of my yoga classes, you can take a look at my blog post Kids Yoga Playlist and Resources.  While I have invested in many of these books, CDs and instructional tools, I have found that some of my most popular lessons have been when I used simple toys or props as a springboard for yoga poses.

Here are some fun prop ideas you can use in Class:

Finger Puppets and Stuffed Animals

Last summer I found some Animal and Sea Creature finger puppets that have become a big hit with the kids.  I keep them in a bag and have each come up and pick a puppet from the bag and then we all do the yoga pose together.  The children get so excited when I bring the puppets in and they have fun using their imagination to make up their own poses for some of the animal puppets, such as Giraffe or Zebra. At the end of class, I give them a few minutes to play with their puppets or put on a puppet show.  They LOVE it!  The puppets are fun because during our relaxation time, I place the puppet on their bellies and tell them to close their eyes and take  deep breaths, feeling their bellies rise and fall as they give their puppets a ride.

Stuffed Animals are also great props for a kids yoga class and the variety of animals out there make them perfect for teaching new poses or playing yoga games.  You can play a game where each child gets to pick a stuffed animal from a bag and we do they pose together OR you have each child pick their favorite stuffed animal and DO YOGA with it.  The stuffed animal helps the child to keep their focus on their body while doing the pose..  For example, they can balance the stuffed animal on their head in TREE POSE or lift their stuffed animal on their belly while doing BRIDGE POSE…the possibilities are endless!

Sticker Fun

One day while browsing through the dollar store, I saw a sticker sheet of jungle animals and another one of sea creatures.  So many of the animals were poses the children were learning in my classes, so I bought several sheets to try out in my classes.  All children love stickers, so when I brought them out during class, they were thrilled!  Each child gets a turn to pick their favorite sticker and we practice the yoga pose together!  The wide variety of stickers available makes them perfect for teaching all kinds of other poses too, such as AIRPLANE, FLOWER or SUN SALUTATIONS.

Soft Ball or Stuffed Pillow Games

Passing around a soft ball or small stuffed pillow during games or sharing time can be a fun way to help children focus.  Try playing a different variation of  “Hot Potato” where you play some music and keep passing the object around. When the music stops, the child who has the ball or pillow in their hands, gets to choose their favorite yoga pose to do with the class.

Imagination is such an important part of learning and letting children discover yoga through play will make it a practice they can carry with them throughout their lives because it’s FUN!

These are just some of the many ways to use CREATIVITY to design yoga classes that all your students will enjoy! Be sure to stop by next week for more teaching themes and resources.

If you have any other creative ideas to share, I would love to hear from you…

Namaste